It's a Quinoa kind of day.

Have you heard the buzz about quinoa? It’s the new superfood that’s been around for hundreds of years.  If you haven’t heard the word (pronounced ‘keen-wah’) or seen it popping up on menus, then read on and become ‘in the know’.

Quinoa is an ancient pseudo-grain (it’s really a seed) from the Andean community in South America.  It is a complete protein, which means it contains all the essential amino acids your body needs, and it’s low in fat. Plus, it’s an anti-inflammatory food.

It’s my new favorite grain substitute for 3 reasons: first, it cooks super fast (12 minutes and it’s done!); second, it is a complete protein, cholesterol and gluten free; and third, it’s a super-flexible food that can be eaten at any meal of the day. Bonus: it keeps well in the fridge for leftovers. 

Quinoa does have a bitter tasting coating comprised of saponins, so if the package you purchase doesn’t say it’s already rinsed, then rise under cold water for about a minute before cooking.  I buy Bob’s Red Mill brand – it is ready to go straight from the package.

 Not sure where to start?  Here are a few ideas:

 7 Ways to Eat (cooked) Quinoa 

  1. Use instead of rice as a side dish for dinner
  2. Add a cup-full to a green salad
  3. Toss with roasted seasonal vegetables
  4. Go for a southwestern touch and toss with black beans, corn (organic and uncooked), chopped chiles, green onions, cotija cheese and a lime-olive oil dressing
  5. Try it for breakfast:  add warm almond milk, cinnamon, fresh blueberries, bananas and walnuts to cooked quinoa
  6. Scramble cooked quinoa with eggs, spinach, mushrooms and cheese for a tasty breakfast.
  7. Make a chilled quinoa salad by mixing with shredded chicken, red onions, goat cheese, arugula, pine nuts and a champagne vinaigrette dressing.

I’d love to hear what your favorite way is to eat quinoa… enjoy the eating!