Quinoa a Different Whole Grain with Portobello and Peas

Why not Quinoa a Different Whole Grain !

QuinoaDomaineLion with Portobello and PeasDoesn’t the sound of mushroom risotto just pull you by the taste-buds? Creamy rice, earthy morsels of mushrooms, and often sweet peas buried in between. This luscious dish appears on so many restaurant menus as a standard option, perhaps due to its vegetarian-friendly disposition, and I’m tempted to make it on chillier nights when I feel like eating somewhat “light.” But it requires patience, attention, and some good stock to cook well, three things I don’t always have on weeknights.
Risotto doesn’t require, but is commonly drowned in butter or some other rich dairy products by chefs to avoid blandness. I’ve got a few different solutions for that, which has resulted in an entirely different, deconstructed dish from its inspiration.

Choose A Different Whole Grain:

Something you don’t eat often, so the novelty factor will add excitement. I went with quinoa, which is actually a seed, but cooks quickly to a nutty-tasting fluff. This was the most time-efficient option I could think of — save for couscous, which is not a grain but tiny semolina pasta. Quinoa is also exceptionally nutritious. If you’re up for a longer spell at the stove, here’s my recipe for “risotto” with spelt.

Build Flavor by Searing:

No sad, soggy bits of mushrooms this time around; I went for fat strips of portobello, which were lightly scored before searing on a pan. The scoring part just adds more edges to the surface that will become crisper. Giving mushrooms a good sear in any case brings out their rich flavor and adds textural contrast.

Try Crisp Shallots Instead of Softened Onions: Sweating chopped onions in butter or olive oil over low heat until translucent is one major time-suck in making risotto. It’s like a ritual that, once you get past this stage, the illusion of eating soon has been dashed. I’ve been there many times, resigned to my fate of standing over the stove for some time. But I’ve grown an appreciation for crisp, fresh tidbits that take no time to cook like shallots, which are milder and sweeter than large onions and a little of them goes a long way. This ingredient veers the final dish a little toward a quinoa salad or pilaf, as its flavor is not really integrated in the grains.

Heap on the Fresh Herbs Instead of Butter: Why stop at a sprinkle of parsley when you’ve gone and purchased a whole bunch, or have a plant bearing leaves ready to pluck? Pile on the green, flavor-enhancing goodness then, and mix it up with more types, like oregano, thyme, mint, sage, chives, or basil, like I’ve added here. (My spring herb pots are sitting pretty now; we’ll see how they hold up through the summer.)

Add A Squeeze of Lemon :

Okay, this might be officially a salad rather than anything close to a risotto, but a dash of fresh lemon juice really spruces up most anything. Especially meaty, browned mushrooms, which have no acidity of their own. Just another way to avoid barraging your dish with butter and build dimension. I just wish lemons weren’t so dang expensive on the East Coast.

In the end, we’ve come a long way from creamy-textured, pallid-colored risotto (and I do say that description in an endearing way). Instead, we have a warm quinoa dish with big chunks of mushroom and colorful contrasts, which took about ten minutes to make. We’ve also accomplished adding more protein (thanks to the quinoa, and plenty of peas) while making it not only vegetarian but vegan-friendly. This one certainly makes up for the Cinco de Mayo parties I attended over the weekend (did I mention parsley is very detoxifying, too?). Hope it’s a great fix for your time constraints and healthful aspirations in the kitchen, too.

Quinoa a Different Whole Grain with Portobello Mushrooms and Peas

(makes 2 servings)

1 1/2 cups boiling water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup quinoa
1 portobello mushroom, stem trimmed and sliced to 1/4 – 1/2″ slices
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup peas, fresh or frozen
1 small shallot, finely chopped
about 1/2 cup packed herbs, such as parsley, basil, thyme, oregano, mint and/or chives
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
extra tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling (optional)

Bring the water and ¼ teaspoon salt to a boil in a small saucepan. Add the quinoa and stir. Reduce heat to a low simmer and cover. Cook 6-8 minutes, or until the water has been absorbed. Stir and set aside.

Gently score a cross-hatch pattern onto one side of each mushroom slice. Heat the 2 Tb oil in a heavy-bottomed skillet over high heat until very hot. Place the mushrooms scored side-down in the oil and let cook for about 1 minute. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Peek underneath, and once the bottom sides of the mushrooms are golden-brown, flip to brown the opposite side, another 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Meanwhile, bring another small pot of water to a boil and drop in the peas. Cook 2-3 minutes, or until peas are just floating and deeply green. Drain.

Toss the quinoa with about half the chopped shallots, peas and fresh herbs. Season with salt and pepper to taste and stir in about half the lemon juice. Assemble the mushroom slices and remaining peas on top, and garnish with the remaining herbs, shallots, lemon juice, and optional drizzle of olive oil.

