Quinoa – A boost for your immune system!

By Lorena Saavedra Smith, ERYT

Quinoa is native to Perú and is a relative of Swiss chard, spinach and beets—Did you  know that? What’s more, it’s comes in three varieties (whole grain white, red and black) and it’s a nutritional powerhouse. Just one cup contains 8g of protein, 5g of fiber, 15% DV iron, 30% DV magnesium, 19% DV folate and heart-healthy omega 3 fatty acids.

Quinoa is also a complete protein, which means it provides all nine essential amino acids necessary for good health, hence the name “essential.”

Your body can’t produce these nutrients itself, so you have to get them frequently through food. Amino acids support strong muscles, keep our immune systems in tip-top shape and do lots of other stuff to keep our bodies healthy—thing is, not all plant-based proteins are created equal.

Wheat, rice and most other grains are missing one or more essential amino acids, but quinoa is a one-stop shop. Nice, right? Suddenly the word “wholesome” takes on a whole new meaning. Well, Incas  knew about this superfood and Quinoa has been part of Peruvians‘ and Andean communities diet for hundreds of years.

When I think about Quinoa I immediately remember the nutritional breakfast, lunches and dinners on my Grandma’s house. Where everything was prepared from scratch with fresh herbs.

Why Quinoa? Simply because it’s such an awesome food. Peruvians eat quinoa most every single day of our lives. Now days I cook a big pot of quinoa and mixt it with other ingredients.

Today I want to share with you all one of most popular dishes in Perú.

Eating the Peruvian way

Quinoa Atamalada
Prep time: 10 mins Cook time: 35 mins Total time: 45 mins
Serves: 4


  • Ingredients
    1 cup quinoa (white)
    1 tablespoon oil
    ½ red onion, chopped
    1 garlic clove, chopped
    2 teaspoons aji amarillo paste
    ¼ cup evaporated milk
    ½ cup queso freso in cubes (or any white, fresh cheese)
    2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
    Salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Instructions
    Heat the oil in a saucepan, and saute the onion, garlic, and aji amarillo paste for a 3-5 minutes over medium heat. Stir constantly.
    Add the quinoa, stir well, and cover with water (about 4 times the amount of quinoa).
    Bring to a boil, and simmer for half an hour. If it dries out, add more water. It should have the consistency of a thick soup.
    When ready, add the milk, cheese cubes and parsley. Season with salt and pepper and mix well.
  • Serve with white rice and parsley as a garnish.  Good as an entree.
As Peruvians say - Buen Provecho!


Write below your comments and let me know if you liked the recipe?



3 thoughts on “Quinoa – A boost for your immune system!

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