It’s a rather novel addition to the mainstream North American diet, but what you likely don’t know about quinoa, well, you should.
Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-WAH) is a wonderfully filling and protein-rich food, a staple of the South American communities that have grown it for generations. Quinoa is often mistaken for a grain, but in reality our society is becoming addicted to the tiny seeds of the chenopodium plant. When cooked, this grain-like seed resembles a small round grain of rice, surrounded by tiny, delicate tendrils of its germ (the source of its high protein profile). Rumor has it that quinoa is the only complete protein derived from a plant source, and I would venture to guess that that’s right… Quinoa is one of the best foods for satiety that I’ve come across, and it boasts an immense list of healthy attributes, including anti-inflammatory and heart-healthy properties.
I haven’t always loved quinoa, though. In fact, the first time I tried my hand at it, I hated it. It tasted bitter and the bulk of it ended up in the trash. But then the nutritional world kept right on buzzing. And I saw more and more recipes focused around the seed. I thought that maybe, just maybe, I hadn’t given quinoa a real chance. Maybe I had used the wrong kind or missed a step. I bought more. I googled. It seems I was right that I was wrong. I didn’t adequately rinse the quinoa and I hadn’t even thought to toast it first.
And, then, this morning, I tried it again. I rinsed the heck out of it, and then I toasted the heck out of it. And now that my quinoa was thoroughly lacking any trace of heck, I cooked it.
And so simple too.
1 cup dry quinoa.
Rinse it thoroughly in a sieve (And I DO mean thoroughly.)
Toast it for 1-2 minutes in a fry pan with a bit of olive oil over medium-high heat.
Add 2 cups of liquid and 1/4 tsp of salt. Bring to a rolling boil.
Cover and simmer on medium heat for 15 minutes.
Let stand for 5 minutes, fluff with a fork, add salt and pepper, and ENJOY!
I’m glad I gave quinoa another chance. What about you? Have you discovered any novel foods that you now can’t live without?