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
salt and pepper
1 tbsp of dijon mustard
1 quart of good chicken stock (makes all the difference)
1/3 cup quinoa