I have been enjoying the taste and the benefits of this little seed for almost twenty years now, and although it is not a common item found in most kitchens today, perhaps it will find a home in yours, once you learn how wonderful it can be for your health!
When I first began eating Quinoa I thought that it must be a grain, but I was surprised to learn that it is actually a seed that is closely related to Beets, Spinach and Swiss Chard and that it was once considered the 'gold' of the Incas because it notably increased the stamina of their warriors!
Because I love history I was fascinated as to why I had to hear about this food from a nutritionist and not find it on the tables of families and friends, and it's because that although Quinoa has been grown in Peru and Chile and Bolivia for over 5,000 years, it was not until 1980, when two Americans discovered the concentration of nutrients in Quinoa, that they were given permission to bring it back to Colorado and to try and cultivate it there.
My Italian sister-in-law says that when cooked, Quinoa reminds her, in looks, of cous-cous, yet the taste of Quinoa is somewhat 'nutty' and it has a really nice fluffy texture. But here is the thing... Quinoa is packed with high PROTEIN, and not only that, but the protein found in Quinoa is a complete protein meaning that it includes all nine of the essential amino acids, particularly lysine which is essential for tissue growth and repair!
Quinoa is also known for other nutrients essential for good health like manganese, magnesium, iron, copper and phosphorus. I remember a nutritionist telling me that Quinoa was not only a good food choice for everyone, but particularly those suffering with migraine headaches, because of its high content of magnesium and riboflavin. It is also a good choice for promoting better cardiovascular health, particularly in menopausal women; and because of its content of copper and manganese, Quinoa is an excellent antioxidant... and it is a great source of insoluble fibre! And there was an article that came out of the New England Journal of Medicine a few years ago that stated that Quinoa has the ability to substantially lower the risk of Type 2 Diabetes due to its high concentration of lignans.
I think you get my drift... Quinoa is good for you!
My favorite way to have it is with my dinner meal, a great substitute for starchy white potatoes! Sometimes I'll just place a cup of cooked Quinoa in the middle of my plate and then place my favorite steamed vegetables over top. I love to serve it along side a serving of chicken wings and another favorite dish of mine, Beets and Kabachi Squash. I won't be offended if you do not say YUM! with me, but really, unless you've tried it, don't be too quick to knock it!
As far a getting your hands on some Quinoa, try your local health food store, and when you get it home I would suggest placing it in a plastic freezer bag and storing it in the freezer to prolong its freshness (8 to 9 months).
Making it is a snap, just rinse it under cold water in a sieve and then place in a pot with water, the ratio being 1 part Quinoa to 2 parts water, bring to boil, turn down to simmer, cover and remove from heat when soft and fluffy (approx. 15-20 minutes).
Then serve with a few chopped green onions and peas tossed through, or get creative and come up with your own way to implement it into your meals. Remember, it's 'To Your Health!'
P.S. This is just the coolest thing... my youngest son, knowing what my posting subject was today, said that he was watching a football game on TV a few days ago and the quarterback was talking about his healthy diet and credited his new found strength and stamina to.... QUINOA! (I'm just sayin'...)