Preparing for this trip to Ecuador has put me in the mood for their indigenous food. Quinoa is actually an edible seed and considered a super grain and a staple food by the Incas because of its abundant energy and vitality producing benefits. It has the highest source of protein of any of the grains (really good for vegetarians), and it cooks up the quickest of any of the grains (about 15 minutes). And did you know that not only is cilantro a good digestive aid, but in Chinese folklore it was used in love potions because it was believed to be a natural aphrodisiac? Looking to spice up your love life? Serve up some quinoa w/cilantro pesto!
Quinoa with Cilantro Pesto
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
2 cups water
1 pinch sea salt
1/4 cup cilantro
1 inch ginger, peeled and minced
ABOUT 1/2 cup olive oil
ABOUT 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
1 can black beans, (optional)
Bring quinoa and water to a boil over a high heat. Add a pinch of sea salt & butter. Lower the heat; cover and simmer for 12-15 minutes. Meanwhile, pulse cilantro, ginger, olive oil and balsamic vinegar in a food processor or blender until smooth. Add sea salt and black pepper to taste. Mix cooked quinoa with optional beans. Coat evenly with cilantro pesto. Serve immediately and enjoy!