7 Essentials of Whole Grain Quinoa
Mild tasting, easy to prepare and packed with protein, this delicious whole grain can do just about anything! No wonder it's so trendy.
You’ve undoubtedly spotted quinoa on grocery store shelves and on restaurant menus. But if you’re still unsure about this tiny grain and its funny name, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s a primer on how to say it and delicious ways to prepare it.
1. What's in a name. Pronounced KEEN-wah, it's a slightly chewy, mildly flavored seed derived from a plant in the chard and spinach family. For all practical purposes, however, it’s treated like a grain.
2. Red or white? Both red and white varieties of quinoa can be used interchangeably in recipes. The red grain tends to have an earthier flavor and is harder to find.
3. Packed with protein. Like other whole grains, quinoa is high in fiber, vitamins and minerals. It’s also packed with protein, making it a popular vegan and vegetarian alternative to meat.
4. 15-min prep. Another part of quinoa’s growing popularity is its quick and easy cooking time—about 15 minutes from start to finish. The simplest preparation is one part quinoa to two parts water. Bring to a boil, simmer until light and fluffy and then season as desired.
5. Super substitute. Try quinoa as a substitute for rice, barley, bulgur or couscous in salads and side dishes. You may need to adjust the quantity of dressing or sauce because quinoa’s delicate and fluffy texture becomes soggy in too much liquid.
6. Weekly stock-up. Quinoa is delicious hot or cold. Make up a big batch of quinoa and store in the fridge for meals throughout the week.
7. Breakfast, lunch or dinner! For breakfast, try quinoa as a hot cereal with fruit and nuts (recipe below). For a hearty, healthy lunch, just add chopped veggies and your favorite vinaigrette. For dinner, toss quinoa with roasted root vegetables and pair with meat or fish.
Quinoa is delicious for breakfast, but there are many more uses for this high-protein whole grain.