Monday, June 13, 2011

It's never too late...

It's never too late to learn something new, to try something you've never tried before.  My city cousins have decided to farm a crop of Quinoa at their property by the  river this year--I can't wait to help and share in the efforts (providing they are bountiful :)   "Go Plas's Go!!"

What's Quinoa?  Here is a little breakdown of this super-food (courtesy of )

  • Quinoa is pronounced as KEEN-WAH
  • Quinoa is 100% whole grain and is close to being a perfect food source in the balance of nutrition it provides. Technically it's not a grain but the seed of a leafy plant related to spinach. Quinoa is an excellent source of protein - 12% to 18%. According to The National Academy of Sciences, quinoa is "one of the best sources of protein in the vegetable kingdom". Quinoa contains the amino acid lysine which helps the body produce protein. It also helps the body process the protein in the quinoa and in other foods. The World Health Organization has rated the quality of protein in quinoa to be equivalent or superior to that found in milk products.
  • Quinoa is a source of all essential amino acids according to the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization. It's a great source of B vitamins containing niacin, thiamin and B6.It contains high levels of potassium and riboflavin. It's also good source of zinc, copper, and manganese, and magnesium. It contains folic acid and vitamin E.
  • Quinoa is a great food for people who must follow wheat-free/gluten-free diets because Quinoa doesn't contain gluten. Quinoa can be substituted for almost any other grain.
  • Quinoa has a nutty, smoky flavor and is less filling than other grains and pastas. 
So, why not try something new for dinner this week? (...or if it is not new to you--please share your favourite recipe!!)

Quinoa Salad with Pears, Feta and Herbs  ( recipe courtesy of Foodland Ontario)

1 cup (250 mL) quinoa
  • Salt
  • 1/4 cup (50 mL) olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 Ontario Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) dried oregano leaves
  • Pepper
  • 1 Ontario Sweet Pepper, cored and diced
  • 2 Ontario Green Onions, thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup (175 mL) Ontario Feta Cheese, crumbled
  • mixed fresh herbs (such as, mint, chives and parsley) chopped
  • 2 Ontario Bartlett Pears

Rinse quinoa in cold water and drain well. In saucepan, bring 2 cups (500 mL) water and 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt to boil. Gradually add quinoa. Cover and reduce heat to low; cook until water is absorbed and grain is transparent, 13 to 15 minutes. Let stand, covered, for 5 minutes; then fluff with fork. Transfer to large bowl and let cool to room temperature.
Meanwhile, in small bowl, whisk together oil, 2 tbsp (25 mL) lemon juice, garlic, oregano, and salt and pepper to taste.
Stir sweet pepper, green onions, feta and herbs into cooled quinoa. Toss with dressing. To serve, core and chop pears; stir into salad. Taste and add a little more lemon juice if desired.

How to Cook Quinoa

Quinoa Cooked image
Note the white spiral that forms around Quinoa when it cooks. The seed becomes soft. The spiral remains crunchy giving Quinoa a unique character when you eat it.

1 comment:

  1. I like quinoa as breakfast cereal, with yogurt and fruit!