I have been on a quinoa kick for the last couple years.
It has become a staple in my kitchen, replacing pasta and rice in many of my meals.
And for a pasta lover like me that’s a big deal!
But I really do like it. It’s easy to make and very versatile. And when I heard about the health benefits I was sold.
Quinoa is considered to be a super food. It is a whole grain, and a complete protein, meaning it contains all nine essential amino acids. Plus it is very high in fibre, and other essential vitamins and minerals. And it is naturally gluten-free.
For a tiny little seed, it sure does deliver!
The traditional way of preparing it is to rinse it well, then add the quinoa to a pot of boiling water, at a ratio of 1 part quinoa to two parts water. Cook it on low, covered, for 15 minutes. Let it sit for another 5 minutes and it’s ready.
You can use it cooked this way in both savoury and sweet dishes.
I like to take it up a flavour notch,when using quinoa for a mealtime recipe. Simply by replacing the required water with broth or coconut milk, and adding herbs and spices.
Try it plain, or get creative. Add your favourite veggies, chicken, pork, beef, shrimp…pretty well anything goes.
QUINOA FOR SAVOURY DISHES
*makes 4 cups cooked Quinoa
1 cup quinoa
1 tsp olive oil
2 cups water
1 bouillon cube or 2 tsps chicken stock powder
1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed
1/2 tsp dried thyme
Rinse quinoa well in a fine mesh sieve. Drain well and set aside.
Heat oil in a medium pan over med-high heat, add quinoa and cook 3 minutes stirring often to lightly toast the seeds.
Add 2 cups water, stir and bring to a boil.
Add bouillon, garlic and herbs, stir well, lower heat to low cover and cook for 15 minutes.
Remove from heat, let sit for 5 minutes.
Use immediately or transfer to a storage container and refrigerate until needed.
QUINOA WITH CHICKEN, PEPPERS, OLIVES AND GOAT CHEESE
*makes 4 side servings or 2 main entrees
2 cups cooked quinoa
1 cup cubed cooked chicken
1/2 cup thinly sliced roasted red peppers
1/4 cup chopped assorted olives
1/4 cup goat cheese
1 tbsp finely chopped parsley
2 tsps olive oil
To a medium, microwave safe bowl add quinoa, chicken, peppers and olives and stir until well combined.
Heat in microwave for about 1-2 minutes.
Crumble goat cheese over top and garnish with parsley and olive oil and serve warm.