Health Factor

Two brownie points: Full of fiber, folate, iron and protein, Quinoa a Different Whole Grain. A great grain – er, seed – to get familiar with. It’s such an easy substitute for rice and other grains that take longer to cook. You’ll also get protein from the peas, and plenty of vitamins and minerals from the copious amount of fresh herbs. This is a spring power meal, with no cholesterol and low fats.

by Cathy Erway


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.

Foodsecurity Quinoa genome accelerates solutions



An international team of scientists, including quinoa breeding experts from Wageningen University & Research, published the complete DNA sequence of quinoa. Quinoa is the food crop that is conquering the world (Nature magazine on 8 February 2017). Quinoa is rich in essential amino acids and nutritional fibres. It does not contain gluten. The crop is important to farmers as it provides a reasonable yield. Even on poor soils. The new knowledge about quinoa DNA is already being used by breeders who are developing quinoa varieties. These grow well in saline soil and still meet the taste requirements of consumers.

The scientists determined the sequence of the DNA-building blocks of the entire quinoa genome. The total length of the DNA, the ‘genome’, consists over a little over 1.3 billion DNA building blocks (the nucleotides A, C, G or T), divided over 18 chromosomes. Printed on paper this would add up to over 500,000 pages of text.

To map the DNA building blocks, the scientists used a smart combination of various DNA sequencing techniques. While this enabled them to put together ever-larger DNA segments in the computer from the huge amount of DNA information available, it did not lead to the 18 segments which represent the 18 chromosomes. The scientists therefore applied genetic maps that were made by crossbreeding plants to determine how molecular markers were inherited by the offspring. This allowed them to place most of the DNA on 18 large DNA-strains, representing the quinoa chromosomes.

Robert van Loo, expert in quinoa breeding at Wageningen University & Research. He says it was this combination that allowed the scientists to clearly map the DNA. “We were able to determine the location on the chromosome of no less than 85% of the DNA-sequence. This is a major benefit for plant breeders.”

Provided by: Wageningen University search and more info website
search and more info

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.


Rinse the quinoa under cold running water to remove its bitter flavour

Tip into a pan and add double the amount of salted water

Place over a medium heat and bring to the boil

Reduce to a simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, or until tender and the liquid is absorbed

Fluff it up with a fork, then pimp it
You might have some leftovers?  …… Cold, leftover quinoa is a brilliant filler in nut roasts or veggie burgers, too.

Recipe : Hot and Zesty Quinoa


TOTAL TIME for this recipe : 25 min.
MAKES: 4 servings
Recipe ingredients
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can (10 ounces) diced tomatoes and green chilies
  • 2 tablespoons chopped marinated quartered artichoke hearts
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  1. In a small saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add quinoa. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 12-15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Remove from the heat; fluff with a fork.
  2. In a large skillet, saute onion in oil until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Add tomatoes and green chilies. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Stir in quinoa and artichoke; heat through. Sprinkle with cheese. Yield: 4 servings.
photo and recipe by Taste of Home
For more Quinoa recipes click here.

PUFFED Morocco Quinoa

Rinse the quinoa and drain well.
Put the quinoa in a dry pan and set on fire.
Stirring leaves you dry quinoa.
When the quinoa as well as dry you pour a little olive oil and stir through.
Toast the quinoa in about 10 minutes until crisp and golden.
Stir occasionally intervening to make the quinoa cooks evenly and puffs and prevent burn in this way.
When you hear the quinoa literally puffing you know that the quinoa is ready.
Taste it first cautious one and if you quinoa crunchy and delicious than you spoon the quinoa on a plate and let cool.

MoroccoQuinoa® in rice paper rolls

Create a kaleidoscope of color and flavor with these rice paper rolls which are gluten free, low in fat and kilo-joules.


  • 100g (1/2 cup) MoroccoQuinoa®
  • 225ml water
  • 30g palm sugar, finely chopped
  • 5 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon tamarind puree
  • 1 small garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • 3/4 teaspoon fresh ginger, finely grated
  • 400g beef rump steak
  • 2 green shallots, thinly sliced
  • 12 rice paper sheets, 22cm in diameter
  • 1 long fresh red chilli, thinly sliced diagonally
  • 12 large fresh mint leaves
  • 150g bean sprouts
  • 12 fresh coriander sprigs Select all ingredients


  • Step 1
    Place MoroccoQuinoa® and 185ml (3/4 cup) water in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Bring to a simmer. Simmer, stirring, for 10-12 minutes or until quinoa is tender. Cool slightly.
  • Step 2
    For sauce, place sugar, fish sauce, tamarind, garlic and remaining water in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Simmer for 2 minutes or until thickened slightly. Transfer to a bowl. Stir in juice and ginger. Cool.
  • Step 3
    Heat a chargrill over medium-high heat. Spray steak with olive oil. Season. Cook, turning, for 4 minutes for medium or until cooked to your liking. Rest for 4 minutes. Thinly slice.
  • Step 4
    Stir shallot and 3 tsp sauce into quinoa. Dip 1 rice paper sheet in cold water for 10 seconds or until starting to soften. Drain on a clean tea towel. Place on a work surface. Place 2 chilli slices and a mint leaf along centre. Top with a little quinoa mixture, bean sprouts, steak and coriander. Fold in ends. Roll up firmly to enclose filling. Repeat with remaining sheets. Serve with the remaining dipping sauce.


