Quinoa has rapidly become one of the hottest foods in the culinary industry, and in the whole foods/super foods society. 2013 was declared the International Year of Quinoa and raised awareness about this ancient grain from South America.
Years ago, when I started writing about food and where it came from, very few people knew what quinoa was. I was working in a large resort with access to all sorts of wonderful ingredients and quinoa was one of our go-to grains for vegetarian meals. We prized its versatility and nutritional value. I learned how to handle quinoa in many different forms. Here is a list of what you can do with quinoa.
- Quinoa can be cooked, seasoned, and stuffed into poblano peppers or sweet peppers.
- Shape it into little or large cakes for either appetizers or entrees.
- Make quinoa into a pilaf and serve with garlicky spinach or other leafy greens.
- Serve it as a breakfast cereal topped with berries and cream or apples & cinnamon.
- Add chopped up dried fruits and nuts into the quinoa and bake it into a muffin.
- Quinoa can be made into pancakes and waffles. Check back Wednesday for a decadent quinoa and flax waffle recipe.
Quinoa takes kindly to cumin and coriander spices. It also likes chocolate, but that’s no surprise as they are both from the same region.
With all the buzz about quinoa, and the information that you can find on the internet, there’s no reason to re-hash what others have provided. Here are the highlights: Quinoa is a “super food” containing high amounts of protein, vitamins and minerals. It originates in Bolivia and Peru. Like chocolate, quinoa was regarded as a sacred food and the first crops of the season were planted by the Incan Emperor. Since quinoa has become popular, it has become less affordable for the indigenous people who have consumed it for thousands of years.
Why should you incorporate this food into your diet? For a plant-based eater, it is a good source of protein. Check out recipes from the King Quinoa Class that I gave several years ago.
If you are looking for more information about quinoa, here is a list of sources that are all about quinoa.