I have been asked “What is Quinoa and how the heck is it pronounced?!” many, many times!
Drum roll….Quinoa is a ‘Super Food’ and pronounced – keen-wah!
It is actually a seed, not a grain as commonly thought. The quinoa plant is stunning and comes in a rainbow of different colours.
The Incas held the crop sacred, calling it ‘chisaya mama’ or ‘mother of all grains’.
It is gluten free – yippee- and is easy to digest. It’s a great source of protein (as much per weight as chicken!), fibre, phosphorous, magnesium and iron.
It’s also high in calcium, which is useful for lactose intolerant or vegans.
Even better though – it’s so versatile and can be made into so many delicious dishes!
It can be made into breakfast, lunch, dinner or snacks! Pretty good going for such a little seed.
It’s so easy to cook – I walked in last night to see my husband making some for todays breakfast – so it must be easy 😉
There are so many recipes available on the net now but I’ll include a few of my favourites here for you.
I cook up one cup of raw whole quinoa in a pan as directed (or add 2 cups of boiling water, bring back to the boil, reduce to a simmer and cover for 15 mins) – it’s so easy – really behaves itself!
I then let it cool, add 1 cup of LSA (linseed, sunflower seeds and almonds all chopped up) and 1/2 cup of whole pumpkin seeds. Add 1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon and mix together. Serve a few tablespoons in a bowl with a dollop of yoghurt, little bit of milk and bit of fresh fruit of your choice – seriously good…….
A quick lunch for me is to simply cook up on our our quinoa mixes (Sundried Tomato with Kalamata Olives is my favourite!) and mix through diced cucumber, fetta, avocado, grated carrot and raw sweet potato and mix some baby spinach leaves or parsley through. Sometimes, if I have goats curd, I dollop that on top instead of the fetta. You can basically chuck in whatever you have handy.
This salad in the picture has quinoa, chickpeas, basil, tomato and baby spinach – yum!
This is where you can go wild! I no longer use rice when cooking as I question why I would use a grain that has almost no nutrition, compared to amazing Quinoa! So wherever rice is called for, use quinoa. You’ll need a lot less quinoa than you would normally have of rice as it’s so filling (thanks to the high protein content). I had a stir fry last night with the usual suspects and served it with rice. My 7 year old son (who can be a bit fussy) loves quinoa now and never questioned it when we switched over.
You can add it to soups, tagines, stuffed veggies, salads etc – the list is endless.
Have a look on the net for more recipes – there are simply thousands out there.
Or you can check out ours on our website.