Get Keen on Quinoa!

Quinoa

I still remember the first time I wandered over to New City Market to purchase quinoa. Not really knowing what to look for or how to pronounce it, (keen-wa) I purchased some in bulk and then headed home to find a way to make it. Over the past couple years I’ve tried a few different recipes so I thought I’d share one of the easier yet tasty ones below.

First things first, what’s so special about quinoa?

  • Gluten free
  • High in fiber
  • Complete source of protein

At first glance, quinoa resembles a grain but it is actually the seed of a green leafy plant cultivated in South America. While it has been around for a very long time, it recently has become a celebrated culinary staple because of the above listed benefits. In fact, the UN has designated 2013 as “The International Year of Quinoa.’ Talk about a big deal!

Blueberry Quinoa Salad (as pictured)
Bring 1 cup of quinoa and 1.5 cups of low-sodium vegetable broth to a boil. Cover and reduce to low heat for 20 minutes. Take off heat and let cool. Like pasta and rice, quinoa will expand once cooked.

In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, three cloves of minced garlic, 2 T of light olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Once quinoa is cooled, add this and mix well.

Top with 1.5 cups of blueberries, 3 T slivered almonds, and a bunch of fresh parsley.

Do you ever cook with quinoa? If so, what is your favorite recpie?