Quinoa is a grain crop grown primarily for its edible seeds. It is high in protein, lacks gluten, and is tolerant of dry soil.
In their natural state, quinoa seeds or, collectively, just “quinoa”, have a coating of bitter-tasting saponins, making them unpalatable. Most quinoa sold commercially in North America has been processed to remove this coating. This bitterness has beneficial effects during cultivation, as the plant is unpopular with birds and therefore requires minimal protection.
Quinoa was important to the diet of pre-Columbian Andean civilizations. Today, people appreciate quinoa for its nutritional value. Quinoa has been called a superfood. Protein content is very high for a cereal/pseudo-cereal (14% by mass), yet not as high as most beans and legumes. Quinoa’s protein content per 100 calories is higher than brown rice, potatoes, barley and millet, but is less than wild rice and oats. Nutritional evaluations of quinoa indicate that it is a source of complete protein. Furthermore, it is a good source of dietary fiber and phosphorus and is high inmagnesium and iron. Quinoa is also a source of calcium, and thus is useful for vegans and those who are lactose intolerant. Quinoa is gluten-free and considered easy to digest.
– Extracts from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quinoa –
How to cook Quinoa for dummies
I tried cooking Quinoa in the microwave but it failed either because the timing was not right or I had put too little water. The second time I cooked Quinoa, I did it in the rice cooker and it turned out excellent.
Cooking quinoa (in my limited experience) is like cooking rice except in rice, we use half water, half rice but in quinoa, the portion is more like one-third quinoa to two-third water, To make this otherwise very bland meal appetizing, I added chicken stock and nasi briyani spices to it . You could add some ham, green peas and cheese and then once cooked, I added a small amount of butter (or olive oil), olives cashew nuts, cherry tomatoes and fried garlic.
These days, my dinner alternates between rice, couscous or quinoa as the staples with vegetable or meat dishes as sides. Other days I may have pasta, noodles or pizzas if I wanted something quick and fast. Platters, bread and dips or chili con carne with nachos are often another interesting alternative for a change. The list goes on and on.
It’s always interesting to ask myself
What’s for dinner tonight?