Quinoa: fresh, healthy, and nutritious food

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Feeling guilty because you ate too much at your friend’s birthday party, your cousin’s wedding celebration, or at the latest office get-together event? Your stomach cannot take any more? Well, think about going healthy and treating yourself to nice healthy, fresh, and nutritious food.

In the heart of the financial business district, lies Quinoa with an interesting concept of not only eating healthy food, but learning about it. In fact, while you wait for your order to show up, you can amuse yourself and learn about the nutritious value of fruits, vegetables, and grains straight out of your eco-friendly individual mats. I suggest you also pay attention to the chart board hanging in the wall as one product will be posted mentioning the benefits it has for your health. This same product will be the main ingredient used that week for the ‘dish of the day.’

Quinoa offers a wide selection of sandwiches, wraps, and salads, and you can even design your own meal! You just have to choose the base for your wrap or salad, which can be anything like lettuce, spinach, pasta, or quinoa, then choose up to six toppings out of the 28 they have (roast beef, tuna, salmon, chicken, turkey, blue cheese, goat cheese, parmigiano cheese, broccoli, corn, humus, and wanton, to name a few), and finally the vinaigrette (classic, Dijon, oriental, blue cheese, huancaina, light, etc.). All the ingredients are there to see, pick and choose. The choice is yours.

This time we did not make our own salad but rather chose one from the several they have in the menu. We had the ‘Mediterranean salad’ which consisted of whole wheat fusilli pasta, tuna, tomatoes, green olives, carrots, spinach and a Dijon vinaigrette (S/. 22). We also tried one of their cold wraps, ‘La Rose’ which had salmon, avocado, lettuce, tomatoes, palm hearts, corn, and sesame seeds put together in a whole wheat wrap (S/. 18).

La rose cold wrap
_Salmon, avocado, lettuce, tomatoes, palm hearts, corn, and sesame seeds put together in a whole wheat wrap make up ‘La Rose'(Photo: Carolina Rey de Castro/Peru this Week)_

We then had the ‘Gourmet Sandwich,’ a focaccia bread with ham, gouda cheese, tomatoes, roquette, olive oil, and mustard (S/. 17). But a house favorite and, certainly ours too, was the ‘Quinoa pastry’ (S/. 15), light and very tasty, a family recipe we were told. I noticed they had the classic ‘Pastel de choclo’ (S/. 16), ‘lasagna’ (S/. 18), and quiches (S/. 12) on their menu, but will have to try them some other time.

Gourmet sandwich
_The ‘Gourmet sanwich’ (Photo: Carolina Rey de Castro/Peru this Week)_

Quinoa also specializes in offering a good selection of healthy drinks. We had the ‘Mineral Boost’ (S/. 12) which was a beautiful green colored smoothie made with mango, avocado, milk, lemon and honey bee. The drink was creamy, smooth, a perfect mix, and simply delicious. We also tried the ‘Green Machine’ which had spinach, green apple, banana, and milk, and a classic ‘Surtido,’ which were both nice too. We remained curious about the ‘Full Omega,’ ‘Post-workout,’ ‘Metabolico,’ and ‘Detox,’ which I am sure are good boosters if you have to go back to your daily routine.

PHOTO CAPTION
_Three super-healthy smoothies: ‘Mineral Boose,’ ‘Green Machine,’ and the classic ‘Surtido’ (Photo: Carolina Rey de Castro/Peru this Week)_

At the bar we noticed a nice display of homemade cakes, brownies, muffins, and cookies that I particularly enjoy – I am not usually too fond of the cakes with colorful rich toppings or anything of the sort; I like it simple. We tried the ‘Passion fruit cake’ (S/. 5.50) which turned out to be simply delicious. With every spoonful we had we could perfectly savor the passion fruit and couldn’t wait to dig our spoon in once again for yet another bite. We also tried the ‘Carrot and linseed muffin’ (S/. 5) which was nice but nothing like that passion fruit cake. I noticed they had quite a variety of muffins which sounded all very appealing: elderberry, banana, and apple with blueberry. I would have also loved to try their quinoa-based blondie and their gluten free brownies (S/. 5) – attention celiac – but I guess it will have to be next time.

Some of Quinoa's cookies and cakes
_Some of Quinoa’s cookies and cakes (Photo: Carolina Rey de Castro/Peru this Week)_

And with dessert comes coffee or tea, and here they also have a good variety, both hot and cold. The ‘Banana Coffee Frappe’ (S/. 10) and the ‘Espresso Punch’(S/. 9) sounded for sure interesting. I also noticed that you can conveniently choose your preferred milk anything from regular, lactose-free, and soya, among others.

coffee and muffin
_You can also sit back and relax with a coffee a muffin (Photo: Carolina Rey de Castro/Peru this Week)_

If all this is too much of a choice for you, you can also order a ‘combo’ that can go anything from eggs with juice or coffee (s/. 17), a fruit salad with coffee or juice (s/. 17) or a muffin with juice or coffee (s/. 11.50). Combos are available only from 7 to 11 a.m.

For those people who are in a rush or have to eat inside their office, Quinoa will be offering salads, wraps, sandwiches and juices ‘ready to go.’ Currently, they have a convenient delivery service available for the neighborhood.

In case you are serious about eating healthy, you can also buy some organic products and other goodies at their small shop at the very entry of their locale.
For the winter months, Quinoa will be renovating their menu and you will be able to find warm salads, wraps and hot soups that will be perfect once the temperatures go down and you need to warm up.

The success of this relatively new gastronomic spot has been such that their owners are now looking for rent out places, possibly in Miraflores or Chacarilla, to take their healthy offer, so they may be opening another soon.

For more information, visit our Restaurant Guide: http://www.peruthisweek.com/restaurants-quinoa-10238

*Price range:*
Wraps and sandwiches: S/. 15 -18
Salads: S/. 19 – 25
Pastries: S/. 12 – 16
Combos: S/. 11.50 – 20
Desserts: S/. 3.50 – 8
Smoothies: S/. 12

_Please note: Peru this Week was invited to Quinoa and were not asked to pay for the meal._ _For more information,_ “please see our Editorial Policy”:http://e.peruthisweek.e3.pe/doc/0/0/0/2/2/22498.pdf.

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Roxana Garmendia

Being well-traveled and living in many parts of the world, gives Roxana great leverage when it comes to food tasting and her love for food is well expressed in her articles