Monday, August 15, 2011

Quinoa: a girl's best friend. Way better than diamonds.

Is that even said anymore? That diamonds are a girl's best friend? I hope not ...it's SO not true!  I suppose quinoa isn't really a girl's best friend either...but it makes for a good title.

Anyway.

Have you ever eaten quinoa? It's a grain, grown mostly in South America. It has a very high protein content, for a grain. Here's some information from an oh, so reliable source. (This would be a good place to use that sarcasm font.) I could seriously live on the stuff. That is not written in a sarcasm font!

My soon-to-be son-in-law taught me how to cook it. Basically it's cooked like rice, but mine always turned out mushy until he showed me what to do. In the interest of paying it forward and community spirit, I now give you his method of cooking quinoa:

By the way, we don't measure the ingredients other than the quinoa and liquid, so you'll need to eyeball it all and adjust for your personal taste.

Basic Quinoa Recipe

Ingredients:
Lots of garlic cloves, I use about 8, but then I LOVE garlic, minced
Several T olive oil
1/4 C Braggs Liquid Amino Acids (available in most good grocery stores and health food stores)
1 T, more or less, of dried basil or oregano, or whatever herb you like
1/1/2 C quinoa
2 1/2 C water

What to do:
Saut√© a bunch of minced garlic cloves (maybe 8?--enough for a couple of Tablespoons of minced garlic) in several Tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet until golden. Toss the Braggs  and the herbs in there too. Don't let it burn. There are few things in life worse than burned garlic.  (Slivered red onion is good here too. Or maybe some chopped red pepper; any raw veggie would be good added now.)

When the garlic is golden add the dry quinoa and immediately the water.

Boil this mixture for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.


Add any leftover cooked veggies you like. I'm thinking broccoli or chopped spinach, but whatever you like works, and turn the heat to low. Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes or so, checking once in a while to make sure all the liquid isn't boiled away too soon. You don't want to lift the lid too often though, because you want the steam to stay inside. Add more water if necessary in 1/4 to 1/2 cup increments. The quinoa is done when the outer ring around the grain separates from the grain itself and you can see  the little circular rims clearly, like little tiny white...well...I want to say worms, but the visual for that isn't very appetizing. So try not to visualize that, but you need the outer rings to come away from the grain. You can refer to the image at the top of this post. It shows a bit of what I'm talking about.


That's it! Yummy by itself or with any meat. You can also poach an egg right in the quinoa before all the water boils away and it makes a delicious and super nutritious breakfast. Or lunch. Or dinner. Or snack.


I'll post another quinoa recipe tomorrow that is O.U.T. O.F. T.H.I.S. W.O.R.L.D.

Stay tuned!


Image credit (click on this and it will give you another recipe too!)


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My Mariah...I never heard of quinoa ever. What does it taate like. Can you buy it in any store? It sounds like you really like it. Does David and the kids like it too? I may have to try it...Thanks for sharing. I'll be waiting for you to get back on your blog. See in two weeks. Love you...Carol