Tasty Tuesdays – Turkey & Quinoa Meatloaf

Quinoa is incredibly popular for many reasons; it’s tasty, versatile and delivers a wide range of beneficial nutrients.  The original recipe can be found here and is absolutely delicious!  It also freezes very well, if you don’t gobble it up right away.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup quinoa
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 white onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 package of lean ground turkey
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp Tabasco sauce
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp water

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°.
  • Bring the quinoa and water to a boil, cover and simmer on low heat for 15-20 minutes.
  • Heat olive oil in a pan and add chopped onion.  Sauté for 3-5 minutes, or until tender.
  • Add the garlic to the onions and cook for another minute.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine the ground turkey, cooled quinoa, onions, tomato paste, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, egg, salt and pepper.
  • Place on greased baking sheet and form into a loaf shape.
  • In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce and water together.
  • Cover the loaf with this paste.
  • Bake for 50-60 minutes and then let cook for 10 minutes before serving.

Interesting Facts

Quinoa is often referred to as a super grain because of its enormous nutritional value, but in truth it is not a grain at all. It is actually the edible seed from the fruit of a flowering plant (Mastebroek, et al., 2000).  Consumption of quinoa has become increasingly popular in recent days, however, many are unaware that it has been a staple food for thousands of years.  The Inca of the Andes cultivated quinoa and it was said to give their warriors power and stamina (Repo-Carrasco et al., 2003).  This pseudocereal comes in multiple varieties which was an important trait to these ancient peoples because it allowed them to grow a highly nutritious plant in vastly different climates, altitudes and soil types (Jancurova, et al., 2009).  One cup of cooked quinoa contains 8.14 g of protein, 5.2 g of dietary fibre  contributable amounts of healthy fatty acids and zero cholesterol.  These nutritional traits in combination with a high complex carbohydrate content cause quinoa to have a low glycemic index value (Jenkins, et al., 2008).  The relatively high volume of fibre and protein has also been shown to aid with cholesterol reduction and improved blood sugar regulation (Repo-Carrasco et al., 2003).  Furthermore, within that one cup of quinoa there are notable amounts of calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc and vitamins A, B and E (USDA, 2012). Notably, quinoa’s calcium concentration is double that of most other grains and its high protein concentration further improves the absorption of this vital bone mineral (Polsi, 2011).  In addition to quinoa supporting your skeletal system, its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties have noted cardiovascular and digestive benefits (Pasko, et al., 2009).  Overall, this seed contains a winning blend of nutrients and essential amino acids that most typical grains cannot compete with (Jancurova, et al., 2009).  Interestingly, the upcoming year has been officially proclaimed “The international year of the quinoa” by The Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO, 2012).  So get ready for 2013 by enjoying more quinoa in your diet.

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