    • 1618 kj
    • 8g
    • 2g
    • 3g
    • 33g
    • 43g
    All nutrition values are per serve


    For a tasty Asian dressing, combine a little of the leftover tamarind with lemon juice, fresh lemongrass, brown sugar and fish sauce.

Author: Katrina Woodman. Image credit: Jeremy Simons.

Product availability and info of MoroccoQuinoa® ; Email to domainelion@gmail.com or Whatsapp, call 00212 6 5259 1798



Quinoa’s genetic secrets revealed

Quinoa, the sacred “mother grain” of the ancient Inca civilisation suppressed by Spanish conquistadors, could become an increasingly important food source in the future thanks to genetic secrets revealed in a new study.

Scientists said they have mapped the genome of quinoa and identified a gene that could be manipulated to get rid of the grain’s natural bitter taste and pave the way for more widespread commercial use.

Quinoa already grows well in harsh conditions such as salty and low-quality soil, high elevations and cool temperatures, meaning it can flourish in locales where common cereal crops like wheat and rice may struggle. But the presence of toxic and bitter chemicals called saponins in its seeds has been one of the impediments to extensive cultivation.

Plant scientist Mark Tester of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia said the research pinpointed a gene that guides production of saponins in quinoa. This knowledge could enable breeding of quinoa without saponins, to make the seeds sweeter. Currently, quinoa grain must be processed through washing and drying after harvest to remove saponins.

“Quinoa is currently greatly under-utilised,” said Tester, who led the research published in the journal Nature. “It is highly nutritious, with a high protein content that, importantly, has a very good balance of amino acids, which is unusual for our major grains. It is gluten free and high in vitamins and minerals, too.”

Increased quinoa production could improve food security on a planet with unrelenting human population growth, Tester said. There are potential disadvantages to reducing saponins, perhaps increasing susceptibility to fungal infections or bird predation, Tester added.

Quinoa, which boasts a nutty flavour, can be used the same ways as rice and wheat. It can be cooked and served on its own, turned into pasta, put in soups, eaten as a cereal or fermented to ake beer or chicha, a beverage of the Andes. The crop was sacred to the ancient Incas, who called it “chisoya mama,” or the “mother grain.”


Veggie-Quinoa Soup

                                                                                                                  ACTIVE TIME 45 mins. TOTAL TIME 55 mins.

YIELD Serves 8 (serving size: 1 1/3 cups).

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup diced white onion
  • 1/4 cup diced carrot
  • 1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 6 cups unsalted chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup diced russet potato
  • 1/4 cup diced peeled sweet potato
  • 1/4 cup diced peeled celery root
  • 1/2 cup diced zucchini
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced Brussels sprouts
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

How to Make It                                                                                                                Preheat oven to 325°F.

  1. Spread quinoa in a thin layer on a rimmed baking sheet; bake at 325°F until browned, about 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.
  2. Heat a large stockpot over medium. Add oil. Add onion, carrot, bell pepper, and garlic; cover and cook 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. Uncover and stir in rosemary and cumin; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in stock, potatoes, celery root, and toasted quinoa. Increase heat to high; bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to medium; cook 12 minutes. Stir in zucchini and Brussels sprouts; cook until vegetables and quinoa are tender, about 2 minutes. Stir in parsley and salt.
Product availability and info ; Email to domainelion@gmail.com or Whats-app, call 00212 6 5259 1798
Photo: Greg Dupree; Styling: Ginny Branch Stelling

Healthy Vegan Quinoa Pancakes

Healthy Vegan Quinoa Pancakes

Ingredients:1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp maple syrup
pinch of salt
1 ½ cup of vegan milk with 1 tbsp vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp coconut oil
½ cup dry quinoa
1 tbsp vegan butter

Maple syrup for topping


Cook ½ dry quinoa in 1 ½ cups of water until the quinoa is nice and fluffy about 15 minutes.
Combine the milk with the vinegar and set aside for a few minutes. Meanwhile sift all the dry ingredients into a large bowl and combine.
In the bowl with the milk add the maple syrup, vanilla and oil and stir well.
Add the quinoa to the dry ingredients and combine the liquids with the dry ingredients and mix.
Heat a pan with vegan butter or coconut oil and drop 3 tbsp worth of batter into the pan. Cook until bubbles form on the top and the sides turn brown, then flip and cook for another minute on medium heat.
Serve on a plate and drizzle with syrup if you like.