Quinoa a species of goosefoot, is a grain-like crop grown primarily for its edible seeds. Quinoa originated in the Andean region of Ecuador, Bolivia, Colombia and Peru. The nutritional composition is very good compared with common cereals. Quinoa seeds contain essential amino acids like lysine and good quantities of calcium, phosphorus, and iron, it is also high in protein making quinoa a “go to source of protein’ for vegans and those who are lactose intolerant, or those wanting to consume more protein in foods other than meats.
Quinoa in its natural state has a coating of bitter-tasting saponins, making it unpalatable. Most quinoa sold commercially in North America has been processed to remove this coating. Quinoa’s protein content per 100 calories is higher than brown rice, potatoes, barley and millet, but is less than wild rice and oats. Quinoa is gluten-free and considered easy to digest. Quinoa seeds are in general cooked the same way as rice and can be used in a range of dishes.
Quinoa has become a popular substitute for starchier pasta and rice, as it is very versatile and has been used in a variety of dishes around the world.
The bonus, one cup of quinoa will yield three cups cooked. One cup uncooked quinoa to two cups liquid. If you rinse the quinoa with a mesh strainer you will remove any bitterness remaining in the seeds. You can use your rice cooker to cook quinoa, just don’t alter the liquid ratio. Get creative add a clove of smashed garlic, a sprig of fresh rosemary, a dash of black pepper.
1 cup quinoa. there are several varieties so use any one.
2 tsp olive oil, or pat of unsalted butter.
2 cups liquid, such as broth or water. For the best flavor use a stock, just watch the sodium.
1/4 teaspoon salt. Again I suggest to salt just before serving to avoid over salting your dish.
Measure liquid out.
Rinse the quinoa. Place quinoa in a mesh strainer, and rinse with cool water. Swish the quinoa with your hand while rinsing, for at least 2 minutes under the running water. Drain thoroughly.
Dry and toast quinoa in saucepan, or skillet. Heat olive oil or butter in the saucepan over medium to high heat and add the quinoa.
Add liquid and bring to a rolling boil.
Lower heat to simmer and cook covered for 15 minutes.
Let stand covered for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork and add to whatever dish you’re making or eat it plain.
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