Quinoa Love. What is up with Quinoa? (pronounced: KEEN-waa) and why is it showing up in supermarkets, cereals, and menus all over!
Heres the scoop…
Quinoa is considered a ‘superfood’. It is actually a seed, not a grain, and so it is excellent for Celiacs. It has been consumed for more than 8,000 years in the Andes Mountains in South America. You know – where those incredible barefoot runners are from?
It contains all eight of the necessary amino acids which means it is a COMPLETE protein. In fact its protein content is equal to milk! It is super easy to digest and gluten-free. Super important for everyone, but especially for vegans and vegetarians who don’t get these nutrients from meat, are the B vitamins, iron, zinc, potassium, calcium and vitamin E. Quinoa strengthens the vital organs, specifically the kidneys, heart, and lungs and is also an ideal food for endurance energy!
My number one tip is to rinse, rinse , rinse. Quinoa has a naturally occurring coating which tastes bitter. This is called saponin and its thought to be a defense mechanism for survival against birds and insects – what do you expect from a age old grain? Quinoa is generally rinsed before being packaged, but it is always best to do another rinse before you cook it.
Quinoa Cooking Method:
Generally when I cook quinoa I cook a large batch so I have enough to add to other dishes throughout the week. here is the basic recipe:
- 1 part quinoa
- 2 parts water
- salt to taste
Using a fine mesh strainer, rinse quinoa with cool water until the water runs clear. Combine quinoa and water in a saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and continue to cook covered for 15 minutes or until all water has been absorbed. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes covered; fluff with a fork. Season as you like.
Not only is quinoa delicious plain, with a little seasoning it can also be added to all sorts of dishes! Like rice, quinoa can be used as a side dish, a pilaf, a cold salad, a breakfast cereal or added to cookie dough. Your imagination is your only limitation! Here is a sweet and savory recipes for you to give this super seed a try! Enjoy!
Super Crunchy Quinoa Salad with Mojito Citrus Dressing
(Serves 1 large salad or 2 side salads)
1/2 red bell pepper, small dice
1 small to med carrot, small dice
2 radishes, thinly sliced
Cucumber about 2”, small dice
handful of sugar snap peas, chopped
pile of baby mixed greens, rinsed
3/4 c. cooked quinoa, chilled
Toss ingredients together with dressing (below), sprinkle with some raw shelled hemp seeds and enjoy!
Mojito Citrus Dressing
1 tbs dijon
1/2 tbs raw honey
1 shallot, minced
3-4 stems of mint, minced
3-4 stems of italian parsley, minced
juice of 1-2 ripe limes (you can substitute a lemon if you fancy)
1/2 c. olive oil
1/2 c. grapeseed oil or another neutral oil
salt and pepper to taste
In a small bowl, add honey, dijon, shallot. Whisk together and slowly incorporate oil while whisking. The dressing should get nice and thick . Add the herbs and juice of the lime. Season with salt and pepper to taste.