Friday, May 28, 2010

Keen-what?

Ever heard of quinoa?  How about keen-wah?  "Keen-wah" is actually how you pronounce quinoa.  Quinoa is an ancient grain, one of the staple foods of the Incas.  It is a whole grain, gluten-free, a good source of fiber, and high in protein.  Not only that, but unlike most plant foods, it is a complete protein.  In short, it's good for you.


I first heard about it a decade or more ago in some healthfood-type publication.  But I didn't get around to trying it until today.  For being such nutrition powerhouse, it seems to be largely unknown except by those of the vegan/vegetarian persuasion, and it isn't widely available in supermarkets.  I got mine in bulk at Whole Foods.  The dry grain is tiny and round, and is cooked in a manner similar to rice.


I cooked up a pot this afternoon (rinse the dry grain first, bring 2 cups of water to a boil, add 1 cup of quinoa, turn heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes).  I served it with dinner, for the kids with just a little butter and salt, and surprise, surprise!  they liked it! They don't particularly care for rice or couscous, so I was pleased.  It has a mild flavor and a texture similar to couscous.

For myself and Craig, I looked at several recipes on allrecipes and kind of combined a few of them into this:
Combine:
2 cups cooked quinoa
1 medium tomato, chopped
1/2 cup peeled, chopped cucumber
2 Tbsp chopped green onion
For dressing, mix together:
1/4 tsp minced garlic
2 Tbsp lime juice
2-3 tsp olive oil
1/4 tsp ground cumin
salt and pepper to taste
Pour dressing over quinoa mixture and combine.  Chill. Makes about 3 cups.

I served it over a bed of spinach.  It was light, flavorful and summery.  It would be a good dish to take to a potluck or picnic instead of pasta salad.  I'm glad I gave it a shot, and I will definitely be trying more recipes.




16 comments:

The Trotter Family said...

I've been gluten free for about a year now, so I have been eating quinoa pasta. I highly recommend it. It is absolutely delicious and tastes exactly like the normal pasta. The only difference is that you can't really use it for a cold pasta salad because it breaks when it gets cold. Otherwise, it is perfect!

Mama Thompson said...

We LOVE quinoa at our house. I have a great quinoa and black bean dish that I make...I use it on chicken tacos instead of rice and it is SO good. If you love lime and cilantro...you would love it. I'll try to find it and post it on my blog soon.

Paula said...

This sounds really good. Thanks for sharing!

Beautifully Inspired said...

We also are big fans of quinoa. My husband actually goes for more of the breakfast route with it adding all sorts of yummy fun stuff to it!

Nicole

www.sobeautifullyinspired.blogspot.com

Charlene said...

Thanks for sharing that yummy sounding and looking recipe! One of my good friends is on a limited diet due to her baby's many food allergies. She's loved being able to eat quinoa. I'm definitely passing on this recipe to her!

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

YUM!!!! Love the photo of your recipe. :)

Gina @ MoneywiseMoms said...

We just started eating quinoa because we're experimenting with a GF diet. My kids love it! It's been great to replace our usual 3 nights of pasta with something different. I've used quinoa in place of orzo in a yummy salad, and I'm finding new recipes all the time. Glad to hear you liked it!

FrouFrouBritches said...

L eats quinoa pasta and fake oatmeal for cookies since he's gluten free. It's the only gluten-free pasta that tastes halfway decent. I've never eaten it like this recipe. I might have to try it. It looks pretty good.

Stephanie said...

we looove quinoa here too. You can buy the organic stuff at Costco.

Mary Joy said...

That sounds wonderful and different and yummy! LOL I have been doing a lot of exploring and trying new recipes lately...you have triggered my interest in a new line of food! Have a great weekend!!!

logan said...

I've actually purchased quinoa at Walmart. Granted, I live in a larger city so that might have something to do with it.

Kristi said...

I love quinoa! And this is the first recipe I tried -- you might like it too: Quinoa Salad with Apples & Almonds
http://familyfun.go.com/recipes/quinoa-salad-with-apples-and-almonds-876990/

Carrie said...

We have been trying to eat less meat and tried quinoa a few months ago (we bought ours at Costco). I sometimes flavour it with vegetable bouillon.

Jenny said...

always looking for new things to cook and this looks lovely!! Thanks for sharing the recipe Holly - looks yum!!!

RJ @ A Life Designed said...

Love quinoa! It's so good for you! I don't think we've had rice or couscous since we started buying it at the bulk store earlier in the year.

Kimm at Reinvented said...

Sounds yummy, thanks for sharing! I've never tried quinoa, but will now. :)