quinoa is super-keen

raw quinoa looks like round sesame seeds.

when it's cooked, quinoa becomes translucent, and a tiny thread-like coil appears on each grain.

years ago i embarked on a hunt for easy-to-make whole grains to use in place of processed carbohydrates, which don't provide enough healthy benefits to warrant their calorie content. one of my discoveries was a super-food (so called because of its nutritional value) that isn't a grain at all. quinoa (KEEN-wah) is actually a seed, and has a high content of protein and essential amino acids. it serves up on the plate like a starch, but as a gluten-free-plant-based carbohydrate. you can find it in the bulk section of your local health food store, and i also recently found it at costco. 

i use quinoa as i do couscous, and rice, and serve it as the starch to accompany the main protein, or mixed with vegetables as a side dish. it's a little crunchy, and i think it tastes like a cross between white couscous and a mild apple. i also like to eat it for breakfast mixed with raisins and fresh berries. you can use it in salads, mixed with cheese and baked inside a bell pepper, or just eat it alone, in a bowl drizzled with a little olive oil . . . feel free to use a spoon.

to make quinoa i put one or two cups in a sauce pan, and rinse with cool water. once the grains become wet they sink to the bottom of the pot and you can pour off the rinse water.

use enough fresh water to come about 1/2" above the rinsed grains, cover with the lid, and set onto a med-high heat. once the pot comes to a boil reduce the heat to extra-low and simmer about 10 minutes or so until the water is absorbed, the grains become translucent, and you can see the tiny thread-like coil.

take off the lid and let some of the steam escape, and cool it slightly. then fluff it with a fork as you would rice or couscous.

season with salt and pepper.

1 comment:

Michelle said...

Love quinoa!