I’m starting to eat more quinoa but am confused as to what to eat with it to make a balanced meal. I have read that it is a complete protein, is related to spinach and seeds, but Canada’s Food Guide lists it as a grain. Do I need to add a protein to it? Thank you!
Great news that you are eating more of a true whole grain: quinoa. You are right it does supply protein. In fact, plant sources of protein are no longer classified as complete or incomplete. As per Dietitians of Canada in 2003:
“Research indicates that an assortment of plant foods eaten over the course of a day can provide all essential amino acids …in healthy adults; thus complementary proteins do not need to be consumed at the same meal.”
I would still recommend having quinoa with a something from the Meat and Alternatives food group (from Canada’s Food Guide) and then add a vegetable or fruit. This is because although quinoa has protein it doesn’t have as much as the food in the Meat and Alternatives group. For example, ¾ of a cup of tofu has about 20 grams of protein while ¾ of a cup of quinoa has only 5 grams of protein.