November 5, 2012

Quinoa: A Love Story

Quinoa, lettuce, arugula, avocado, and two snap peas. Tossed in dijon vinaigrette.
I know, I'm totally late to the party. But I love quinoa!

Quinoa is a grain that is extremely easy to make and will become a favorite of yours in the kitchen in no time. The flavor is slightly nutty, and the texture is fluffy and just a tad chewy; think tiny grains of soft rice, but better. It's rich in all sorts of minerals (manganese, iron, magnesium, copper, and phosphorous)—not to mention it's a super protein that boasts all the essential amino acids.

Shop in the bulk bins: a pound of organic quinoa will run you around $4, and that'll go a long way.

So if you're not already a fan, jump aboard the quinoa train. Oh, and since I struggled with this: it's pronounced keen-WAH. I called it kee-NOAH for quite a while before standing (gently) corrected.

One of my favorite ways to eat quinoa is with kale, goat cheese, and roasted sweet potatoes. But last night I served it alongside herbed salmon and a garden salad, a spot that normally would be reserved for brown rice.

Today's lunch was surprisingly delicious. Our lettuce in the garden is beginning to flourish and I tossed it with arugula, parsley, avocado, and the leftover quinoa from last night, in a homemade dijon vinaigrette. The textures and flavors came together beautifully, and my lunch was packed with superfoods: healthy fats from the avocado, good proteins from the quinoa, and vitamins from the leafy greens. Simply delicious and deliciously simple.

If you're ready to try quinoa, I highly recommend this how-to from The Kitchn. It works every time!

This glowing endorsement of quinoa was not paid for by any kind of super pac.