Have you ever heard of Quinoa (Keen-wah)? I hadn’t until I started food blogging and then I started to see the use of this wonderful little grain or seed spring up all over the place. Let’s talk about what it is and why you might want to try it out in your diet.
- Quinoa may be new to you and me but it dates back to the Inca Indian civilization some 3000-4000 years ago where it was grown in the Andean Regions of Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, and Columbia.
- The dried form of quinoa looks like bird seeds, but when cooked they break open and the texture of cooked quinoa can be compared to couscous but with a slightly nutty flavor.
- If you are a gluten free or a vegetarian then most likely you’ve heard of this power packed grain or seed. For those of us that are new to quinoa you will be interested to know that it’s high in protein tipping the scale at 14 grams per 3.5 ounce, but that’s not all it has going for it.
- Quinoa has good quantities of calcium, phosphorus, and iron plus all 9 essential amino acids. We should be including quinoa in our diets more often to get the great health benefits it offers.
- How do you cook quinoa? It’s simple, just like you would cook rice and the cooking liquid can be easily exchanged for broth or stock to give it added flavor.
- If your curious where to find this little powerful grain just check your grocery store or health food market. I’ve included some links to other ways of using quinoa at the bottom of my post so don’t forget check them out.
Greek Quinoa Salad
1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 1/2 cup chicken broth
1 carrot shredded
1/2 a cucumber sliced
1 large tomato chopped
1 small can of black olives sliced or kalamata olives pitted and sliced
2 green onions sliced
3-4 oz. feta cheese
2 T. chopped parsley
Greek Vinaigrette from:Dinners, Dishes and Desserts and Simply Scratch
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (2-3 lemons)
1 clove garlic, grated
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp fresh black pepper
Step 1: Wash the quinoa by rinsing under cold water. Then in medium saucepan heat the chicken broth until it comes to a boil, then add the quinoa. Stir the quinoa let it come to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for about 10-20 minutes to let the liquid soak in.
Step 2: While the quinoa cools prepare the vegtables by washing, and slicing and putting into a medium-large serving bowl.
Step 3: Make the Greek vinaigrette by combining all the ingredients and shaking vigorously.
Step 4: When quinoa is cool, add it to the bowl with the vegtables, then add 1/2 cup of vinaigrette and toss gently. Taste salad and adjust seasonings then refrigerate until ready to serve.
If you liked this recipe then you might enjoy these recipes from some other great food bloggers:
First photo courtesy of Istock