Ah, my beloved quinoa, I love you so much. You bring so much goodness into my belly and I can put you in any kind of dish and receive so much joy. I want to tell the world all about you.
Have you heard of this glorious superfood? Quinoa, technically a seed, but considered a grain is a complete protein. Meaning that it contains all nine of the essential amino acids that are necessary for the protein building blocks. Quinoa is naturally gluten-free and contains almost as much fiber as most other grains. Which is super, considering that fiber is one of the main nutrient deficiencies among Americans. We simply don't get enough fiber intake. It is high in calcium and iron, too, and is a good source of manganese, copper, and lysine. High in riboflavin which helps improve energy metabolism and energy production.
While out shopping, you will probably come across both red and white quinoa. What's the difference you ask? Only the taste is a bit different, but has the same nutritional value. The red is going to taste a little bit nuttier, so if that is the flavor you are aiming for, then give the red a try. If you want something a little bit lighter in taste or neutral, then stick with the white quinoa, which is what I personally prefer.
What do you do with it?
Basically, you can do anything with it.
Quinoa is so versatile and is a great addition to any meal. Eat is as a side dish, or add it to soups, salads, casseroles, or substitute any dish that calls for rice. Add spices to it, or eat it plain. My stuffed peppers recipe uses wild rice, but try it with quinoa instead and you won't be disappointed.
How to cook quinoa
Cooking quinoa is relatively easy, similar to cooking rice. But I think most people that don't know what quinoa is, or how to cook it, stay away from it therefore not knowing how lovely it really is. Like rice, you want to have your quinoa come out light and fluffy. I usually will cook about a cup of dry quinoa at a time. My ratio is 2:1 water to quinoa. Maybe just a tad bit more water, but that is the idea. Cover the water, and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, take the quinoa, and rinse it off in a fine mesh strainer. Once that water is boiling, add in the quinoa. You can leave the pot covered, turn down the heat, and stir occasionally. Keeping the sides from sticking, and mixing well. Once most of the water has absorbed, turn off the heat, or turn down low to a simmer and keep covered. Stir to fluff and it is ready once all of the water is absorbed and quinoa is fluffy. And there you go, you have the perfect quinoa.
Try my quinoa bowl with veggies and creamy avocado sauce. It's super easy to make and is a great lunch, or light dinner that keeps you full but not heavy.
Eat up your quinoa!
There is so much nutritional value in it and is so filling. Remember that you can virtually substitute any rice dish with it. Now that you know how to prepare it, don't be afraid to try it out if you haven't already. You can pick it up at any grocery store and is relatively inexpensive, so keep it in a tight sealed jar as a regular staple in your pantry. Walk the bulk bin aisles, too, if you prefer to buy in bulk. I tend to buy it packaged and organic as it's not expensive at all. Let me know what you make and how you like it.
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