Saturday, February 27, 2010

Looks like birdseed... but oh so good. It's Quinoa.

I've heard so much about quinoa lately as I learn about GF diets. I've always thought it looked like birdseed or couscous. Surely it doesn't taste like birdseed right? Do I even know what birdseed tastes like? Thankfully no... but if it tastes as good as Quinoa I'd cook it too.

Turns out it's the "complete protein". Unlike wheat and rice, it is rich in Lysine which is an essential nutrient in muscle and tissue health. It's also high in magnesium and iron. Lately I've noticed a 4lb bag of it at Costco for $9.99... so why not try it? It's organic too!

We were having dinner with good friends and luckily they're always gracious enough to let us experiment. We cooked Salmon with a BBQ honey glaze, boiled and then sauteed kale with garlic & olive oil, and made the quinoa with sun dried tomatoes, carrots, onion & garlic.

I cooked the quinoa as directed for 4 servings. Boil water, let simmer for 15 minutes and voila! your done. Be careful to rinse the quinoa before you cook it. It has a natural coating called saponin that repels insects and birds and can create a bitter taste. Rinsing with warm water removes the saponin. I did have a hard time rinsing it because my colander let the seeds go right through it. I ended up rinsing them several times in a bowl by carefully letting the water out without losing too many seeds. I'm sure there's a better way - if you have suggestions please comment!

In a small skillet with olive oil, I sauteed:
1 C shredded organic carrot
1/2 of a small yellow organic onion (diced)
2 cloves of minced organic garlic
sea salt to taste
My friends and I love garlic so feel free to adjust that for your taste. I sauteed until everything was tender and then threw in about 10-15 small sun dried tomatoes from Trader Joe's. You want to wait to throw these in because they don't need to be cooked, just heated through.

Now I combined everything together with the quinoa and mixed it up. In hindsight I think I'd rather have plated the quinoa and topped it with the veggies. But either way you do it... it's delicious! Definitely healthy & everything was organic except the sun dried tomatoes.

For more recipes you can go to the Quinoa cookbook here:
They're also on Twitter @quinoacookbook. They've asked me to submit this recipe and you can find lots of really awesome ideas on their homepage or twitter feed! If you have a favorite Quinoa recipe they're asking that you share it with them. There's a link on their site!

1 comment:

  1. I love quinoa... I have quinoa and black beans for lunch this week - YUM! :-)