Quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) is one of my favorite, favorite things to cook. I probably eat it about 4-5 times a week, and both Hank and I absolutely love it. I mention it a lot on this blog and I swear I even posted how to cook it before but I can't seem to find that post! But one of the main questions I often get after "what on earth IS it?" is, "how on earth do you cook it?!" I grew up eating it, so it's normal to me, but for most people it's definitely not a common dish and might even seem a bit intimidating to tackle. Surprisingly though, it's very quick and simple to prepare. Quinoa is an interesting little power food; it's protein content is high (at close to 18%), and unlike rice or wheat/rice products, quinoa contains a complete set of awesome amino acids. It's very rare that a plant-based food supplies all nine of the acids, and it even includes lysine, which makes it a complete protein. What does this mean for you? If you are a vegetarian or vegan, or just someone who wants to be a little healthier, quinoa is an incredibly healthy option that you can eat in place of heavy pastas, or even enjoy as a main dish. We've used it in many different ways including but not limited to: stuffed peppers, in place of spaghetti with a super chunky homemade sauce, a simple version with just sea salt and butter, cooked in vegetable broth to kick up the flavor, baked in spiced quinoa cakes, the list goes on. Simply google "quinoa recipes" and you will be overloaded with tons of delicious and nutritious ideas for this power protein.
So, you may be wondering: how DO I make it? Well, it's simple:
1. Add 2 cups of water for every 1 cup of quinoa into a pot.
2. Boil together until all the water is boiled out of the quinoa.
Yup, that's it.
We typically use Trader Joe's brand quinoa but just yesterday we found a huge 4 lb. bag of organic quinoa at Costco for $9.99! That is an amazing deal for an amazing brand (I love Bob's Red Mill products), so if you have a Costco head over and see if your local store carries it. You can also typically find quinoa in the bulk section of your regular grocery store, and you can be sure to find it in your local natural foods store.
Have fun, and good luck quinoa-ing! Let me know if you decide to try it! xoxo