If you haven’t tried quinoa yet, you are really missing out. Quinoa cooks as easily and more quickly than rice, and is great made in batches as it reheats well without getting soggy or dry. Not to mention quinoa has a great, nutty taste that blows plain old rice out of the water. Why bother adding quinoa to your regular repertoire? Well, it’s the only grain that offers a complete protein (meaning – like meat – it doesn’t need to be combined with other foods to be digested by your body as a protein) and has a higher, healthy fat content than other grains.
(Note: It’s pronounced KEEN-WAH, not KIN-O-AH, in case you’ve been wondering.)
In fact, quinoa is actually a seed; however, those who are limiting grains or eliminating ALL grains might also omit quinoa as it has a grain-like ability to irritate the gut in those who are sensitive. For the rest of us, let the quinoa flow! Just kidding… you can’t eat it all day long. The only thing I recommend you eat all day long is coffee. And spinach – I’m pretty sure it is physically impossible to eat too much spinach.
I don’t recommend eating ANY grain (or grainlike seed, in this case) day after day after day, as intolerances can develop when you don’t vary your diet. But adding quinoa to your weekly routine is a really effective way to answer that old question, “What’s for lunch?” Quinoa tastes great cold or hot and can easily be added to any number of lunchtime salad combinations to up your protein intake & fill you up with fiber!
Yummy Garlicky Quinoa (serve cold or hot)
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1 3/4 cups chicken, beef or vegetable stock (no added salt)
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed but still intact
- 1 bay leaf
- pinch salt
- drizzle olive oil
Note: Most quinoa these days is already rinsed for you, but if you are concerned about bitter taste, consider soaking for a few minutes in cold water and then straining in a fine sieve before cooking. I don’t bother, most times.
1. Combine quinoa, stock, garlic & bay leaf in medium saucepan over medium-high heat. 2. Cover tightly, bring to a soft boil, then reduce to low & simmer 15 minutes. 3. Fluff with a fork & rest, covered, 5 minutes. 4. Drizzle lightly with olive oil & season.
Leftover quinoa makes a great school lunch for little ones and work lunch for big ones, too! Combine a small serving of meat or fish, or simply add a variety of veggies and perhaps some peas or other legumes for an extra protein punch.
Try it in place of rice when you serve stir fries, meatballs, stews, or add to homemade soups!
Do you have a favourite quinoa recipe?