Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Quinoa (KEEN-Wah) 101..and a Meatloaf I give a perfect 10!

Quinoa has become a new necessity since my son can no longer have gluten or rice! Not familiar with quinoa ( pronounced KEEN-Wah)? Quinoa is a gluten free grain native to Bolivia and is a relative to Swiss chard, beets and spinach. It has a mild earthy flavor (that can be a little too earthy in my opinion without adding seasoning). Its nutrition value is quite impressive! It has 8g Protein, 5g Fiber, 30% Daily Value of Magnesium, 15% DV Iron, 19% DV Folate and heart healthy Omega-3s. 

There are many ways to incorporate quinoa into your diet. You can eat it seasoned as a side. You can also add it to many recipes. Here are some ideas: add cooked quinoa to smoothies, quiche, chili or stews, swap it for rice in recipes, add it to a salad, swap it for oatmeal in your morning breakfast using normal oatmeal flavors and toppings, add it into your burger meat, add to muffins, use it in breakfast cookies, aaaand use it as a binder for your meatloaf!

I was craving meatloaf this week, but I wasn't sure what to do about not being able to use breadcrumbs. Usually you add milk to breadcrumbs in meatloafs. So, I thought i would try to substitute some cooked leftover quinoa to it and voila! It works perfectly, it adds a TON of nutrition AND you don't even notice a difference in the taste. Not ready to try it? you can easily make this recipe with breadcrumbs ( I will note the change below).

Turkey Quinoa Meatloaf
  • 1 lb Jennie O Lean (not extra lean) ground turkey
  • 1/3 cup very finely diced carrot
  • 3/4 cup finely diced yellow onion
  • 1 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 3/4 tsp Pepper
  • 1/4 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/4 tsp died thyme
  • 1 tsp of tomato paste- tip! I buy a tube of this and keep in the fridge so i don't waste part of a can and can add a little here and there in recipes.
  • 1/4 cup cooked and cooled quinoa OR 1/2 cup breadcrumbs and 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 egg or ener-g egg replacer (1 1/2 tsp replacer mixed in a small seperate bowl with 2 Tablespoons warm water until combined)
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 2 Tablespoons mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon light brown sugar
Preheat oven to 350.
saute onion, 1 1/2 tablespoons of oil and carrot on medium high heat in a skillet until carrot softens slightly and onion is translucent. Set aside to cool (you do not want to ever incorporate hot ingredients into uncooked meat because it will start to cook your meat!).
Put all ingredients into a large mixing bowl and mix together with your hands. 
Spray a loaf pan with non stick spray ( i use pam grilling).
I HIGHLY recommend getting a meatloaf pan with a removable tray that has perforations to drain fat! I love mine. It drains fat and allows you to lift the entire meatloaf out after it is cooked which is great for presentation and it is much easier to slice! ( i purchased mine at bed bath and beyond)
Place mixture into pan. In a small separate bowl, mix all ingredients for your glaze. Make sure there are no large sugar lumps. If you prefer a sweeter less tangy topping, just leave the mustard out, add 2 more tablespoons of ketchup and one more tablespoon of brown sugar.
Spoon glaze over meatloaf and place in the oven for 50 minutes or until meat is cooked through.

Sides: roasted veggies, brown sugar glazed carrots, mashed potatoes, roasted potatoes, grilled asparagus, butter beans, green beans, peas.
before it goes in the oven..

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