Monday, February 22, 2010

Pronounced "Keen Wa"

Spelled "Quinoa". This little gem of a whole grain can be used at breakfast, or as a side dish for any meal.
Quinoa has ancient origins, dating back over 5000 years to the Incas in Bolivia.

It's a great choice for breakfast:

My wife Bev likes to rinse and massage the quinoa in a fine mesh colander before cooking. She's read this gives it a nicer flavor.
For 2-3 people use 1 cup uncooked quinoa (approximate).
Combine 1 cup water to each 1/2 cup quinoa in a pan. Bring to a full boil uncovered for 5 minutes, then cover and set aside for 15 minutes. We put a thick towel over ours to hold in the heat.
That's it!

We add a natural, healthy sweetener. A favorite is to add a small handful of cut up, pitted deglet noor dates or barhis or medjools (or any kind of dates, raisins or cut up dried fruit) with the water at the beginning of the cooking process.
Good moist, sweet dates are so wonderful!! Nature's caramels!!
Or mash 1/2 banana in your bowl, then stir in the cooked quinoa.
Or add cut up fresh fruit of any kind and/or cut up raw, unsalted, unroasted nuts- almonds, pecans, or walnuts.
We pour on a little rice or soy milk.

For lunch or supper use quinoa in salads, soups, or as a side dish. Diced vegetables can be added in the beginning with the cooking water for a quinoa pilaf- peas, mushrooms, corn, diced onions, or any veggie. For more flavor try substituting vegetable stock for the water.

Quinoa is very versatile. The only negative is that it is expensive. Catch it when it is on sale! It can be purchased at natural food stores in bulk, or packaged. It comes in white or red. Sometimes I live on the edge and combine half and half. Ha!

I hope you give it a try. Let me know what you think.