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Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) my new favorite grain


So, in my quest for food with attitude, I am always on the lookout for less fattening substitutes to good old fashion white rice. While I like brown rice and cook it often, it is really hard to get brown rice to taste like anything but brown rice.

This is why Quinoa is my new favorite. Much like white rice, it takes on the flavor of the stuff you add to it. So, soy sauce, chicken stock, citrus, actually come out in the dish. And, according to Wikipedia “Quinoa has come to be highly appreciated for its nutritional value, as its protein content is very high (12%–18%). Unlike wheat or rice (which are low in lysine), quinoa contains a balanced set of essential amino acids for humans, making it an unusually complete food. This means it takes less quinoa protein to meet one’s needs than wheat protein. It is a good source of dietary fiber and phosphorus and is high in magnesium and iron. Quinoa is gluten free and considered easy to digest. “

So basically, this quirky little grain packs quite a punch. The only drag (and its not much of a drag) is that it needs to be soaked and drained and either run under cold water or re-soaked several times. This is to remove the bitter tasting saponins. It is easier to find than it used to be. I found it in bulk at Wegman’s and bagged in the Rice section at Shopright. So, you shouldn’t have a problem finding it. They almost look like couscous. For a picture of the uncooked grains and even more about Quinoa, click here.

So, the following recipe is probably one of a million you can make using Quinoa. I am happy to collect others from my readers and will be adding to the list myself in my quest for food with attitude. Enjoy.

Quinoa with Veggies

INGREDIENTS

1 Medium yellow onion, chopped
1 Cup thinly sliced carrot
1 Cup red bell pepper, chopped
1 Tbs. olive oil
1 cup Quinoa, soaked and rinsed properly
2 cups chicken stock or broth
1/2 cup frozen peas

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Saute the onion, carrot and red bell pepper for 3 to 5 minutes or until onion is tender. Pour in the Quinoa and broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover pan and simmer for 15 – 18 minutes. Toss in frozen peas during the last few minutes of cooking.

Let stand for 5 minutes. You could toss in chopped cashews with this. Yum. I served this last night with a citrus salmon and tossed salad. Talk about your antioxidants. I could probably lift a car right now with one arm.

For a ton of really great sounding Quinoa recipes, check out this site. Quinoa.com