Known as the "mother of all grains," quinoa was considered sacred by the Inca culture. Today, this naturally whole grain is still considered miraculous in various Andean cultures, justified by looking at its nutritional value. Quinoa contains 12-18% fiber per 100 grams and it is gluten free. It contains essential amino acids and is the perfect grain for healthy recipes. Easy to cook and digest, enjoy mixing quinoa with your favorite dishes instead of rice or noodles.
How to prepare quinoa:
In a pot:
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup quinoa
Place quinoa and water in a 1 1/2 quart saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until all the water is absorbed (about 15 minutes).
You will know that the quinoa is done when all the grains have turned from white to transparent, and the spiral-like germ has separated. Makes 3 cups. Serve it as a rice substitute, or use it cold in salads.
In a rice cooker:
Treat quinoa like rice. Add two parts water to one part quinoa, stir, cover (unlike rice you can stir quinoa a few times while cooking to prevent burning in the bottom of the pan) and when the cooker shuts off, the quinoa is done.
In a microwave:
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
Combine water and quinoa in a 2 quart microwave safe bowl. Cook on high (100%) for 5 minutes and medium (60%) for 8 minutes. Let stand for a few minutes and voila, perfect quinoa.
For additional flavor, substitute chicken broth or vegetable stock for the water in any of the methods listed above.
As a hot, nutritious breakfast cereal:
Bring 2 cups water to a boil, add 1 cup quinoa, reduce heat, simmer 5 minutes. Add 1/2 cup thinly sliced apples, 1/3 cup raisins, 1/2 tsp cinnamon and simmer until water is absorbed. Serve with milk or cream and sweeten to taste with honey or brown sugar.
6 cups cooked quinoa
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1 cup almonds
1/2 cup carrot,diced
1/2 cup green onion, diced
1/4 cup celery, diced
1/4 cup green pepper, diced
1/4 cup sweet red pepper, diced
1 cup dry roasted almonds
Oregano and salt to taste
Sauté chopped vegetables in olive oil until clear. Add the mixture to hot quinoa, mixing well. Add salt and oregano to taste. Add almonds and mix. Serves 6-8. Quinoa pilaf served as a side dish with fish or chicken is delicious. Vary the pilaf using your favorite vegetables, or by cooking the quinoa in chicken, fish or vegetable stock instead of water.