Thursday, April 7, 2011

Guest Blog Thursday: Your Nutrition Coach—Jane Ashley

Dear friends,

Today I’d like to share some information from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition about one of my favorite grains - Quinoa. Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) has the highest nutritional profile and cooks the fastest of all grains.

• Contains all eight amino acids to make it a complete protein
• Has a protein content equal to milk
• High in B vitamins, iron, zinc, potassium, calcium & vitamin E
• Gluten-free; easy to digest
• Ideal food for endurance
• Strengthens the kidneys, heart, and lungs

When quinoa is cooked, the outer germ surrounding the seed breaks open to form a crunchy coil while the inner grain becomes soft and translucent. This double texture makes it delicious, versatile and fun to eat. To save time, cook a lot of quinoa at once and eat it many times. Quinoa can be reheated with a splash of soy or nut milk for breakfast porridge; you can add dried fruit, nuts and cinnamon for a sweet treat. Add finely chopped raw vegetables and dressing for a cooling salad or add chopped cooked root vegetables for a warming side dish. Store dry, uncooked quinoa in a cool, dry, dark place in a tightly closed glass jar for up to one year.

Before cooking, quinoa must be rinsed to remove the toxic (but naturally occurring) bitter coating, called saponin. Saponin, when removed from quinoa, produces a soapy solution in water. Quinoa is normally rinsed before it is packaged and sold, but it is best to rinse again at home before use. Place quinoa in a grain strainer and rinse thoroughly with water.

The whole family will love this recipe!

Jane’s Black Bean and Mango Quinoa Salad:

1 cup quinoa
1 large mango (peeled and chopped)
1 red bell pepper (chopped)
1 cup black beans (rinsed)
1 jalapeño pepper (chopped)
1 green onion (sliced)
1 handful cilantro (chopped)
1 avocado (chopped)
1 lime (juice)
1 teaspoon cumin
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Place quinoa in a large frying pan without oil and toast over medium-low heat until a light golden brown color. Be sure to watch carefully so it doesn’t burn.
Once golden brown in color, cook the quinoa as directed on the package.
Mix the quinoa, red, orange and green bell peppers, mango, black beans, jalapeño, green onion, and cilantro in a bowl.
Mix the olive oil, lime juice and zest, cumin, salt and pepper in another bowl.
Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat. Add avocado to the top along with some cilantro sprigs for garnish.

Serve room temp, or cold straight from the frig. 

Happy Eating!


Jane Ashley, MA, CHHC, AADP
Certified Holistic Nutrition Coach

Jane Ashley, founder of Beautiful Body—Beautiful Bride: Nutrition Coaching for brides-to-be, and “The New Mom’s Rescue” Nutrition Program” is an expert in nutrition and holistic weight loss. In addition to her one-on-one coaching practice, group events and corporate workshops, Jane is a regular contributor to the Jennie Fresa Beauty Library blog, The Eat Right America™ Blog,  and is a sought-after speaker in the community.

To learn more about Jane, please visit:




  1. I can't wait to try this, Jane! sounds delish!

  2. Jane such a wonderful blog you had presented here. I like most of your tips. You covered most of all main points on all about beauty.

  3. It's always nice to learn about nutrition from an expert like you. Thanks a lot for sharing that recipe. I'll definitely try it sometime.