Considered a whole grain, quinoa
is actually a protein-rich seed with a rockin' nutritional profile. A cup of quinoa provides 8 grams of protein, about twice the amount found in other starches like brown rice or oats, and the extra hit of protein helps balance out blood sugar. Loaded with fiber, magnesium, and iron, this South American grain definitely deserves its new celebrity status. The best news about quinoa: It's as easy to make as rice and cooks up in just 15 short minutes (prepare with low-sodium broth instead of water to add more flavor). Use quinoa as a base for stir-fries
, add veggies or chopped nuts to make a pilaf, or layer it with nonfat yogurt and chopped fruit for a chic parfait.