Reason for more Quinoa in Recipes 11: Phosphorus

I hope that you have all had a great week, and a great weekend thus far. Today we are going to talk about phosphorus in our quinoa recipes. According to each cup(170g) of quinoa contains 697mg of phosphorus, or 69% of the daily recommended dose for a 2000 calorie diet. Now, we are going to look at some of the nutritional benefits of phosphorus in your diet.

"Phosphorus is a mineral that makes up 1% of a person's total body weight. It is present in every cell of the body, but most of the phosphorus in the body is found in the bones and teeth.


The main function of phosphorus is in the formation of bones and teeth. It plays an important role in the body's utilization of carbohydrates and fats and in the synthesis of protein for the growth, maintenance, and repair of cells and tissues. It is also crucial for the production of ATP, a molecule the body uses to store energy.

Phosphorus works with the B vitamins. It also assists in the contraction of muscles, in the functioning of kidneys, in maintaining the regularity of the heartbeat, and in nerve conduction."

You can find the rest of this article at MedlinePlus.

Finally, here is our quinoa recipe for today from The Vancouver Sun:

Mushroom and Quinoa Soup

The soup is thickened with toasted quinoa rather than a roux or potatoes.
1/2 cup (125 mL) quinoa
2 tablespoons (30 mL) unsalted butter
2 cups (500 mL) diced onion
1 cup (250 mL) diced celery
1 pound (500 g) mushrooms, thickly sliced
a few small sprigs of fresh thyme
6 cups (1500 mL) chicken stock
1 cup (250 mL) whipping cream
2 tablespoons (30 mL) dry sherry, optional
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup (80 mL) sour cream
2 tablespoons (15 mL) chopped fresh chives

Toast quinoa in a dry, heavy frying pan over medium heat until it starts to pop. Pour immediately into a bowl to stop the cooking.
In a large pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onion and celery and cook until the onion is lightly browned. Add the mushrooms and thyme. Cook until the mushrooms release their liquid. Remove 1 cup (250 mL) of the mushroom mixture for later. Add the chicken stock and quinoa and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, partially cover and let simmer for 18 to 20 minutes or until quinoa is cooked.
Pick out the thyme stalks and puree the soup with a hand blender or blender and return to the pot. Stir in the reserved mushroom mixture, cream, optional sherry, and season to taste. Add a little stock if the soup seems too thick. Bring to a simmer and ladle into bowls. Garnish with the sour cream and chives.
Makes 6-8 servings

A great resource for cooking quinoa is The Art of Cooking With Quinoa: A Complete Vegetable Protein. Have a wonderful day and enjoy this "super grain!!" If you have a spare moment, please take our current poll on cooking with quinoa-Thanks!

Reason for more Quinoa in Recipes 10: Magnesium

Hello everyone. I hope that you have tried various quinoa recipes this week, and that you have enjoyed them immensely. Today, we are going to examine the nutritional value of magnesium. Each cup(170g) of quinoa contains 357mg of magnesium, or 89% of the daily recommended allowance for a 2000 calorie diet. Here are some of the benefits of magnesium from The Office of Dietary Supplements:

"Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the body and is essential to good health. Approximately 50% of total body magnesium is found in bone. The other half is found predominantly inside cells of body tissues and organs. Only 1% of magnesium is found in blood, but the body works very hard to keep blood levels of magnesium constant [1].

Magnesium is needed for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body. It helps maintain normal muscle and nerve function, keeps heart rhythm steady, supports a healthy immune system, and keeps bones strong. Magnesium also helps regulate blood sugar levels, promotes normal blood pressure, and is known to be involved in energy metabolism and protein synthesis [2-3]. There is an increased interest in the role of magnesium in preventing and managing disorders such as hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. Dietary magnesium is absorbed in the small intestines. Magnesium is excreted through the kidneys [1-3,4]. ..

Who may need extra magnesium?

