Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Quinoa is an ancient grain that I became very interested in when I learned that it is a pretty complete protein source. It's also a great source of fiber, magnesium and iron. Since I'm always trying to make sure that our diet is complete, varied and interesting, I love to use quinoa in different ways. Quinoa can pretty much replace rice in every dish. You can make pilafs with it for a quick easy meal. It also makes a pretty delicious breakfast porridge. You can get quinoa at any health food store but I've found it for the best price in the bulk bins at Whole Foods.
To use quinoa, you must first rinse the grain off very well. It has a bitter coating that makes it pretty much inedible so you've got to get that off. I like to prepare quinoa right in my rice cooker. Since quinoa is pretty bland on it's own, I like to add things to it to bring out the flavor.
1 cup quinoa, well rinsed
2 cups water+ 2 tsp. vegetable broth powder or
2 cups vegetable broth
1/2 one red onion, diced finely
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp. Earth Balance buttery spread
Turn the rice cooker on and let it do its thing. Serve as an accompaniment to black bean soup or any other dish that you would serve with rice.
If you want to make porridge with the quinoa, prepare it in the rice cooker but don't add any spices. Once it's cooked, add milk (I use rice, hemp or almond milk), sweetener (I like maple syrup), nuts (crushed almonds work nicely), vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg. You can reduce the sweetener and add dried fruits like cranberries, raisins, or dried apples.
Quinoa is a fabulous addition to any cook's repertoire of healthy whole grains.