All you want to know about Quinoa

all you want to know about Quinoa

What is quinoa?

How do you cook Quinoa. The high-protein, gluten-free food. And how do you pronounce it?

It’s high in protein, gluten-free and incredibly versatile. But what exactly is quinoa, why should you eat it, and how do you cook it?
Even if you have never eaten it, it’s very likely that you’ll have come across quinoa in supermarket or on a restaurant menu. A healthy substitute for rice or couscous, it’s become popular enough to warrant the UN naming 2013 ‘International Quinoa Year’.
 
So, what exactly is quinoa, why is it good for you, and what can you do with it?

 

What exactly is quinoa and how do you pronounce it?

Pronounced ‘keen-wah’, the part that we eat is

the seeds from the flowering plant chenopodium quinoa, which originated in the Andean regions of South America and has been farmed for food for at least three millennia.

Although it looks similar, and is used as a substitute for, rice and couscous, it’s actually a closer relation of beetroot, chard and spinach. Unprocessed quinoa seeds are naturally bitter, which has the benefit of deterring birds from eating them while they are growing.

Why is quinoa considered healthy?

Firstly, it is a ‘complete protein’, containing all nine amino acids, and has twice the protein content of rice or barley. Additionally, it’s gluten and cholesterol-free, and is a source of calcium, manganese, dietary fiber, iron, zinc and magnesium. It’s also very easy to digest.

How do I cook quinoa?

It can be prepared much like rice. It might need soaking first. Check instructions on the packet. Then boil two cups of water for every cup of the seeds, and simmer for 10-15 minutes. As the seeds cook, they open up and release small white curls of grain. Remove from the heat and allow to stand for 4 minutes. Then fluff up with a fork.
 

How is quinoa eaten?

After cooking, quinoa should be fluffy but still have a slight ‘crunch’ to it. It has a mildly nutty flavor. It can be used as a substitute cereal. In a salad mixed with leaves or vegetables. As a side dish seasoned with salt, pepper and butter or oil. Or as a rice-like accompaniment to stews, stir-fries or curries. It can also be utilized in the making of vegetarian burgers. Or even as a baking grain to make bread or muffins.

Quinoa Salad

Quinoa salad

Quinoa

Quinoa is a protein-packed grain with all nine essential amino acids. Use it in salads, alongside beans, or as a breakfast cereal swap. This hearty autumnal quinoa salad is chock-full of cozy fall flavors. To save time, cook the quinoa in advance.

Ingredients

1 1/2 cup quinoa
Salt and ground black pepper
2 green onions, minced
1 carrot, shredded
1 cup frozen green peas, thawed
1 (15.5-oz.) can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup unsalted roasted peanuts
1/2 cup dried cranberries
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley

DIRECTIONS

1. Bring 3 cups of water to a boil in a saucepan. Add the quinoa and salt to taste. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer, cover and cook until the water has been absorbed, about 12 minutes.

2. Remove from the heat and transfer to a large bowl. Stir in the green onions, carrot and peas, and set aside to come to room temperature.

3. Add the beans, peanuts, cranberries, oil, vinegar and parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper and toss to combine.

Variation: Substitute cooked brown rice for the quinoa, or a different type of nut in place of the peanuts.

Autumn Quinoa Salad

Superfood Mac n’ Cheese Tomato nutritious Bowl

A Quinoa Mac n' Cheese Tomato BowlNew Way to eat superfood

Ingredients:

1/4 cup quinoa
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
2 tablespoons pignoli nuts
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup fresh spinach leaves
1/2 juice of fresh lemon
1/4 cup grated cheese of your choice (Kelly recommends a blend of Parmesan and Asiago)
4 organic beef steak tomatoes, top 1 inch sliced off, pulp and seeds scooped out

Directions:

Bring a pot of lightly salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the quinoa, and cook until it is tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain in a mesh strainer, and rinse until cold; set aside. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat, stir in pignoli nuts, and cook until lightly toasted, about 2 minutes. Stir in the garlic, and cook until the garlic softens, about 2 minutes. Stir in the quinoa and spinach; cook and stir until the mix is hot, and the spinach has wilted. Stir in the lemon juice, and the cheese. Meanwhile place tomatoes in a baking dish and place sliced top back on top of the tomato. Place in broiler for 5 minutes until softens slightly, but still remains intact. Take tomatoes out and place the quinoa mixture inside the tomato, like a bowl, and serve.

Makes 4 servings. Per serving (1 bowl): 155 calories,
9g fat (1.6g saturated), 14.8g carbohydrates, 2.1g fiber, 82mg sodium, 5.3g protein

Recipe provided by Lauren Kelly Nutritionist

 

 

Cooking instructions for Quinoa

Quinoa is a brilliant, tasty sub grain, packed with both protein and fibre – and it’s also gluten-free.

Dress simply while still hot with lime or lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil and a little sea salt and black pepper, and you’ve got the foundations for a delicious meal. Nutty and fluffy, it’s a great alternative to rice, served with chicken or fish, or livened up with simple, fresh ingredients to make a satisfying salad.

But with so many different grains out there, each with their own cooking method, it can be confusing to know how to cook each one properly for ultimate flavor and texture. Never fear, we’ve got quinoa covered! Follow our easy step-by-step guide below, then check out this quinoa, feta & broad bean salad recipe to turn it into a delicious lunch.

PERFECT QUINOA STEP BY STEP

Rinse the quinoa under cold running water to remove its bitter flavour
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Tip into a pan and add double the amount of salted water
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Place over a medium heat and bring to the boil
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Reduce to a simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, or until tender and the liquid is absorbed
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Fluff it up with a fork, then pimp it
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You might have some leftovers?  …… Cold, leftover quinoa is a brilliant filler in nut roasts or veggie burgers, too.