Cooking with Quinoa

Have you ever felt like a right prat when someone has had to correct you in your pronunciation or use of word?! Well I have on numerous occasions and on Monday it was no different. In fact it was the radio presenters fault for pronouncing this particular word wrong, I heard him say it, I knew it was wrong and yet something inside me proceeded to tell my colleagues, Victoria and Kate, that I too had a packet of Qwin-oh-ah at home that i was going to attempt to cook with.

Now of course all you clued up foodie/hip people out there know that the actual pronunciation of this Quinoa is Keen-Wah! WTF!? Qwin-oh-ah is a much better phonetic way of saying this grains name!!

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I found out yesterday that this grain/seed has been the staple food for Peru and other such countries but because of the increasing popularity among “celebrity chefs” the demand on this super food has increased that much that the staple food that once was, is no longer. Now, this did make me feel a little bad about buying a packet of $3 pre-flavoured quinoa from the shops – well, that was until I ate it. OMG delicious! This is going to become a staple food for my husband an I, however, I will just be buying the unflavoured bags in the future as this one was WAY too salty!

It was too easy to cook, it felt amazing as you ate it and it didn’t leave us feeling one ounce bloaty! Friends of mine had apparently been eating this super food for some time  – which lead me to ask the question “which rock have I been hiding under not to know about this delicious, versatile, super food?” and more importantly “why is this a super food?”

Nutritional Value:
Quinoa was important to the diet of pre-Columbian Andean civilizations.[15] Today, people appreciate quinoa for its nutritional value. Quinoa has been called a superfood.[14] Protein content is very high for a cereal/pseudo-cereal (14% by mass), yet not as high as most beans and legumes. Quinoa’s protein content per 100 calories is higher than brown rice, potatoes, barley and millet, but is less than wild rice and oats.[27] Nutritional evaluations of quinoa indicate that it is a source of complete protein.[28][29][30] Furthermore, it is a good source of dietary fiber and phosphorus and is high in magnesium and iron. Quinoa is also a source of calcium, and thus is useful for vegans and those who are lactose intolerant.[31] Quinoa is gluten-free and considered easy to digest. Because of all these characteristics, quinoa is being considered a possible crop in NASA’s Controlled Ecological Life Support System for long-duration human occupied spaceflights.[32]Quinoa may be germinated in its raw form to boost its nutritional value. Germination activates its natural enzymes and multiplies its vitamin content.[33] In fact, quinoa has a notably short germination period: Only 2–4 hours resting in a glass of clean water is enough to make it sprout and release gases, as opposed to, e.g., 12 hours with wheat.[34] This process, besides its nutritional enhancements, softens the seeds, making them suitable to be added to salads and other cold foods.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quinoa
Another great positive for this “super food” is that it is actually delicious and Gluten Free! Now there is not much out there on the market that is good for you and delicious at the same time, ESPECIALLY being gluten free!!!

I started browsing the search engines for more information on this super seed, I wanted to know recipes, could I get it all year round? I was consumed with finding the right way to cook the small round seed. Then is dawned on me…….just put your own twist on this!! So that’s what I did. I marinated two large de boned chicken thighs in lemon juice, oil and fresh thyme for about 30-50 minutes (the chicken started turning white), i roasted my favourite veggies and cooked up this Quinoa for the first time ever. You can find the very straight forward yet amazingly awesome recipe under Chicken.

Thank you world for allowing us to par take in eating this beautiful and delicate seed that is not only going to enrich my life health wise, but has opened up more doors for my cooking adventures to follow!

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