Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Crazy for Quinoa!

Called the Mother Grain by the Incans, this was a staple in the diet of that civilization. Quinoa (pronounced “keen-wa”) is a protein rich seed which is also high in unsaturated fat and lower in carbohydrates than most grains. It has an exceptional amino acid profile and the highest protein content of all grains, along with amaranth. Quinoa is gluten free.

Seven cups uncooked quinoa.
Please excuse the lack of updates in the recent month. I have literally been busy cooking quinoa! Weddings, birthdays, pot-lucks, all in hand with a new quinoa dish. So, in today's post, I'm going to focus on this super food.

Cooked Quinoa
For each cup of uncooked quinoa, add two cups water. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and fluff with fork, cover and set aside for a few minutes. This can be put in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Water is just one basic liquid you can use when cooking quinoa. For most of my recipes, I like to use vegetable broth in place of the water. Fruit juices can also be used to add a different flavor depending on what you're making. One recipe I've seen called for one cup mango juice, one cup coconut milk, to one cup quinoa! Adding slices of mango to that would make a great side or dessert dish.

Quinoa and Veggies
 A favorite dinner of mine has been incorporating quinoa with frozen vegetables and sautéed onions. This takes less then 30 minutes and is full of flavor and healthy nutrients.

Instructions:

Heat peanut oil in a skillet on medium heat, add diced onions and cook a few minutes. Add a cup of frozen veggies and cook until you can't see any frost on them. Add Tamari and cook about five - six minutes, then incorporate cooked quinoa (as much as desired). Drizzle toasted sesame oil and serve.

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Quinoa can be included in so many different variations of dishes. Consider using black beans, sautéed onions, and sautéed green peppers and hot peppers. Or, quinoa with ANYTHING! Don't fret if you can't come up with other recipes, we'll be sure to post more in the coming weeks.

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