Introducing the famous and much loved: Mr. Quinoa!

I’ve been experimenting with quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) for over a year now. I’ve come to like it more than rice because it cooks faster and has a more “poppy” texture. However, my daughters still make faces and stick their tongues out at quinoa-filled bowls smiling at them on the dinner table.

 

I’ve tried intriguing them with information like, “Did you know that this tiny grain has been around for about 8,000 years, has the highest nutritional profile and cooks the fastest of all grains?” And, “Quinoa gave the Incas the high energy they needed to be able to run long distances at the high altitude of the Andes Mountains in South America.” But to know avail, they still stick their tongues out.

 

Within its nutritional profile, Quinoa is a powerful little grain that:

 

·         Contains all eight amino acids to make it a complete protein

·         Has a protein content equal to milk

·         High in B vitamins, iron, zinc, potassium, calcium & vitamin E

·         Gluten-free; easy to digest

·         Ideal food for endurance

·         Strengthens the kidneys, heart, and lungs

 

I refused to give up. We have to use this awesome little powerhouse. That’s just the way it works at my house. I don’t stop cooking something that my girls don’t like. Instead, I meet the challenge head on and keep trying it in new ways!

 

Sunday morning, me and my sidekick, Mr. Quinoa finally WON the battle! And, while I kept my mouth shut at the table, I was doing the happy dance around the corner.

 

Here’s how we won the hearts of the littles:

 

Coconut Breakfast Quinoa

Instead of making the quinoa with water, I made it with a can of lite coconut milk, added a few dashes of cinnamon, a pinch of salt and let it simmer for 15ish minutes.

 

In the meantime, I cut fresh mango, strawberries and walnuts, filled a bowl with unsweetened shredded coconut and made an exclamation point with a jar of honey. My cutting board delivered the accoutrements to the table while I dished up Mr. Quinoa with a little almond milk splashed on top.

 

VICTORY!

 

#1 tip for eating with kids: Keep all components of the meal separate and provide a buffet of different toppings. It lets them personalize their meal and introduces them to new ingredients…they think it’s FUN to put their own toppings on.

 

Stay strong, Mamas! The day will come when you can happy dance all the way to Victoryville!

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