Quinoa, My Favorite Whole Grain, And A Chance to Win A $400 GC

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of UnitedHealthcare.  All opinions are 100% mine.

When I learned that I was gluten intolerant about 4 years ago I embarked on a wonderful journey of discovery. With wheat and gluten rich grains out of my diet I needed to find alternatives that I could eat. While I was raised in France, we mostly ate whole grain breads at home such as spelt, rye, buckwheat, or kamut so I’ve always appreciated the complexity in flavors and textures of whole grains. But I would have to say that my favorite today is quinoa, a fairly new grain in my pantry.

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My mom introduced me to quinoa a few years ago and I immediately fell in love with it’s wonderful nutty flavor and slightly crunchy texture.

You’ll typically find either white or red quinoa.  Though they look very different I’ve not really noticed a real difference in taste or texture. I tend to favor the red quinoa, simply because I love the way it looks!

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One of the things that is unique to quinoa and makes it a fabulous choice for vegetarian is it’s unusual amino acid profile. Unlike most whole grains, quinoa contains adequate amounts of the amino acids lysine and isoleucine to serve as a complete protein source. Because of this unique quality, quinoa has become my breakfast cereal of choice.  It’s an easy grain to prepare and cooks in 15 minutes or less.  I’ll sometimes cook it in almond milk instead of water then add apple chunks, a handful of almonds or pecans and a dash of cinnamon. If I am feeling particularly decadent,I’ll even add a little heavy cream. It makes for an absolutely delicious and quick breakfast that meets my stringent requirements and sets us all up for a productive morning.

We also enjoy quinoa as a side dish, either drizzled with olive oil or macadamia oil, sautéed with fresh garlic, or tossed in a salad like my Black Kale and Quinoa Salad.

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Since the early 1900’s a number of dietary guidelines have been introduced by the USDA with the 1992 pyramid being the most recognized. If you remember, the base of the pyramid was grains — breads, cereals, rice and pasta.  The current guidelines, My Plate, established in 2011 by Michelle Obama, reflects more closely the recommendations of many of today’s nutritionists, though some recommend even fewer grains than the 1/4 of a plate. The key with grains is to eat whole grains.  They are a great source of fiber and other nutrients and if you select them carefully you really don’t need a lot.

There are so many wonderfully nutritious and delicious whole grains I strongly encourage you to go on your own journey of discovery and sample as many as you can.  I’m sure you’ll find many new favorites!

Are whole grains already a part of your regular diet?  What is your favorite whole grain? Do you have a special way to prepare it or favorite recipe?

It’s YOUR TURN!

Share your favorite whole grains photos for a chance to win a $400 Amazon gift card courtesy of United Healthcare.

Through their “We Dare You To Share Program” UnitedHealthcare is inviting families everywhere to share the the joy of healthy eating.

AND… as a special thank you for participating in this month’s “Dare To Share”, one of my readers (yes that means you ) will win a BONUS PRIZE: a brand new NutriBullet smoothie maker valued at $100.

EXCLUSIVE BONUS

EXCLUSIVE BONUS

To qualify for this bonus prize, simply enter the coupon code SCRUMPTIOUS when you submit your entry.  This special bonus is exclusively for my readers so don’t forget your special coupon code. You can use the code SCRUMPTIOUS daily for more chances to win the NutriBullet!!!

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It’s super easy to participate:

  • Visit the “We Dare You To Share” page here: http://wedareyoutoshare.com/share
  • Click the blue button that says ‘ENTER”
  • Enter your information
  • Make sure to enter the coupon code SCRUMPTIOUS
  • Upload a photo
  • Click ‘SUBMIT”

You can submit as many photos as you like.

No photos of whole grains?  No worries!  You can still qualify for the $400 grand prize and our special bonus prize. Take a daily quiz or participate in the fitness challenge. You can participate in both of these daily!

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Best of luck and happy exploration of whole grains!

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About Valerie 

Valerie Remy-Milora is the mother of 3 amazing girls, an author, public speaker, coach and founder of Scrumptious Moms. She is passionate about empowering moms to embrace self care and live a vibrant, joyful life with their loved ones. A health and fitness nut, she is an advocate for chemical-free living, real food and GMO labeling. She believes in the sanctity of life from conception to natural death.

