whoa, quinoa

I love quinoa. I love quinoa. I love quinoa. Oh, by the way…have I mentioned that I love quinoa?

Ever since I gleefully flipped through the pages of my February 2011 issue of Real Simple magazine, scrolling through their list of the 30 healthiest foods, I have tried to incorporate them into our meals at home. I didn’t know how to say quinoa  (I now believe it is ‘kin-know-uh’, but if you get laughed at when you say it then you didn’t hear it from me), much less if it was any good. It is. Oh please, try it. There are a million ways to make it and each is delicious. The texture is beyond amazingly light and fluffy, and I promise that you won’t be eating it because it’s good for you. You will eat it because its more tasty than rice, and the fact that it just so happens to be wonderfully nutritious is an added bonus. It is a plant based protein (so it has all 9 essential amino acids) that parallels meat in its protein profile and is gluten free,  as well as low in fat and cholesterol. It is high in folate, B6, thiamin, iron, potassium, riboflavin…the list goes on. All I know is I’m in love.

This recipe is one I like to pair with Chicken Saltimbocca, which I will post soon. I will also post a recipe for Mexican Quinoa which I pair with these amazing white enchiladas. Keep your eye out for these very soon!

yummy quinoa (my basic recipe)

1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
½ cup raw pumpkin seeds
¼ cup pine nuts
¼ cup finely chopped onion
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
2 cloves garlic
¼ tsp salt
olive oil
  • In a saucepan or pot, bring the broth and salt to a boil. Add the quinoa and allow to get back to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes. The water should all be absorbed, and small holes should have formed on the surface of the grain. Let stand, covered, for 5 minutes, to finish steaming.
  • In a large sauté pan over high heat, dry toast the pumpkin seeds. Shaking the pan, move the seeds over the heat until they begin to pop. Remove from the heat and put them into a food processor or blender until coarsely ground but don’t over chop or it will become dust-like. In the same pan, toast the pine nuts briefly in a dry skillet over medium heat. This will take about 5 minutes, and stir constantly as they will burn easily. Set aside to cool.
  • Using the same pan once more, saute the garlic and onion in a little olive oil until tender.
  • Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl or the pan the quinoa cooked in, and enjoy!

* the pine nuts are the most expensive ingredient but so delicious, but the can be omitted if you prefer. There are several steps to this recipe, but it goes quickly and it sooo worth it. I combined my favorite parts of different recipes to make this one, wonderful, versatile quinoa dish.

*depending on the quinoa, some comes pre-washed and some doesn’t. When in doubt, rinse the quinoa and pat dry to ensure optimal taste.

One thought on “whoa, quinoa”

  1. I am pretty sure it’s pronounced “keen-wa” ? And, I, too LOVE it. I never make it myself, but it is in some frozen meals I “make”. =)

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