SQ1 Loves Quinoa!

September 2, 2011 at 4:57 pm Leave a comment

We love Quinoa for so many reasons! It is Gluten Free, has a great protein count and possesses ALL of the essential amino acids.  Check out a few more fun facts about this super grain below:

  • Super Food for Heart and Antioxidant
  • An excellent source of magnesium and folate, both of which promote vital body processes
  • Contains more protein than any other grain thus considered the “Super Crop”
  • A two ounce Square One® serving provides 11% of your child’s RDI of protein.

Pretty cool, right?  We also just found a great article in the Huffington Post that says the best weapon against heart disease is to simply change the way we eat. Check out what Dr.Gupta, the Mayo Clinic and many others had to say about a plant based diet here. We couldn’t agree more!!

We think it is an important food for children to learn to love delicious and nutritious foods like quinoa at a very young age, and that is why we’ve included it in the SQ1 line.  Once you have introduced Quinoa to your child, get creative on ways to keep it in the mix in your families weekly eating routine!  We love to have fun in the kitchen at SQ1, and are always looking for new and fun ways to cook with our superfoods.

We just read an article in The Chicagoist called Cooking with Keen-wha? and we just had to share!

Quinoa can be cooked and used as though it were a grain. In fact, it makes an excellent and healthier alternative to white rice. From hot cereal-like dishes, to cold salads, and tasty sides, quinoa is very versatile in the kitchen. It cooks up fluffy and has a mildly nutty flavor that does not overpower anything with which it is served. Our only real complaint, and one we can live with for now, is that given its newness and exotic nature, quinoa is still fairly expensive to buy in the store. It is not uncommon for a single package to run anywhere from four to ten dollars. Luckily a little bit goes a very long way. There is not a lot of difference between the kinds you find in the stores (red or white, for example). But you will pay more for fancier brands that are guaranteed organic. Oh! And did we mention that it is gluten free? Another plus for gluten allergy sufferers.

Our favorite ways to serve quinoa are either straight up as a side dish or with an assortment of dried fruits and nuts as a morning cereal. Preparing it is easy. Most store brands are ready to be cooked without soaking or rinsing. Check your package to be sure. We like the red quinoa for its deep wine-like color. There is not really a taste difference otherwise. Just add one cup of dry quinoa to two cups of water with a pinch of salt. Bring it to a boil over high heat before reducing to a simmer and covering. It should take about 10 to 15 minutes for it to absorb the water, get soft, and fluff out. You know your quinoa is done when it looks like the seeds have sprouted little tails. This is the seed germ popping out. It may look a little odd, but trust us, it is good. Add a little butter and seasoning and you have a great side dish. For a healthy morning cereal, try adding raisins, honey, nuts, and/or dried cranberries. The sky is the limit when something is this good for you!  Read the full article here.

We love On The Go Chicago! Our good friend, Cindy has sent over some of the Gluten Free restaurants in Chicago that are VERY family friendly.  Enjoy!

Insider’s guide to kid-sized Chicago:  Do you love dining out with your kiddos, but have a hard time finding places that are family-friendly and offer gluten free options?  Here are five or our favorite kid-sized restaurants that offer gluten free alternatives.

  1. Mista (2931 N. Broadway, 5351 N. Clark, 134 N. LaSalle) offers gluten free pizzas, lasagna, wraps and more.  Plus, they deliver!
  2. Wilde Bar & Restaurant (3130 N. Broadway St.) offers a gluten free menu, plus kids eat free Monday through Friday from 4:30-6:30.
  3. Drew’s Eatery (2207 W. Montrose) is a great casual dining restaurant that offers gluten free and vegan options.  Plus, they have a small play area and plenty of stroller parking.
  4. Wishbone (1001 W. Washington & 3300 N. Lincoln) are two of the most kid-friendly restaurants in the city.  They offer southern comfort food, and have a number of gluten free options.  Plus, kids eat free on Tuesdays from 5-8pm) at the Washington location.
  5. Bleeding Heart Bakery offers gluten free cupcakes, cookies and brownies daily.  Plus, you can special order gluten free birthday cakes too!

About Cindy & On The Go Chicago

In addition to being a mom of two toddlers, Cindy McCarthy is an urban explorer of kid-sized Chicago and founder of onthegoChicago.com, a website that highlights the best kid-sized places to go eat, shop, play and learn in Chicago. You can also follow on the go on Twitter and Facebook.


Entry filed under: Food Allergies, Food Introduction, organic baby food. Tags: , , , , , , , .

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