New Adventures in Cooking


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.

Quinoa Pilaf

I created this recipe after tasting quinoa at a local restaurant. I really enjoy rice pilaf, but I don’t usually have time to make it. This quick-cooking side is a tasty alternative. –Sonya Fox of Peyton, Colorado

I created this recipe after tasting quinoa at a local restaurant. I really enjoy rice pilaf, but I don’t usually have time to make it. This quick-cooking side is a tasty alternative. –Sonya Fox of Peyton, Colorado

INGREDIENTS

  • 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

Asian Quinoa

I love to cook and come up with new recipes. I serve this dish at least once a month and sometimes more. For a different twist, I'll occasionally add a scrambled egg or use soy sauce instead of the rice vinegar. —Sonya Labbe, Santa Monica, California

I love to cook and come up with new recipes. I serve this dish at least once a month and sometimes more. For a different twist, I’ll occasionally add a scrambled egg or use soy sauce instead of the rice vinegar. —Sonya Labbe, Santa Monica, California

INGREDIENTS

  • 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.

 

 

10 thoughts on “New Adventures in Cooking

  1. I AM GOING TO TRY THIS. I HAVE NEVER HAD QUINOA SO CAN’T SAY IF I WOULD LIKE IT OR NOT. BUT I PRINTED THIS ARTICLE AS I WANTED THE INFORMATION TO SHARE WITH MY GIRLS. I LOVE RICE SO IF THIS IS EVEN CLOSE THERE ARE LOTS OF WAYS I CAN THINK OF TO USE IT.

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