Protein is an essential nutrient and is used to build and repair tissues, make enzymes, hormones, and other body chemicals. Protein is also an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood.
Our body breaks down protein into its amino acids which are then used to form structural proteins , enzymes, hormones, repair tissue, cartilage etc.
Some amino acids known as essential amino acids can not be formed in the body and must come from food.
Many plant based sources lack some of the essential 9 amino acids but by combining different plant based protein sources such as beans and quinoa or rice and pulses can achieve all of the essential amino acids we need.
Quinoa actually contains all 9 amino acids needed for the body, not only that but it also contains Plant Compounds Quercetin and Kaempferol which have been shown to have have anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-cancer and anti-depressant effects.
Quinoa is high in fibre, packed with manganese, magnesium, zinc and phosphorus.
This delicious mexican quinoa and black bean dish with cumin roasted sweet potato is our favourite way to enjoy quinoa and makes the perfect mid week meal!
Mexican quinoa bowl
2 sweet potatoes
2 tsp cumin
1 red onion
150g small plum tomatoes
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1/2 cup quinoa
1 cup water
2 tbsp tomato puree
1:2 tsp chilli powder (optional)
1 tin black beans
plain yoghurt or sour cream
Cut the sweet potatoes into cubes, drizzle with olive oil, cumin and salt and place in the oven at 180c for approx 25 minutes or until soft
in a pan over a medium heat add a little olive oil abs once hot add the onions, tomatoes chopped into small pieces, and the cumin, paprika and salt and stir through. Pop a lid on the pan and reduce the heat to a low medium heat and cook until the tomato and onion are softened.
add the quinoa, salt and then add the boiling water and pop the lid on and cook until the water is all absorbed and the quinoa is fluffy.
add the tomato purée, the black beans and stir through, turn the heat off and place the lid on for around 5 minutes
place the quinoa on a plate, top with the cooked sweet potato, avocado, plain yoghurt or sour cream, coriander leaves and enjoy