Magnesium supplementation may be indicated when a specific health problem or condition causes an excessive loss of magnesium or limits magnesium absorption [2,7,9-11].
  • Some medicines may result in magnesium deficiency, including certain diuretics, antibiotics, and medications used to treat cancer (anti-neoplastic medication) [12,14,19]. Examples of these medications are:
    • Diuretics: Lasix, Bumex, Edecrin, and hydrochlorothiazide
    • Antibiotics: Gentamicin, and Amphotericin
    • Anti-neoplastic medication: Cisplatin
  • Individuals with poorly-controlled diabetes may benefit from magnesium supplements because of increased magnesium loss in urine associated with hyperglycemia [21].
  • Magnesium supplementation may be indicated for persons with alcoholism. Low blood levels of magnesium occur in 30% to 60% of alcoholics, and in nearly 90% of patients experiencing alcohol withdrawal [17-18]. Anyone who substitutes alcohol for food will usually have significantly lower magnesium intakes.
  • Individuals with chronic malabsorptive problems such as Crohn's disease, gluten sensitive enteropathy, regional enteritis, and intestinal surgery may lose magnesium through diarrhea and fat malabsorption [22]. Individuals with these conditions may need supplemental magnesium.
  • Individuals with chronically low blood levels of potassium and calcium may have an underlying problem with magnesium deficiency. Magnesium supplements may help correct the potassium and calcium deficiencies [19].
  • Older adults are at increased risk for magnesium deficiency. The 1999-2000 and 1998-94 National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys suggest that older adults have lower dietary intakes of magnesium than younger adults [6,23]. In addition, magnesium absorption decreases and renal excretion of magnesium increases in older adults [4]. Seniors are also more likely to be taking drugs that interact with magnesium. This combination of factors places older adults at risk for magnesium deficiency [4]. It is very important for older adults to consume recommended amounts of dietary magnesium.
Doctors can evaluate magnesium status when above-mentioned medical problems occur, and determine the need for magnesium supplementation." As always, we are not health professionals, consult a qualified medical professional if you have any concerns about this mineral and you current levels, especially if you are affected by any of the above circumstances. For the rest of this article you may click here.

Now, lets have our quinoa recipe for today:

Quinoa, Flax and Oat Soda Bread

This is not like bread made with wheat; it's soft, and a little crumbly, with the satisfying taste of quinoa.
1 cup (250 mL) quinoa
3/4 cup (175 mL) buttermilk
2 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon (1 mL) sea salt
2 cups (500 mL) quick cooking rolled oats (not instant)
1/2 cup (125 mL) flax seed meal
1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) baking soda
11/4 teaspoon (6 mL) baking powder

Wash the quinoa, place in a bowl and cover with 2 cups (500 mL) water. Cover and refrigerate for at least 6, or up to 10 hours. Drain and place in a blender with the buttermilk, eggs and salt. Puree until smooth.
Preheat the oven to 350ºF (175ºC). Combine the oats, flax, baking soda and powder. Add the quinoa mixture and mix well. Pour into an 8 x 3-inch (20 x 7.5 cm) bread pan lined with parchment paper. Bake for 1 hour. Remove from the pan and cool before slicing. Store wrapped and refrigerated.

Note: Flax seed meal is also known as ground flax seeds. You can buy the seeds and grind it yourself in a coffee grinder. If purchasing the ground meal, make sure that you buy it from a refrigerated case as ground flax can go rancid quickly.

This recipe was found at The Vancouver Sun.

A great resource for cooking quinoa is The Art of Cooking With Quinoa: A Complete Vegetable Protein. Have a wonderful day and enjoy this "super grain!!"

Reason for more Quinoa in Recipes 9:Iron

Hello again everyone. First up, I need to correct an error that was made in the last post. I mistakingly stated that one cup of quinoa was equal to 100 grams. That is wrong; it should have been one cup is equal to 170 grams. The nutritional information in the last article was based on 100 grams of quinoa, or just a little more than half a cup. This post will reflect the 170g/1 cup figure. Thank you for your patience.

Today we are going to focus on the mineral iron. With just one cup of quinoa in your recipe you will receive 87% of your daily allowance with a 2000 calorie diet! Here is just a few of the benefits of iron that we found from the Office of Dietary Supplements government website.

"Iron is an integral part of many proteins and enzymes that maintain good health. In humans, iron is an essential component of proteins involved in oxygen transport [1,2]. It is also essential for the regulation of cell growth and differentiation [3,4]. A deficiency of iron limits oxygen delivery to cells, resulting in fatigue, poor work performance, and decreased immunity [1,5-6]. On the other hand, excess amounts of iron can result in toxicity and even death [7]. "

It is important to note that too much iron can be extremely hazardous to your health, so while eating quinoa, it would be a good idea to watch you intake from vitamins and other foods.

