One of the allures of cooking is that there are endless interesting techniques and foods to try, perfect and experience. Having just recently become acquainted with an interesting dried seed called Quinoa (pronounced Keen-wah), I am fascinating by the number of recipes emerging using this “super food.” Even though it has been cultivated in South America for thousands of years it is gaining popularity among home cooks.
Quinoa is often called the “supergrain of the future” because it contains more protein than any other grain. Here are a few more Quinoa facts:
- It is also considered a complete protein because it contains all eight essential amino acids.
- It is lower in carbs than most grains.
- The small seed cooks like rice in half the time and expands to four times its original volume.
- Quinoa is similar to couscous.
Quinoa can usually be found in the rice, pasta or cereal aisle. Here are some recipes that are a great place to start with cooking and enjoying Quinoa.
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 medium carrot, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 can (12-1/2 oz) reduced-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
DIRECTIONS: In a small nonstick saucepan coated with cooking spray, cook onion and carrot in oil for 2-3 minutes or until crisp-tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Stir in the broth, water and salt; bring to a boil. Add quinoa. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 12-15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Remove from the heat. Fluff with a fork.
- If using vegetable broth, omit the salt
- Look for quinoa in the cereal, rice or organic food aisle
- 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons plum sauce
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh gingerroot
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
- 1 medium sweet red pepper, chopped
- 1/2 cup sliced water chestnuts, chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh sugar snap peas, trimmed and halved
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced
DIRECTIONS: In a large saucepan, combine the first eight ingredients; bring to a boil. Add quinoa. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 12-15 minutes or until water is absorbed. Remove from the heat. Add the red pepper, water chestnuts, peas and onions; fluff with a fork. Cover and let stand for 10 minutes.