Latin ingredient of the week: Quinoa to lose weight! (EXCLUSIVE RECIPE)

I am possibly the world's biggest quinoa fan. If you've never heard of it or have your doubts, hear me out first.

I love South American quinoa (it originates in Peru) because it is one of the best diet-friendly things that any Latino could possibly eat. The seed (although it's often mistaken for a grain) is a complete protein and full of many nutrients. Plus, because it's full of protein, you can fill up on it without adding to your daily caloric intake by also having meat or chicken.

Of course, you CAN serve quinoa as a side dish to your favorite healthy Latin dish (like slow cooker low-calorie pernil) or you can simply enjoy it on its own in this Latin quinoa salad in a collard greens burrito. That's right, you can actually make this meal even healthier by adding the dark green leaves instead of tortilla. It may sound a little funny at first, but trust me when I say that the whole family will love this recipe—and you'll reap the benefits of weight loss in the process!

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Read more in ¿Qué más? 5 Latin Fall salads with quinoa to help you lose weight (RECIPES)

Latin Quinoa Salad in Collards Burrito

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Makes: About 4 servings

Ingredients:
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
1 cup black beans (either home cooked or from a can)
1/2 cup chopped roasted red peppers (make your own or from a jar)
1/2 cup chopped mango
2 green onions, chopped
1 1/2 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt & pepper to taste
4 large collard greens leaves

Directions:
1. To cook your quinoa: Take a medium pot and bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Sprinkle in the quinoa, then lower the temperature and let simmer until all water has been absorbed (about 20 minutes).

2. Meanwhile, combine the cooked black beans, roasted red peppers, mango and chopped green onion in a large bowl.

3. Once your quinoa has finished cooking, add it to the mix. Stir full, then season with the minced garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. You can also add a little bit of adobo, if you'd like.

4. Finally, steam your collard greens leaves over a pot of boiling water VERY carefully (don't get burned!) for about 5 minutes, or until they turn a bright green color.

5. Mix your quinoa salad one more time, season more to taste as desired, then serve in the middle of your collard greens leaves one by one. Roll the collard greens into a burrito-like shape (you may have to hold the shape with a toothpick, split in half, like I did) and enjoy with the whole (healthy) family!

Images via Irina Gonzalez/flickr

Topics: healthy latin recipes  latin ingredient of the week  latin vegetarian recipes