Inca warriors fought to the death with a deep, invincible self belief. They entered the battlefield in unsettling repose- silent in swift yet seemingly motionless form- to fearlessly engage the enemy in raw hand-to-hand combat. They often returned from battle with the severed heads of their opponents in their hands. They endured a blood-soaked thirty-six-year-long guerrilla war and fought til the very last man was taken down. How did they do it, you ask? Quinoa.
A rediscovered ancient grain, quinoa (pronounced “keen-wa”) was called the “mother grain” by the Incas and was traditionally used to increase warriors’ stamina for said events. Tough battles call for super yum, energy-dense meals (especially when they might be your last)- quinoa has a delicious nutty flavor and fluffy yet slightly crunchy texture. It’s a vegan staple for those concerned with protein intake. In fact, quinoa is a complete protein, meaning that it includes all nine essential amino acids. It is very rich in lysine, an antiviral amino acid that is essential for tissue growth and repair (like for, say, rabid bloodthirsty battle recovery), which can only be obtained from food. Lysine is often prescribed by nutritionists and doctors for Bell’s palsy, cold sores, various injuries, surgical recovery, and athletic stamina. Loaded with magnesium, quinoa is also great for those who suffer from migraines, cardiovascular issues and deep tissue wounds. It’s also gluten free!
Black bean quinoa salad is a delicious and healthy substitute for traditional rice and beans. This hearty dish can be eaten alone as a meal or as a side with tortilla soup and a mixed greens salad.
south of the border black bean quinoa salad
vegan recipe | serves 6
2 cups quinoa, rinsed thoroughly and drained
3 cups filtered water
1 tablespoon Better Than Bouillon vegetable base / 3 bouillon cubes / 3 cups vegetable broth (omit water)
1/4 cup lime juice
1 large avocado, diced
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/8 cup olive oil
1 medium sized red onion, peeled and diced
5 – 7 large cloves of garlic, minced
1 15oz can of black beans, rinsed and drained
1 large tomato, diced
1 cup frozen or fresh corn kernels
1 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
1 3/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (for a little kick)
1. Combine quinoa, water and bouillon base in a large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until all water is absorbed (about 15 – 20 minutes).
2. While quinoa is cooking saute garlic and onions in olive oil until fragrant and translucent over low – medium flame. Add corn and black beans, and continue sauteing for another 5 minutes or so. Mix in tomatoes and spices until well blended and cook for another 5 – 8 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
3. Mix quinoa and sauteed vegetables. Add cilantro and lime juice, and blend well. Fold in diced avocado and serve with a sprig of fresh cilantro and a dollop of salsa. Enjoy while hot!
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