>> Saturday, January 19, 2013
Besides the great flavor of quinoa (kind of nutty version of rice or couscous), there are many health benefits to this super-food. The great thing I love about this grain is I can hide it in just about anything and help my kids eat a little extra protein and fiber. In this soup, it gives a great thickness and texture that is much healthier than eating a straight pasta soup. Add the flavor of thyme, garlic, shredded turkey and lots of vegetables and you have a soup that is not only filling, but extremely delicious! Serve with our homemade French Bread and your soul will be nice and warmed one of these frigid winter nights.
8 Health Benefits of Quinoa (from Healthy Living):
1. High quality protein with the nine essential amino acids, the protein balance is similar to milk. At 16.2 to 20 percent protein, quinoa has more protein than rice (7.5 percent), millet (9.9 percent) or wheat (14 percent).
2. Great source of riboflavin. Riboflavin has been shown to help reduce the frequency of attacks in migraine sufferers by improving the energy metabolism within the brain and muscle cells.
3. Inca warriors had more stamina and quicker recovery time by eating these quinoa seeds, making it a truly ancient powerfood.
4. Antiseptic. The saponins from quinoa are used to promote healing of skin injuries in South America.
5. Not fattening! Only 172 calories per 1/4 cup dry (24 of the calories from protein and only 12 from sugars, the rest are complex carbohydrates, fiber and healthy fats).
6. Gluten-free. Since it is not related to wheat, or even a grain, it is gluten-free.
7. Alkaline-forming. Although it is not strongly alkaline-forming, it is comparable to wild rice, amaranth, and sprouted grains.
8. Smart Carb: It is a complex carbohydrate with a low glycemic index, so it won’t spike your blood sugar.
1 c. carrots, diced
1 onion, chopped
3/4 c. celery, chopped
2 T. butter
Chop the above vegetables and place in a soup pot. Saute for 8 min., or until the onions start to turn opaque. Add the remaining ingredients and continue to saute until the quinoa starts to become slightly toasted.
1 t. thyme
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 t. black pepper
1/4-1/2 t. salt
1 1/2 c. quinoa
After a few minutes on medium heat, add the chicken stock and noodles and continue to simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until the noodles and quinoa are soft. After they are soft, add the shredded turkey or chicken, the cream (or half & half) and the parsley. Season with extra salt, pepper and cayenne pepper as needed.
7-8 c. chicken stock
1 c. small shell noodles
3-4 c. leftover turkey (or chicken)
Pint heavy cream, half & half or milk (this is totally optional, you can save calories and just use extra stock but I like the extra creaminess it adds to this soup ;)
1 t. parsley
1 c. frozen peas (optional, adds extra color if you wish--just add the last few minutes of cooking time)
**Leftover recipe idea. I had extra of this soup leftover the next day and it became quite a bit thicker. Make a batch of pie crust and turn the extra soup into a turkey pot pie. It is an excellent way to serve two different dinners without any extra effort ;)