Foods We Love: Quinoa | Seventh Generation
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Foods We Love: Quinoa

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9 comments
Author: LisaFerber

I'll admit that until recently, I'd never heard of quinoa (pronounced keen-wah). We didn't shop at the health food store when I was growing up, and quinoa isn't on the menu at many of the restaurants in my neighborhood. But this sweet little protein source is making its way through the food celebrity circuit, with appearances on the shelves of gourmet supermarkets, salad bars, and mainstream restaurant menus.

Quinoa, commonly understood as a grain, is also a relative of the leafy green family. And it contains all nine amino acids, making it a complete protein. Research suggests that it can be helpful in preventing headaches, as it is both a source of magnesium, which aids in relaxing blood vessels, and riboflavin, which helps the brain cells utilize energy.

Quinoa was first cultivated more than 5,000 years ago, and was a mainstay of the Andean diet. It was considered a sacred food to the ancient Incans. Most of the quinoa sold in the U.S. is still imported from South America.

Quinoa is also gluten-free, and makes a great staple for anyone allergic to wheat.

Here's a recipe for a quick quinoa salad:
Buy a package of quinoa, and cook according to the directions on the label. When cooked, let it cool for 20-30 minutes

For each 1 cup of quinoa you make, mix the following:
1 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 small clove garlic, minced or put through a garlic press
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup chopped onions and vegetables to your liking, including scallions, red or green peppers, mushrooms, radishes, sautéed spinach

Mix dressing and vegetables in with cooled quinoa. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. Serve immediately.

And remember to clean up with dish washing products from Seventh Generation.

