Monday, October 18, 2010

Not One to Go Against the Grain

Quinoa is a lesser-known South American grain that is gaining popularity in North America and boy, does it taste good! It is pronounced "keen-wah". Unlike other grains, such as corn, rice, wheat, etc., quinoa has a relatively high protein content. It is also available in a red version and it cooks rather easily.

Note: When preparing, 1 cup of dry grain will produce 2 to 2 1/2 cups of cooked quinoa.

Measure out one portion of quinoa (I used 1 cup.) and toast it over high heat with a drizzle of olive oil.

Apparently, this step can be skipped, but I like the nutty flavour produced when toasting the quinoa.

Add twice the amount of hot water or broth to the toasted grains and wait for it to boil. (In my case, I used 2 cups of hot water.) Cover your pot and turn the heat down to the low setting for 15 minutes.

After 15 minutes, fluff the quinoa and you are ready to serve.

You can serve the quinoa by itself or in combination with other ingredients. Here are some ideas:
- add some herbs (e.g. fresh parsley, oregano cilantro)
- combine with meat (e.g. shredded chicken, turkey, beef)
- incorporate vegetables (e.g. carrots, celery, onions, zucchini)
- add chopped nuts (e.g. almonds, cashews, walnuts)
- sweeten with fresh or dried fruit (e.g. apples, apricots, raisins, currants, cranberries)
- provide an acidic quality by adding lemon juice or vinegar
- top it with shredded cheese (e.g. Parmesan, Friulano, Romano, mozzarella, cheddar)

In today's case, I decided to prepare a savory mix, by adding the following ingredients:
- two chopped onions
- a handful of chopped and pitted mixed olives
- chili flakes
- minced garlic
- oregano

I sautéed the above-listed ingredients and added a few pinches of salt and some freshly ground black pepper.

Once cooked, I proceeded to combine the prepared to quinoa with the sautéed veggies, some hulled sunflower seeds and another drizzle of olive oil.

This savory delight is a pleasure to have on the side of any meal.  Serve hot or cold.

No comments:

Post a Comment