After working with clients for many years now, one of the challenges I’ve found many of them experience is finding good gluten-free replacements. Whether you are a big fan of Tabouli salad, but can’t consume it because of the cracked wheat, or love taco bowls and wish you could find a tasty alternative, quinoa might be the shining star. It’s a seed tiny in size but mighty in nutrients. You may have come across quinoa, as a new alternative to gluten-containing grains such as wheat, rye, some oats, or barley. The best quality quinoa carries, aside from the noteworthy nutrient density, is that it goes great with almost anything. It tastes delicious as a base for desserts, and it incorporates remarkably well in savory dishes. Whether you decide to add some fresh herbs, spices, and vegetables, or toss in grilled chicken for a boost of protein, quinoa is simply mouth-watering. Quinoa is very high in protein and has a unique nutty-like taste to it. I’ve further shared health benefits, unique recipes of quinoa, as well as various methods of preparation, in my book, Sunnah Superfoods. This recipe, in particular, hits home for the spice-lovers, and if you love Mexican food, such as tacos, burritos, or burrito bowls, this recipe may become a frequent addition to your menu.
Many clients I’ve dealt with expressed their frequent desire for fast-food burritos and tacos. I’ve found that while this is not a burrito in and of itself, the flavor of the spices along with the creamy tomato sauce, green onions, and beans, give the same satisfaction to the craving. Better yet, it does not come along with chemicals, preservatives, hydrogenated fats, or unhealthy ingredients. The majority of fast-food chains use tortilla pieces of bread full of enriched and bleached flour, added refined sugars, preservatives, dough conditioners, and unhealthy fats. The quality of the food is parallel to the nutrients; those pieces of bread are empty calories, extremely low, if not free, of dietary fiber, vitamins, and nutrients. Moreover, fast food is excessively high in sodium and is detrimental to your health in various ways. The main ingredient in the tortillas would commonly be corn, which is most likely genetically engineered. With that being said, give this recipe a try, and feel comfortable kicking up the spice level even more. You can toss in various toppings of your choice, such as kidney beans, olives, lettuce, or beets. You can also substitute a homemade lemon and vinegar-based dressing for the tomato-based sauce used. The tomato sauce in this recipe is bursting with antioxidants, natural antibiotic properties, anti-inflammatory benefits, fiber, and vitamin C. This bowl entirely, is bursting with fiber, protein, antioxidants, and best of all, a scrumptious and satisfying taste.
Unlike white rice, quinoa is loaded with health benefits. It contains more than eight grams of protein in one cup serving, packed with all nine essential amino acids you need. It’s full of dietary fiber, as well as essential minerals and vitamins that are crucial to the development and reproduction of your cells. Quinoa is a great grain if you face digestive difficulties after eating gluten, have celiac disease, or are merely trying to limit grains stripped of fiber and nutrients. Kale is a superfood, bursting with vitamin K, vitamin C, dietary fiber, and unique detoxifying properties. Avocadoes and extra virgin olive oil are extraordinarily healthy fats, and two foods I recommend in the meals of my clients and readers alike. Avocadoes are a good source of unique properties that in fact balance various hormones, and are linked to boosting your mood. Extra virgin olive oil is a sunnah superfood and is beneficial for your cardiovascular, digestive, and cognitive health. Drizzling it atop the bowl gives a delectable taste, and a boost of nutrients, too. Healthy fats, such as avocadoes, nuts, fatty fish, and extra virgin olive oil, are foods I highly recommend you consume regularly, especially if you have a tendency to be in the state of stress often. Consuming healthy fats balances your hormones, and thus, enhances the function of your adrenal glands. Moreover, they improve your sleep, ease digestion, balance your blood sugar, and enhance your memory, mood, and intellectual well-being overall.
Try this recipe with grilled salmon or chicken if you’re aiming to boost your protein intake. Enjoy your next family social.
¼ cup pine nuts, roasted in 1 teaspoon olive oil or butter (garnish)
Place the jalapeño with one teaspoon cold pressed avocado oil (or butter) in a small pot, and stir for about three to five minutes on low heat.
Add the quinoa, two cups water, salt, onion powder, and cayenne pepper. Stir; cover; and allow to cook for about 10-12 minutes on medium-high heat. Remove from heat; set aside.
To make the tomato sauce: place the tomatoes, avocado oil, and garlic in a small skillet, and heat for about 3 minutes on medium-low heat. Add ½ cup water, pink salt, cayenne pepper, mustard seed, onion powder, and dried dill. Stir; allow to simmer for about seven to eight minutes. Add the apple cider vinegar, and remove from heat.
Transfer the quinoa to either one serving platter, or per recommendation, four to five individual bowls. Top each with an even amount of kale, in one corner atop the quinoa. Arrange the avocado slices besides the kale. Scoop the beans besides the avocado- keeping the plate looking divided and neat. Top each with tomato sauce, drizzling it nicely. Top with green onions and tomatoes. Sprinkle with cheese. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and pine nuts. Serve.
Noor H. Salem is an author, speaker, and Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, from Michigan. Noor works with clients in better understanding their bodies and healing with natural foods through her wellness practice, Holistic Noortrition. She presents various workshops, school lectures, group coaching classes, and community lectures on the topic of holistic health. Noor recently published her book, SUNNAH SUPERFOODS, a culmination of life-changing recipes and remedies, with a foreword by Dr. Waleed Basyouni. Her book consists of prophetic hadith, modern research, and delicious recipes, and is in the process of being translated into other languages.