UPDATE: Quinoa (pronounced “KEEN-wah”) has gained recognition and popularity as a gluten-free grain alternative and valuable vegetarian source of protein. As a breakfast, side dish, salad, or dessert, quinoa is a versatile ingredient that can be used in various cuisines.

Quinoa is rich in B vitamins like other grains, but it’s actually an edible seed and a relative to spinach, beets and Swiss chard. Quinoa is unique in that it contains all nine essential amino acids making it a complete (whole) protein. This protein-dense food originated in the Andes Mountains of South America and was a sacred staple in the diet of the ancient Incan culture.

If you’ve never tried quinoa before, here’s a great recipe to try for your first experience!   This dish travels well and can be eaten hot or cold. Enjoy this quinoa as a side or wrap it in a warm sprouted grain tortilla with avocado and shredded raw cabbage or lettuce for a satisfying meal.


  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 large orange bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 1/2 – 2 tsp. jalapeno, diced
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 3/4 c. uncooked quinoa
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 2 (15.5 ounce) pouches of Green Valley® organic black beans, drained
  • 1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth (If you don’t make your own, I prefer Pacific Low-Sodium Vegetable Broth as far as taste.)
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • Freshly ground pepper to test


1. Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat.

2. Add onion and garlic. Sauté until lightly browned.

3. Add tomatoes, bell pepper, and quinoa and stir.

4. Add vegetable broth, cumin, cayenne, and black pepper to the mixture.

5. Stir and bring the mixture to a boil.

6. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes.

7. Stir frozen corn into the saucepan.

8. Continue to simmer about 5 minutes until heated through.

9. Add beans, jalapeño, cilantro to the following to mixture and serve!

Makes 10 servings.


Karen Owoc

Karen Owoc is a certified Clinical Exercise Physiologist specializing in cardiopulmonary rehabilitation and lifestyle medicine. Her science-based approach to longevity, nutrition, and muscle health has made her the go-to source for health seekers and medical professionals alike. Karen's best-selling book on functional longevity, "Athletes in Aprons: The Nutrition Playbook to Break 100", and her transformative perspective have mended many minds, hearts, and spirits.

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