let's talk quinoa.

Thursday, October 13, 2011


so you're strolling through the grains at the grocery store cause it's the cool place to be. i like to hang out with the hipsters at the coffee grinding machine, but whatevs. you're the ultimate hipster since you've already tried couscous, farro, and wheat berries. you also shop at american apparel.

quinoa have you stumped? at least you can pronounce it now (see above).

check the facts:
1. quinoa was a staple of the ancient incans and literally means "the mother grain."
2. not so smart those incans. quinoa is actually a seed.
3. when cooked, it has a fluffy/crunchy texture all at the same time. bonus points.
4. consider quinoa a good source of iron, fiber, and protein.
5. you can also consider it the vegetarian jackpot in terms of nutrients.

it's usually recommended that you rinse and drain quinoa before cooking in order to wash away (bitter tasting) saponins. saponins u say? saponins are soap-like substances on the outside of the seed most likely put there by motha nature to deter insects and birds. honestly, i've never given my quinoa a bath before cooking and it tastes just fine.

quinoa can be substituted for rice in most any recipe. it's especially yummy topped with soy sauce. seriously, just pretend it's rice and eat it. when it's cooked, the outer germ layer separates from the seed and looks like it's growing curly hair. don't be alarmed.

a reader requested a recipe for the chicken quinoa soup that i mentioned last week. though it isn't really a recipe seeing as how i just throw everything into a pot. i really have no idea how much of everything i put in. just eyeball it and taste. the quinoa expands like mad crazy so don't use too much.

chicken quinoa soup
onions
celery
carrots
garlic
dill
parsley
diced chicken
salt and pepper
1 tbsp of dijon mustard
1 quart of good chicken stock (makes all the difference)
1/3 cup quinoa

19 comments:

Kim said...

Thanks for the recipe! I love quinoa :)

sherri lynn said...

We love eating quinoa! Such a healthy thing to easily incorporate into your diet!

Dominique.- said...

I live en Chile and quinoa is very popular right now. Is better known in neighbour-contries like Bolivia, so at the north of my country Quinoa is the bomb haha (it's together with bolivia in the north). Everyone who wants to be healthy try this. I haven't. You should look for Chía, is another seed way better, but it's like for losing weight and everyone is talking about it here.

Poet Whale said...

Thank you for the lovely recipe.
I haven't tried farro or wheat berries to be full hipster. I did look it up, and now know about einkorn, emmer, spelt and awns to feel half-hipster. Going vegan isn't easy.

rebecca said...

dominique-
i don't know a lot about chia seed. thanks for bringing it up.

Abby said...

Just so you know, I've been pronouncing this wrong for at least a year (and I've introduced several people to quinoa and so they have been saying it wrong as well...). Thanks for clearing that up for me. I feel so stupid. Ha ha ha.

Rebecca - A Daily Something said...

Hhaha, I love this post! Informative, and helping to remind me HOW TO PRONOUNCE this confusing word. Great picture, too!!

Alex said...

Looooove me some quinoa. Nom nom.

Briana said...

I am obsessed with quinoa! And I never bathe mine, either.

And I will be making that quinoa soup for sure! I've been on a soup kick lately. Tonight I'm making turkey meatball soup! Yum.

la domestique said...

I'm with you on the quinoa/soy sauce combo. I like to clean out the cupboards, tossing the last of any veg or whatever into a bowl of quinoa, throw in some soy sauce, and top it with a fried egg. Easy supper.

Petra said...

I love quinoa. I never rinse it, and so far nothing has ever been bitter. it's really good in salads. yum

Anna said...

Terrible confession: I have a bag of quinoa at home from goodness knows how long ago. You've shamed me into doing something with it today :D

That chicken soup sounds like a dream - I'll be sure to tell you how it went.

rebecca said...

la domestique-
i do the same. better that way.

anna-
cook it up!!

Carolynn Cecilia said...

it's become a wonderful vegan staple for me and i love finding so many new ways to make it.

Brandi {not your average ordinary} said...

So I've tried making quinoa, but I don't think I did it right. Since then, I've been totally intimidated by it. But I'm going to try it again. Fingers crossed. (I'm calling you if I have problems.)

Darby Arby said...

I love quinoa! ooooohhhh how i love it. I'm excited to try this recipe!

sara said...

quinoa is a favorite around here.
try cooking it with a dollop of toasted sesame oil then topping it with soy sauce. seriously delish.

oh, and i second chia seeds: they're rad and super nutritious.
(thanks for stopping by my blog, too!)

Alice said...

If you're feeling lazy, quinoa with pesto is an amazing and easy combo. Another fav of mine is orange juice, oregano, and goat cheese. And I live in Argentina and it's not that common except in the northern part of the country.

Samara said...

La Domestique, that's totally what I'm having for dinner tonight. I'm appalled that I've never thought to top my quinoa and vegetable leftovers with a fried egg before! HUGE OVERSIGHT.

Rebecca, thanks for posting this recipe. I can't wait to try it out the next time that I'm craving soup.

PS -- I knew that Incans referred to quinoa as the mother grain, but I never realized that it was actually a seed. NOW I understand why it's kosher for Passover.

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