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Comments

  1. Your salad looks amazing!

  2. I love quinoa. I add black beans, corn, avocado, tomatoes, and cilantro dressing for a protein-packed meal.

  3. I’ve been trying REALLY hard to like quinoa, but it hasn’t happened yet. I keep making it and hating it.

  4. Quinoa is one of the things I miss the most on Whole30 LOL LOVE it! LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE it.

  5. That salad sounds delicious! We don’t cook much with Quinoa, but it’s always been good when we have.

    • Thank you Kimberly! We’ve cut way back in general and quinoa has become one of our top choices because of it’s unusual nutrition profile with the high protein and healthy fat content it’s pretty fabulous!

  6. That looks super healthy and good. I need to give Quinoa a try!

  7. I have heard great things about quinoa but we have yet to actually try it.

  8. I have never been able to prepare Quinoa so that it’s not bitter. I know I’ve got to be doing something wrong. Everyone I know raves about it, and I’m dying to make it, but I want it to taste good. Your breakfast routine sounds delicious . . . I’m seriously considering giving it a try!

    As far as my favorite whole grains, while I’ve cut back, I do LOVE WHOLE oats, and barley!

    • Try the breakfast quinoa Audrey and cook the quinoa itself in milk. coconut milk or almond milk. It will take away some of that bitterness you seem to be sensitive too. You can also cook it in chicken broth or vegetable broth to use as a savory side. then sauté it with some shallots or sweet onions. I hope you succeed! It is so yummy and a real powerhouse of nutrition when it comes to grains.

      I love whole oats and they are a fabulous source of dietary fiber. And barley is another wonderful choice! Happy, healthy cooking!

  9. I don’t think I’ve ever had quinoa but I’d love to try it.

  10. I haven’t had quinoa in FOREVER but this looks so good!

  11. Ok, I’ll be honest. I’ve never made quinoa. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten it either. That looks SO good though! I’ll have to give it a try!

  12. I’m such a fan of quinoa. I’m actually fairly new to it, but it’s awesome!

  13. Total yum!!

  14. That looks really, really good!

  15. I love Quinoa. This looks really good.

  16. I’ve never heard of Quinoa before. This looks worth trying for sure. Thanks for sharing.

  17. Valerie — I’ve never eaten quinoa, as I rarely have cereal for breakfast. However, your black kale salad looks so scrumptious I may just try it.

    • I don’t cook cereal for breakfast much Jeannette as I want to make sure we all have a healthy source of protein to start the day ready for all that lays ahead… quinoa has become the exception because of it’s high protein content and when I add a handful of nuts I fell confident I’m providing a balanced meal. We don’t experience the typical sugar crash.
      I do hope you give the black kale salad a try, but be warned, you just might fall in love 😉

  18. Mmm… I have a favorite quinoa, spinach and roasted pumpkin bowl that is my favorite lunch in the Fall. I will have to see if I have a pic of that one somewhere.

    • Oh that sounds scrumptious Andrea and I am going to have to give that a try. I would love to see that picture 🙂 I absolutely LOVE pumpkin, yet another powerhouse of nutrition. Thanks for sharing!

  19. I recently started cooking quinoa and really enjoy it.

  20. I adore quinoa! And kale 🙂 I like to cook it up with anything I’ve got, like an Oxo cube, sweetcorn, tomato, olive, onion and spinach! I’ve recently started baking with gluten free flour, as I find it makes a really light sponge.

    • Yum that sounds delicious Christine! Quinoa and kale are two of my staple foods for sure. I can eat both daily and never tire of them. I love baking with quinoa flour, especially for light cakes. I’d love your sponge cake recipe as I love trying new treats for my family 🙂

  21. I have yet to try quinoa but you make it look so good.

  22. We love Quinoa to make side dishes … you can change it up so easily and have a completely different dish!

  23. I LOVE Quinoa. I typically make a quinoa salad that the whole family loves, and it’s so healthy!

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