Chef Wendell: Quinoa and plant nutrition

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Nature is always providing exactly what our amazing bodies need to thrive. Quinoa is not a grain, but a seed rich in plant protein, dietary fiber, several B vitamins and minerals. Quinoa is easy to digest and, when combined with fresh plant-food from the community Farmer’s Market, creates a delicious rainbow of health.

  • Everything we eat comes directly or indirectly from nature-plants.
  • Nature is always providing exactly what our bodies need to thrive
  • One-quarter of all prescription drugs come directly from or are derivatives of plants.
  • Four out of five people around the world today rely on plants for primary health care.
  • Foods from plants are packed with many nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
  • Dietary fiber is found only in plants.
  • Plant based foods provide energy.
  • Eating more plant-based foods will help you sleep better-easier to digest.
  • Dr. Dean Ornish’s research showed eating a very low-fat, plant-based, vegetarian diet and other lifestyle changes could halt and / or reverse heart disease.
  • Plant based diet fights and can prevent certain cancers.
  • “Energies” of fresh food, can help a person integrate and balance body, mind and spirit.

Ingredients for Quinoa Taco Salad:

  • 3 cups cooked quinoa — 1 ½ cups uncooked
  • 1 avocado
  • ½ cup each diced yellow and red bell peppers
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 cups black beans, drained
  • 2 cups corn (frozen is fine)
  • 1/3 cup cilantro, ripped coarsely
  • Jalapeno circles
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 4 small corn tortillas, toasted


  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. chipotle powder
  • 1/2 tsp. coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. Himalayan salt

Don’t forget to:

  • In a large pot, combine one part quinoa with two parts water. Bring to a boil, turn down the heat. Simmer until all the water is absorbed (about 20 minutes). Note: it’s important to first rinse quinoa under warm water to remove the bitter coating. This is best done in a fine mesh kitchen strainer.
  • Cut 3-4 corn tortillas into small pieces, and toss in a 375º oven for 8-10 minutes until they just turn slightly crispy.
  • Dice avocado and halve the cherry tomatoes. Slice the green onions. Chop the cilantro. Prepare the corn (frozen works well). Drain the can of beans.
  • Prepare lime taco seasoning: combine the juice of about 2 limes along with the spices in bowl and whisk.
  • Toss everything together.
  • When the quinoa is fork- fluffy, transfer to mixing bowl, and drizzle in this lime taco seasoning.
  • Then top with all other ingredients (including tortilla pieces) and toss until evenly mixed.


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