photo: nerissa's ring

9
Comments

Sense picture
Sense
03/14/11
I know this will come as a damper but I have to point this. I post but when I read this article, my heart broke. Only 3 countries produce this grain, Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador. I found out about this grain some time back but have not tried it. In my research, I came across this article that I think that you should read - http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110104/ap_on_re_us/lt_fea_food_quinoa_rising Here is the excerpt that you should take note of, note that this specifically for Bolivia and may not apply to the other two countries that produce it: '...Quinoa's rising popularity among First World foodies — the wholesale price has jumped sevenfold since 2000 as global demand climbed — has been a boon to the poor farmers here in the semiarid highlands where most of it grows. ...Yet the higher prices quinoa is fetching have had an unanticipated impact where the grain is grown. Some local children are showing signs of malnutrition because their parents have substituted rice and noodles for quinoa in the family diet, said Walter Severo, president of a quinoa producer's group in southwest Bolivia. "Only 10 percent of it stays in Bolivia. The other 90 percent gets exported," says Rural Development Minister Nemecia Achacollo. ..."The soils are tired and need nutrition. Production is dropping," said Francisco Quisbert, an indigenous leader in the region where Quinoa Real is grown.' The article is not all doom and thunder, but when I read that, I almost cried. I will not be buying that grain anytime soon, I think. I am not trying to turn you off of quinoa, I just want more people to be aware of their foods and where it comes from. Sorry to have dampened your day, and thank you for reading.
SheBurns picture
SheBurns
03/12/11
To amend the risotto recipe above: When seeds are popped and nicely browned, add twice as much water as the amount of quinoa used (be very careful as it will boil up quickly and may spatter). I don't use any salt in cooking and like to make mine quite brown before adding the water, it gives a nice depth to the flavor. Cover and cook over low heat for 15 minutes, turn off heat and let stand for 5 or 10 before serving. This is one of my favorite foods. It's also a delicious cereal and I like to make extra to heat it up in the morning. I buy it in the bulk foods section of my supermarket and eat it at least 4 days a week.
SheBurns picture
SheBurns
03/12/11
I make a kind of risotto with quinoa when cooking it. Spray a saucepan with cooking spray and add the raw quinoa, then stir over medium heat until the seeds begin to color and pop (Add the water I like to grind a spoonful of uncooked quinoa in the coffee grinder and add it to green smoothies. It's an excellent addition to raw foods crackers, spreads, and crusts, and can also be used to make rejuvelac. As there's no gluten, it's safe for people who can't tolerate wheat and oats.
mbgold picture
mbgold
03/10/11
I have been replacing quinoa cup for cup for rice in all of my favorite recipes for a long time. It has been a great way to add a protein source for vegetarian friends when we are serving meat (as a kosher household we don't serve meat and milk together). Our favorite recipe is simple: 1) Cook you desired amount of quinoa according to the directions 2) Saute all of your favorite vegetables, we usually use a mix of leeks, multi-color peppers, carrots, celery, mushrooms, or whatever you have on hand in your choice of oil until tender. 3) Add salt, pepper, and herbs - we like fresh parsley, rosemary, sage, and oregano, Dried spices works well too. 4) Mix in the cooked quinoa and add your favorite dried fruits and nuts. If it is too dry, you can add a little water or chicken stock.
yulia77 picture
yulia77
03/10/11
I found this recipe here: http://quinoa365.com/recipe3.html Absolutely loved it! Great by itself or as a side to something else (i.e. if you have left overs). I baked samon filets and put this as a side - Surf & Surf. :D ************** Pepper Shrimp Quinoa Serves: 2 meal; 4 side. ½ cup (125 mL) quinoa 1 cup (250 mL) water 1 cup (250 mL) half & half cream ½ tsp (2 mL) Worcestershire sauce (or use Braggs Liquid seasoning if you want gluten-free) ½ cup (125 mL) white cooking wine 2 Tbsp (30 mL) fresh chopped sweet basil 2 Tbsp (30 mL) fresh chopped thyme 2/3 cup (160 mL) Parmesan cheese 1 Tbsp (15 mL) vegetable oil 1 cup (250 mL) white onion, finely chopped (about 1 medium onion) 1 tsp (5 mL) fresh chopped garlic (about 2 cloves) 1 large red pepper, diced 1 lb (500g) cooked shrimp, shelled and thawed ½ cup (125 mL) raw, unsalted pumpkin seeds salt, to taste Place the quinoa and water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce the heat to low and cook for 10 minutes. Turn the heat off and leave the saucepan on the burner for another 4 minutes. Remove the lid and fluff the cooked quinoa with fork. Set aside. In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, whisk together the cream, Worcestershire sauce and wine. Slowly heat for 4 minutes. Add the Parmesan cheese, basil and thyme. Continue to simmer on low for an additional 3 minutes. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the red pepper and garlic and continue to cook for another 3 to 4 minutes until the onion is opaque and tender. Add the shrimp, cooked quinoa and pumpkin seeds. Sauté until heated throughout. Evenly divide the hot mixture between two large pasta bowls or dinner plates. Top with the simmering Parmesan sauce. Serve and devour immediately. Looking for additional flavor? Add an extra clove of garlic and an extra shot or two of Worcestershire. And don’t be shy with the fresh herbs! Veggie lover? If you want even more vegetables, add as many as you like to this dish. Enjoy!
Seventh Generation picture
Seventh Generation
03/10/11
After it is cooked. Thanks for letting us clear that up!
kmpelley picture
kmpelley
03/10/11
I buy my quinoa in bulk from my local Coop. Do you mean with one cup of quinoa that you make--is that the quinoa measured before it is rinsed? Is it before it is cooked? Or, is it after it is cooked?
jnourish picture
jnourish
02/28/11
Judy’s Red Quinoa Collard Green Wraps serves 6 2c Red Quinoa (rinse before cooking) 4 cups of water 1/3 c Extra Virgin Olive Oil (To taste) 1 -2 avocados chopped 1 chopped red onion Juice of 2 limes 1 c chopped cilantro Celtic Sea Salt to taste After rinsing quinoa, put it in a pot with 4 cups of water and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes or until water is absorbed. Remove from heat, let cool. When cooled add oil, onion, avocado, lime juice, cilantro & salt You can serve warm or chill the quionoa before adding ingredients. Collard Greens remove stems and blanch greens in boiling water for 30-60 sec., roll up with quinoa, fold sides in like a diaper so quinoa does not fall out.
efeferma picture
efeferma
02/28/11
My little ones love quinoa warmed with milk, cinnamon, and a hint of brown sugar!