Sunday, January 21, 2007

quinoa - the new world wondergrain

i had rice issues for most of my life.

i loved to eat it, but i had so much difficulty making it myself.

i would overcook it and make it into an incredibly burnt smelling mush.

i would undercook it and make it into a crunchy paste.

this was perhaps 3 years ago.

as a substitute i found couscous in the mid-90s.

rice for ricely challenged. i loved it.

and i began using in where i would want rice to be.


of course i have found my rice niche, and have expanded into basmati, and jasmine, and bhutanese red...successfullly.

in the last few years i have read about this quinoa thing.

a grain native to where Peru is defined now.

quinoa, pronounced /KEEN wa/, (I used to pronounce it /kee NOH ah/),
is even COOLER than couscous because for those who can't do wheat, it's not a problem. there's tons of protein in it, and it's just as easy to cook.

so i took it on last week when i stopped by the TJ's. It was in a box an it said organic.

Hey, if it can't be fair trade, then I'll go for organic.

So these little round things are in this box.

What do I do with them?

What would I do with couscous?

Ah...well, I could boil it in ginger/chicken broth. Then I could use it as a side to a salad or combine it with a spicy salmon salad with coconut and cranberries...or make a fabulous quinoa and cheese with mozzerella and sundried tomatoes...which is what I did today.

Whoa. Try quinoa.

It's tasty. It's nutty. It has a little germ ring around it that makes it look like mini-Saturns once it's cooked!


Roger Williams said...

What's old is new again. Might I recommend also trying spelt or amaranth?

O said...

I bought two boxes of quinoa, one red and the other yellow, I think. They're still sitting in my cupboard, since I don't want to make the "Omer gets to eat tabouleh all day!" mistake again. Someday I'll try them. I wonder if you could make quinoa biryani...

....ok, maybe not...

wrki said...

R - Amaranth and Spelt are also yummy wheat alternatives! Baking with them ist sehr gut!

O - What our parents seemed to know and what we have forgotten is the power of the freezer. If you make more than one batch, take a little plastic container, or foil, or whatever and save some for later. =)

I admit I've been doing quinoa all week, but much like doing's what's on the side to accompany it. Tomorrow I'm trying a baked fish dish. I'm out of the chicken. =)