"he World Health Organization considers iron deficiency the number one nutritional disorder in the world [33]. As many as 80% of the world's population may be iron deficient, while 30% may have iron deficiency anemia [34].

Iron deficiency develops gradually and usually begins with a negative iron balance, when iron intake does not meet the daily need for dietary iron. This negative balance initially depletes the storage form of iron while the blood hemoglobin level, a marker of iron status, remains normal. Iron deficiency anemia is an advanced stage of iron depletion. It occurs when storage sites of iron are deficient and blood levels of iron cannot meet daily needs. Blood hemoglobin levels are below normal with iron deficiency anemia [1].

Iron deficiency anemia can be associated with low dietary intake of iron, inadequate absorption of iron, or excessive blood loss [1,16,35]. Women of childbearing age, pregnant women, preterm and low birth weight infants, older infants and toddlers, and teenage girls are at greatest risk of developing iron deficiency anemia because they have the greatest need for iron [33]. Women with heavy menstrual losses can lose a significant amount of iron and are at considerable risk for iron deficiency [1,3]. Adult men and post-menopausal women lose very little iron, and have a low risk of iron deficiency." For the rest of this article, please click the Office of Dietary Supplements link above.

Now that we have our information in order, lets get on with our next recipe. Today's recipe is brought to you from The Vancouver Sun:

Quinoa and Black Bean Salad

A little more hearty, this can be served as a light entrée or goes along well with Mexican food.
1 cup (250 mL) quinoa, prepared according to Basic Quinoa
1 cup (250 mL) cooked black beans, rinsed if canned
4 tablespoons (60 mL) fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon (5 mL) sea salt
1/3 cup (80 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup (250 mL) cooked corn kernels, thawed if frozen
1 jalapeño pepper, finely chopped
1 large ripe tomato, diced
1 avocado, pitted, peeled and diced
1/4 cup (60 mL) coarsely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Transfer quinoa to a large bowl and cool. Add beans, corn, jalapeños, and cilantro.
Whisk together the lime juice and salt. Slowly beat in the oil. Pour over the quinoa mixture and toss well. The salad can be made up to one day in advance to this point.
When ready to serve, gently toss with the tomato, avocado and cilantro. Taste and adjust the seasoning and serve.
Serves 4 as a main course, or 8 as a side dish

A great resource for cooking quinoa is The Art of Cooking With Quinoa: A Complete Vegetable Protein. Have a wonderful day!!

Why We Should Use More Quinoa in Recipes Part 8: Calcium

Hello everyone, and welcome back. Sorry about the delay in post, but without further ado, here is the start of the promised mineral information. The first mineral that we will cover is calcium. Most of us have grown up with the dentist and women's health experts resounding the value of calcium in out ears, and it really is a great mineral.

According to each cup (aprox. 100 g) of quinoa contains 60mg of calcium, which is the equivalent of 6% of the daily recommended dose for a 2000 calorie diet. Here is some great information on the value of calcium:


Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the human body, with over 99% of the amount present being found in the bones and teeth. For the growth and maintenance of healthy bones it is essential that we have sufficient calcium intake, otherwise we are at risk of developing osteoporosis when calcium leaching is not balanced by dietary ingestion. But calcium is not only important for the skeleton, it also has a role to play in nerve function, blood clotting, muscle health, and other areas. While calcium is a key mineral for both sexes, it is especially important to the health of women.

After the age of 35, both men and women start losing calcium from their bones. During menopause, however, the rate of loss increases rapidly for women. It is therefore vital that calcium levels are sufficient during this period if women are to avoid major skeletal problems. Not as well known is the fact that the degree of osteoporosis suffered in later life is largely dependent on the amount of bone mass achieved in early adulthood. For this reason, the building of strong bones—requiring regular calcium intake—should be a priority for women from childhood onward." For the rest of this article click here.

Now that we have our calcium information, lets have a wonderful quinoa recipe:

Tomato, Mint and Quinoa Salad with Mizithra Cheese

1 cup quinoa, prepared according to Basic Quinoa
3 tablespoons (45 mL) freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) sea salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup (80 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon (1 mL) ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon (1 mL) ground allspice
1 teaspoon (5 mL) ground cumin
3 medium ripe tomatoes, diced
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 cup (250 mL) diced English cucumber
1/2 cup pine nuts
1 cup (250 mL) packed fresh mint leaves, coarsely chopped
1 cup (250 mL) shredded mizithra cheese

Transfer the cooked quinoa to a large bowl to cool.
Combine the lemon juice, salt and garlic. Slowly beat in the olive oil, then the cinnamon, allspice and cumin. Add to the quinoa and toss well. The salad may be prepared up to one day in advance to this point. Cover and refrigerate.
When ready to serve, add the tomato, green onion, cucumber, pine nuts mint and cheese. Toss gently and check the seasoning. Serve immediately.
Makes 4-6 servings.

