I recently attended a talk-slash-lunch on nutritious eating, and on the menu was something I had never tried before. It looked a little like couscous, tasted a little like rice, and yet was neither: it was quinoa (“keen-wa”).
I had seen it before on the shelf of my local health food store, but the truth was that it looked a little too much like birdseed to me. What a revelation, then, to discover just how absolutely delicious and satisfying this pseudo-cereal is.
Despite its similarity to rice and couscous, quinoa is not a grain- it’s a grain-like crop that is closely related to beets and spinach. Seriously. And it’s nutritious: high protein, high in essential amino acids, high in fiber, phosphorous, magnesium and iron, it’s also gluten-free. Yay!
Yes, it looks like birdseed. But birdseed never tasted this good. And once you try cooking it this way, you’ll love it:
1 cup quinoa
1 cup water
1 cup broth of your choice (chicken, pork, beef, vegetable, etc.!)
Put quinoa, water and broth in a deep saucepan, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook about 15 minutes. You want the quinoa to absorb all the liquid, and its grains to become transparent.
Serve with a stir-fry of fresh vegetables.