Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Ah, Quinoa


 quinoa : red quinoa grain spread on white background with backlight - top view Stock Photo


       Since in my job I encourage others to open their minds and try new foods it seems only fitting I do the same. My current foodie experiment is a revised from a past fail- in other words, let's try again. Believe it or not, it takes more than one try to truly know if you do not like something. After saying over and over again to others, my soul was stirred to give this 'ancient grain' another chance.

quinoa : A word  Stock Photo
photo credit
 
         Pronounced KEEN-WAH, this 'ancient grain' is not a grain at all but the seed of a leafy plant that resembles spinach. Most is grown in the Andes of South America, often linked to the ancient Incas who referred to is as "Mother Grain". It has been said that due to naturally occurring saponins which cause a bitter taste the plant, the Spanish rejected the plant as a food source.
         Quinoa boast a somewhat nutty flavor providing an excellent source of protein and essential amino acids perfect for gluten free and vegetarian diets. Like rice, quinoa takes a 2 to 1 water to seed ratio and is cooked on low heat until the liquid is absorbed. Most foodies use quinoa as a grain replacement in pasta or rice dishes, and grind it into a flour to use in savory baked goods.
        quinoa : Raw white quinoa grains in jute sack on wood with red quinoa in other sack standing. Quinoa is grown in the Andes and is valued for its high protein content and nutritional value (Selective Focus, Focus on the white quinoa at the opening of the sack) Stock Photo

        As for me, my experimentation lead me to realize- I do not like it cold, as some recipes call for it cold in a salad; I prefer it heavily seasoned as to plain; using hearty bone broths are my favorite way to cook it. In general, I like it best as a rice substitute or simply in a bowl with some steamed veggies. Though my trials be few, I have decided it is worth the price to have a little in my diet now and then; however due to the price, it will be an occasional food not a regular dish.



       

1 comment:

Lisa Coon said...

I make a quinoa salad that I just love and it's incredibly adaptable. I make the quinoa and then refrigerate it. Once it's cooled, I add whatever I have laying around-
beans (black, garbanzo, cannelini)rinsed, of course
garlic
onions (green, red)
vinegar (I prefer white wine)
peppers (red, yellow, green)
cilantro (or parsley)
olive oil
salt
cucumber
grape tomatoes
zucchini
Really, anything you happen to have lying around. I can eat it for days.

Early on I had it warm with curry powder. It clearly didn't make an impression on me since that's the only time I've had it warm.