This great recipe was found at The Vancouver Sun.

A great resource for cooking quinoa is The Art of Cooking With Quinoa: A Complete Vegetable Protein. Have a wonderful day!!

Why We Should Use More Quinoa in Recipes Part 7: B5 Pantothenic Acid

I hope that you are enjoying your quinoa recipes and having a great day. This will be the last post on the vitamin nutritional information. The next few post will be on the minerals and their benefits. I will eventually do a series on the benefits of a gluten-free diet, and why it has received so much attention lately. It seems that most of the vitamins in quinoa have been of the B family. The last one we are going to discuss, B5 (pantothenic acid), is no exception.

"Vitamin B5 is also known as pantothenic acid or calciumpantothenate. This is a water soluble vitamin which is found in the cells. Vitamin B5 is produced in the intestines by bacteria and isknown to place a role on preventing depression. Vitamin B5 is necessary for the release of energy from carbohydrates, the synthesis and degradation of fatty acids and other acetylation reactions.This vitamin is also required for the production of steroid hormones, the adrenal glands’ production of hormones and nervous system function. Vitamin B5 is required to gain resistance to stress, shock and allergies, plus protection against radiation-caused cellular damage. Vitamin B5 has other uses including being required for carbohydrate,fat and protein metabolism, cholesterol and fatty acids, skin health, and decreasing side effects of certain drugs."

To find the rest of the information on this vitamin, you may click here.

Quinoa Breakfast Cake

Line a 10x13-inch baking pan with greased parchment or foil. Set aside.

Whisk together the dry ingredients:

1 1/2 cups quinoa flakes
1/2 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup tapioca starch
3/4 cup almond meal flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon xanthan gum or guar gum
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

In a large mixing bowl, beat to combine::

2 large organic free-range eggs - or vegan egg substitute
1/2 cup safflower or grapeseed oil
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup sorghum molasses
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup orange juice

Add the dry ingredients into the wet and beat to combine.

Stir in by hand:

1 cup grated carrots [I processed four slender carrots in the food processor]
1/2 cup grated sweetened coconut
1/2 heaping cup juicy seedless raisins

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. and allow the cake batter to rest in the bowl until the oven is pre-heated.

Pour the batter into a prepared 10x13-inch baking pan and spread evenly. Place the pan into the center of the oven and bake until set, and a wooden pick inserted into the center emerges clean, about 25 to 35minutes.

Here at high altitude [baked 25 degrees hotter at 375 F] the cake was done in 22 minutes. Please keep an eye on the cake and follow your own experience for baking bars and sheet cakes at your altitude.

Cool the cake on a wire rack. This is a very tender cake, so if you cut it when
it is still warm it will fall apart a bit. Just be warned. Cooling helps the slicing aspect.

Cut into 16 pieces, wrap in foil, bag, and freeze for future breakfast snacks.

This great recipe was found at glutenfreegoddess.

A great resource for cooking quinoa is The Art of Cooking With Quinoa: A Complete Vegetable Protein.

Have a wonderful day!!

Why We Should Use More Quinoa in Recipes Part 6: Vitamin B6

We are still looking at the value of using quinoa recipes as often as possible.. Another vitamin in the "B" family that is the topic of choice for today is vitamin B6. One serving of quinoa (1 cup) has 0.223 mg, or 11% of the daily recommended dose for a 2000 calorie diet. Here is a portion of the information found at

"Vitamin B6, also known as pyridoxine, is an essential vitamin to aid in the formation of healthy red blood cells and supports more vital bodily functions than any other vitamin. A water-soluble vitamin, Vitamin B6 is needed to release energy from the food we eat. Since it cannot be stored in the body, it must be obtained daily from either food or supplements...Vitamin B6 or pyridoxine is a coenzyme for enzymes involved in amino acid metabolism. Deamination, transamination, and decarboxylation of amino acids are required for synthesis, oxidation, and degradation of critical amino acid derived molecules that participate in hematological, neurological, humoral, and inflammatory processes. As a result, activities sensitive to pyridoxine status include neurotransmitter function, heme synthesis, conversion of tryptophan to niacin, immunoglobulin synthesis, and hormone production."

