|(Not so crispy) Crispy Quinoa Bake a la Meredith|
Last week I was eating dinner with three of my fellow members of the tribe (Jewish friends) and my Asian-Canadian friend. We were at this healthy, organic, cage free, hipster glasses restaurant and two of them got quinoa bowls. I was first introduced to quinoa about a year ago when I was in Chicago and ate at a Chipotle-like quinoa place. My fit friend, whom I shall call C-Money, told me that quinoa was a grain but acted like a protein and it filled you up and it was just fabulous. To me, it tasted like rice and I obviously did not get filled up quickly. That typically takes half of a pizza.
Anyway, back to about a week ago and the quinoa bowls. I started making fun of how everyone is obsessed with quinoa and every other recipe on Pinterest has quinoa in it. "It's sooooo good", stated another one of my healthy, fit, Martha-Stewart like friend, whom I shall call "N". So I decided to give this quinoa kick a chance and chose a bake with tomatoes, black beans, corn and green chiles and lots of cheese in it, so I could pretend in my head it was Chipotle. I think I didn't simmer the quinoa long enough because it was a little soupy, but all in all it was pretty good, and it apparently is chock full of protein.
When I started making this dish today, I started thinking how I could incorporate this into my "living well" journey. As I mentioned before, quinoa is supposed to be very healthy for you and it is being publicized out the wazoo as a "superfood". I am definitely one of those people that latch on to health trends. In college I even bought this $80 colon cleanser online because I thought my colon was dirty. I also take advice from people that may or may not really know anything about health (i.e. my beloved counselor I blogged about before). My big question is where do these health fads come from? Why is quinoa big now when it had the same amount of protein 5 years ago? When I was a kid, my dad told me he couldn't eat the yellow part of the egg because it would raise his already high cholesterol. Now eggs are another "superfood" because they are chock full of protein, have little fat, and are only 70 calories. It used to be bad to eat carbs and now its bad to not eat carbs. I know moderation is the key to a healthful life, but it can be difficult when "they" keep changing "their" minds about what is healthy and what isn't! I don't have the answers, and you probably don't either. To me, it kind of seems like there isn't a "right" way to live well, because all the health experts haven't seemed to figure it out themselves! It is a personal journey, and until my leftovers are gone, quinoa is part of mine.
My living well experiment (crispy quinoa bake recipe) can be found at: http://www.theliveinkitchen.com/2012/12/11/crispy-quinoa-bake/
Make sure you let the quinoa simmer until almost all the liquid seems to be absorbed or it'll be not so crispy!