Quinoa

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This is not such a great caption of my quinoa dish. This picture features a quinoa pudding but I’m going to walk you through the basic cooking techniques of quinoa. Quinoa is a gluten free ancient  grain originating from South America which dates back over a 1,000 years ago. It was known as  the “gold of the Incas. The grain resembles millet and has a bitter protective saponin coating that protects the grain from being eaten by birds and insects.Nowadays, many companies that sell quinoa in the United States remove the bitter saponins. I don’t have that convenience where I live and therefore I normally soak my quinoa before cooking it. This allows you to prepare the quinoa without having to rinse it first.  Quinoa is high in fiber and a complete protein which  has all nine amino acids. Quinoa also contains high amounts of lysine, manganese, magnesium, iron, copper and phosphorus. Due to quinoa being a complete protein, it is an excellent food choice for the gluten-free vegan consumer.  Quinoa is a healthy replacement of rice,pasta,or couscous. It doesn’t contain as much carbohydrates as most grains do.  Quinoa is delicious served cold or warm and can be frozen and reheated. You can use quinoa to make salads,stews, or puddings. Heck, you can even bake gluten free bread,rolls,or pizza using quinoa flour. I couldn’t find any of the such but when I do, you can bet that I’ll be experimenting with it :-). For salad ideas, I use a small diced onion,chopped cucumber, chopped tomato, diced orange,yellow,and red bell pepper. I dress the salad with lemon juice and season it with salt,pepper,cumin,and a hint of chili powder. Then I throw in about a tablespoon of chopped fresh parsley,mint, and toss.  This makes an excellent barbeque salad. You can also serve it as a side dish. If  I want to make a pudding, I simply follow the cooking instructions on my rice pudding recipe.  For  more quinoa recipe ideas, look at these following links:

http://www.savvyvegetarian.com/vegetarian-recipes/quinoa-burgers.php

http://www.savvyvegetarian.com/vegetarian-recipes/quinoa-veggie-stirfry.php

http://www.savvyvegetarian.com/vegetarian-recipes/quinoa-for-breakfast.php

http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes_menus/recipe_slideshows/easy_quinoa_recipes

 

For this recipe, you will need:

  1.  1 cup of quinoa
  2. 2 cups of water
  3.  1/4 teaspoon of salt (optional)

Instructions

Allow quinoa to soak in lukewarm water for 15 -30 minutes (if you purchased the pre -rinsed  and dried package, you can skip this step). This method ensures that the quinoa will cook evenly.In a 2 quart pot with a tight fitting lid, add water , salt and quinoa. Cover and bring to a boil. Rinse and drain water quinoa using a fine mesh strainer. Add quinoa to the pot of boiling water. Reduce to a simmer. Cook for 15 – 20 minutes. Remove quinoa from heat and allow to sit five minutes with the lid on. Fluff quinoa gently with a fork and serve.

Yields 2 servings

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