There are really too many benefits to list, so if you have the time I highly recommend reading the rest of the information on vitamin B6.

Without further ado, here is todays recipe from

Quick Lemon & Garlic Quinoa Salad Recipe

1 cup dry quinoa
8 cups water
pinch of sea salt
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1/3 parsley, minced
1/4 cup sunflower seeds

2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons tamari or shoyu

Rinse quinoa with warm water and drain through a fine strainer. Place quinoa in 3-quart pan and dry roast on low heat (about 5-8 minutes)
Stir grains constantly until they begin to change color and give off a nutty aroma. Bring water to a boil in a large pot. Add salt and toasted quinoa to boiling water. Boil for 10-12 minutes. Remove from heat and drain quinoa through a large strainer (in the same way you would prepare pasta).

Prepare dressing and place in a large bowl. Add carrots, seeds, and parsley. Add cooked quinoa and toss well. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

A great resource for cooking quinoa is The Art of Cooking With Quinoa: A Complete Vegetable Protein.

Enjoy and have a great and wonderful day.

Why We Should Use More Quinoa in Recipes Part 5: Folate

Hello again, hope all is well and that you are having a great day enjoying your quinoa recipes! The nutritional value we are going to go over today is folate. Each cup of quinoa used in your recipe will give your 49mcg of folate. That equals 12% of your daily need based on a 2000 calorie diet. Now, lets review some of the benefits of folate(also known as B9 or vitamin M)as found at

"Folic acid, Folate (Vitamin M)

Vitamin M/B9 is another of the essential B vitamins, is actually a group of compounds that include Folic Acid and similar substances. It is essential for making genetic material (DNA and RNA) and red blood cells, healing wounds and building muscle tissues. It is also instrumental in a number of metabolic functions, including the synthesis of choline and the formation of various amino acids-the building blocks of proteins. It works closely with vitamins B6 and B12 too, among other functions, protect against heart disease by controlling blood levels of homocysteine, a by product of protein metabolism.

Folic acid works closely with vitamins B6 and B12 as well as the nutrients betaine and S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe) to control blood levels of the amino acid homocysteine. Elevated levels of this substance appear to be linked to certain chronic conditions such as heart disease and, possibly, depression and Alzheimer's disease. Some researchers have even speculated that there is a connection between high levels of this amino acid and cervical cancer, but the results of studies regarding this have been inconclusive....Folic acid is crucial for proper brain function and plays an important role in mental and emotional health. It aids in the production of DNA and RNA, the body's genetic material, and is especially important during periods of high growth, such as infancy, adolescence and pregnancy."

As we can see, this is another important vitamin that is needed for several reasons. On a different note, I have been told that quinoa is too bitter of a grain to cook and enjoy eating. After very little research, I found that this is a protective coating on the outside of the seed. It is supposed to be washed off at the processing companies plant, but just for precaution rinse each serving well before cooking. Here is our recipe for today from The Houston Chronicle:


Prep time: 25 minutes

Total time: 1 hour, plus cooling

Don't overcook the quinoa or use more than the required amount of water. The grains of quinoa should be tender but separated, not mushy and clumped together.

  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil, such as safflower, plus more for pan
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
  • 3/4 cup packed dark-brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a medium saucepan, bring the quinoa and 1 cup water to a boil. Reduce to a simmer; cover and cook until water has been absorbed and quinoa is tender, about 12 minutes.

Meanwhile, brush a standard 12-cup muffin pan with oil; dust with flour, tapping out excess.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, raisins and 2 cups cooked quinoa; reserve any leftover quinoa for another use.

In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, milk, egg and vanilla. Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture, and stir just until combined; divide batter among prepared muffin cups.

Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes.

Cool muffins in pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack
to cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to 5

Makes 12 muffins, each 244 calories, 6.4 grams fat (1 gram saturated), 4.8 grams protein, 42.8 grams carbohydrates and 1.4 grams fiber.

Enjoy these delectable muffins, and as always, have a great day!

A great resource for cooking quinoa is The Art of Cooking With Quinoa: A Complete Vegetable Protein