Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Meg- Quinoa it's whats for dinner!

Have you heard of Quinoa (KEEN-wah)?

It is a grain, similar to rice, it is gluten free and has a mild flavor and a little sweet.  It is higher in protein than rice or oatmeal, and has been a favorite food of vegetarians and vegans for a long time.  

It is finally hitting main stream supermarkets, but be careful, you could end up spending over $8 for a couple coups of it!  Check your local whole foods or co-op, I found mine at a co-op for $3.39 a pound.  

Tonight, I made a knock off of fried rice.  Yum!  

It is a little more involved to make than rice, but it isn't hard.  My brother gave me some wonderful tips on how to make it:

1 cup uncooked quinoa makes about 3 cups cooked.
Put 1 c quinoa in a bowl with about 2 c cool water and let soak anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour.  The point is to soften up the outside of the quinoa so it is easier to wash away.  It isn't a required step but it works nicely.

After soaking, take a whisk and stir up to agitate to remove the outside of the grain.  

Rinse well in a fine metal sieve.

Put the quinoa in a pan with about 3 c water and bring to a boil.  After it boils reduce to lowest heat setting and let simmer until fully cooked...about 20 minutes depending on how long you soaked it.  It is done when the grain opens up and it transparent.  Remove from pan and rinse.  

You can make a big batch and keep in the fridge then flavor to your liking at each meal.  It is wonderful as a salad, a side dish, or main dish.  

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