Quinoa, like other grains, is bursting with B vitamins and iron; however, it varies from other grains because it contains more protein without a lot of carbohydrates. Quinoa actually contains all 8 essential amino acids, which makes it a unique complete food. The ancient Incas honored this protein-dense food, making it a staple in their everyday diet. It is now gaining more recognition and becoming a valuable vegetarian source of protein.
Servings: Makes 6 servings
  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups purified water or vegetable stock
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 medium onion , chopped
  • 1 cup grated zucchini
  • 2 tablespoons currants or rainsins
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley or basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground curry (or cumin)
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 6 medium tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Directions
    Preheat oven to 350°F. In a small saucepan, toss the quinoa in, add one tablespoon olive oil, stir, pour in the water, salt, black pepper and Italian seasoning, and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat.

    Pour one tablespoon olive oil into a nonstick pan and sauté the chopped onions, zucchini, currants, parsley or basil, curry, paprika and lemon juice over medium heat for about 2 minutes. Scoop the quinoa into the sauté pan and mix thoroughly with a spoon until it is blended with the vegetables to make an aromatic stuffing. Remove from heat.

    Create a lid for each tomato by cutting a star shape around the stem about 1/4-inch deep. Remove the top and set it aside. Scoop out the seeds of each tomato and some of the loose pulp, being careful to leave a strong wall of tomato all around. Spoon equal amounts of the stuffing into the cavities of each tomato, filling them up generously. Put the tomatoes in a small ceramic or glass baking dish and garnish with a sprinkle of bread crumbs and one teaspoon Parmesan cheese per tomato. Cover the baking dish with a glass lid or foil and bake for 25 minutes. Tomatoes should be firm and easy to transfer from the baking dish to the serving plates. Garnish by putting the star-shaped tomato lids back on top of each tomato.

    Note: If you don't have quinoa on hand, you can make this recipe using millet or amaranth. Amaranth tends to have a slightly sweet flavor, while millet and quinoa tend to taste like natural rice, with a delicate, nut-like flavor.

    Nutritional Information
    164.1 calories, 3.4g fat, 0.7g saturated fat, 5.9g protein, 30.6g carbohydrate, 1 mg cholesterol, 4.2g fiber


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