Are You Keen On Quinoa?
Posted October 10, 2010on:
Recently I took a quinoa-based dish to a lunch potluck, and while the ladies loved it, many of them had never tried quinoa before. Maybe you’ve tried this protein-rich grain, or maybe you’ve been meaning to try it
Quinoa (KEEN-wah) is native to the Andes mountains. What makes this grain special is that it’s higher in protein than other grains. That makes it great for vegetarians (and, also a great meat substitute for those of us who are omnivores). It has a slight nutty flavor, and can also be lightly toasted before cooking to increase the nuttiness. Be sure, however, to rinse your quinoa in a strainer before you use it: there is a natural soapy-flavored compound on the outside of the grains. The manufacturer does a good job rinsing it off before sending the quinoa to the stores, but it’s a good idea to give your grains a final rinse, to assure that your dish will taste good.
Quinoa cooks up quickly, in a ratio of about two parts liquid (water or broth) to one part quinoa. Most commonly, it serves as the base in pilafs or salads, such as this recipe that I enjoy. I also like keeping cold cooked quinoa (cooked in water) in my fridge, which I heat up in the microwave for breakfast cereal. I then add a bit of milk, sweetener of choice (maple syrup, usually), cinnamon, and dried cranberries. Just like oatmeal, but with the added dose of extra protein (and variety, too)!
What’s your favorite quinoa recipe? I’d love to hear it!