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Krisha

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Maria

Quinoa

by Maria on April 10, 2012

Quinoa, pronounced keen-WAH, is a seed that looks and cooks like a grain. In addition to being higher in protein than most grains, it's also high in many other nutrients, such as iron and the amino acid lysine. 

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Quinoa has a nutty taste to it. And, like most grains, it's extremely versatile. You can cook it and eat it as you would oatmeal, make it into a risotto, serve it as a salad, or even add it to pancakes. 

I think I first read about quinoa almost 10 years ago, but it wasn't until recently that I really started to cook with it. Intrigued by its similarity to other well-loved grains, yet higher than usual protein content, I thought its completeness would be perfect for my grain-loving family. 

How to Cook Quinoa

Quinoa should be rinsed before it is cooked. Then, for every cup of quinoa add 1 1/4 cups water. Combine both in a saucepan, bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes. One cup of dried quinoa makes for servings.

One serving of quinoa (1/4 cup dried) has 6 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber, and 20% of daily iron needs. 

To make a simple tabouli-like quinoa salad:

  • Cook 1 cup of quinoa. Fluff and let cool. Transfer to a bowl.
  • Add 1/2 cup diced red onion, 2 teaspoons minced garlic, 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, the juice of 1 lime, and 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley. Season with Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. 

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For lunch today, I started with the above salad as my base and then added some leftover rotisserie chicken, sliced avocado, and baby spinach. It was a delicious and complete meal in itself! Of course, as I was eating it I thought of all the other great things that I could add to it, perhaps some goat or feta cheese, diced bell peppers, and a splash of vinegar. The possibilities are endless, which means that quinoa salad of some sort is sure to become a regular on my menu.

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Comments:

Posted by Stephanie Curtis on
I can't wait to try this!
Posted by Cecilia on
Yum! We're having quinoa for dinner tonight...just simmered in salted water to go with mustard roasted cod. Will make lunch salad of the leftovers tomorrow!
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