Friday, April 27, 2012

New to Quinoa? Me too!

Seriously, until just a few weeks ago I had never heard of it before - Quinoa?! Pronounced "Keen-wah." Then I started doing a bunch of research and have found out according to Dr. Oz and several other health conscious gurus out there, I really should be eating this stuff. It's a bit hard to describe but it's almost a cross between a pasta and a rice. Why is Quinoa so good for you? In doing some research this is what I found:

 With all the buzz about quinoa these days, you may be asking, "why is quinoa good for you?" Quinoa is very high in protein and has every one of the nine essential amino acids. These nine essential amino acids are the ones that your body cannot synthesize in quantities sufficient to sustain good health, so they need to come from food sources. Qunioa is the only plant-based protien to contain all 9 essential amino acids. Many people think that quinoa is a type of grain, but it's not. Quinoa is actually the seed of a plant related to spinach. Quinoa is also very good in sustaining and supporting cardiovascular health.
Other things I've heard in talking to people about this latest "super food" and why it is a preferred choice with their family:
-Gluten free
- Great source of protein
 - Served hot or cold
- It's used in both breakfast type foods and lunch/dinner recipes
- Cheap
- Easy to make (Like cooking rice)
To cook Quinoa? SO easy. Rinse it well beforehand. Then it's two parts liquid to 1 part Quinoa. For my family of four I usually have made 4 cups liquid to 2 cups Quinoa and it comes out with a perfect amount. Bring to boil. Turn heat to low and let simmer for 15 minutes. Fluff with fork and serve.
 I've made a couple things with Quinoa now and for the most part, I'm fairly happy. First, I stir-fried a bunch of vegetables in garlic and olive oil and served it over the quinoa like a stir-fy. It was tasty and I had cooked the quinoa in beef broth to add a little flavor. The other thing I tried was using the Quinoa almost like a spaghetti noodle. My red sauce was thick and full of ground turkey, served over the quinoa. (Not bad.) People keep telling me, "You can't go wrong with Quinoa. You can serve it with just about everything." Hmmm, anyone have any good Quinoa recipes? 

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  1. I am new to quinoa too and tried it the other day in a shrimp dish-not sure how I feel about it due to the consistancy more than anything else. I am going to give it a chance though since it is so good for you!

  2. I love quinoa! I made this recipe this weekend and we all gobbled it up (I used parmesan instead of goat cheese and pecans instead of pine nuts, but I'm sure it's good with all kinds of variations):

  3. I'm not a fan of the consistency of Quinoa. Things like that can really turn me off of something. Maybe I need to have it in a casserole or something. I will give it another try though. I've only had it once or twice.

  4. I LOVE Quinoa... however, I am a little at odds with the "Cheap" reason to eat it... in compairison to other grains you may substitute, it's a bit pricey. I don't care, I think it's FAB!

    1. Kelliann, I buy it in the bulk at our local grocery store. It actaully is fairly cheap compared to the Quinoa in the box/bag you find down the regular isle.

  5. Funny you should ask Paige. When I seen your post on Quinoa I thought 'she needs to try the burgers'. This is one of my favorite recipes that I found on Pinterest and have gotten my book club and several friends addicted to. Try it out!! Your family will love it too. My husband is a meat-and-potatoes kind of guy and he loves it so much he has me making them so he can give to his friends that don't believe in vegetarian dishes.

    Quinoa Burgers:
    3/4 cup shredded cheese
    1/2 cottage cheese
    2 rounded cups of COOKED quinoa (I combined regular and red inca styles together)
    1 cup shredded zuchinni, squeezed so there is no extra water (you can use carrots too but haven't tried it with them yet)
    3 eggs
    3 tbps.flour (add more if needed to hold together)
    2 green onions, including white parts
    1/2 tsp sugar
    1/4 tsp black pepper
    1/4 tsp. cumin
    1/8 tsp salt
    1/8 tsp garlic powder
    Combine all ingredients. Heat frying pan with couple tbsp. evoo over medium heat. measure 1/4 cup, drop lightly in oil and flatten into a patty. fry until golden-brown, about 4 mins. each side. It will be sticky. Makes 10-12 burgers.


    2. I saw this recipe yesterday and can't wait to try it - looks DELICIOUS!

  6. Love it! Red Quinoa is great. SO YUMMY!

  7. Hi Paige - first off, let me say I LOVE this blog and I find you so inspiring - shared it w/my blog & FB fans already but wanted to say hi here! Second - I'm a huge fan of quinoa - doing a talk on it and a couple other powerhouse foods next week actually. I cook w/it all the time - lots of recipes on my blog if you search "quinoa". One of my all-time favs that I bring to parties all the time is from Cooking Light people go nuts over this one! Keep up the good work!

  8. Hi Paige, try this quinoa search I did on Picky Palate's blog, she has several recipes:

    You'll have to skinny her recipes up - but I've been doing that for awhile and everything turns out fine! We love quinoa, we've been eating it quite a bit at our house since I discovered it last year. Good luck on your recipe search, be sure to share any really good ones you find!

  9. I have 2 staple recipes that I LOVE to make! One's a southwest version- cold salad with quinoa.....and the other is a shrimp version.

    #1. Southwest- I basically toss a bunch of stuff together- so bare with me on no measurements-
    Grilled/marinated chicken breast
    red or green onion
    black beans
    corn - frozen thawed, or grilled and cut from the cob.
    cherry tomatoes or diced fresh tomato
    and spicy peppers if you like- i like a chipolte seasoning- and then some fresh lime juice on the top

    #2.- Shrimp version
    Cooked shrimp- any size really
    cubed cucumber
    cut up cherry tomato's or diced
    green or red onion
    sometimes corn or fresh/frozen, thawed green beans
    *this is about all i put in it, but you could def. add zucchini and peppers if you'd like.
    sauce to put over it- sort of like a vinegrette-
    lemon juice
    soy sauce
    a little olive oil

    pretty simple, the longer it sits in the fridge, the more the flavors work together, SO YUMMY!

  10. I'm a big fan of whole grains...I even mill my own grains to make fresh breads. But when I tried this one, I wasn't a fan. I need to try again, huh? I'm gonna give all these recipes I'm seeing a go. I'll let you know what I think!

    Be blessed

  11. I love Quinoa! I make a big bowl in the summer with quinoa, corn, black beans, red onion, tomatoes and avocados. I eat it all week for it!!!

  12. I'm not a big fan of Quinoa. I did try it...once....and wasn't fussed. Maybe I should make it again in a dish setting rather than just on the side.

  13. I just made quinoa for the first time two weeks ago, and I really like it. I've mainly eaten it like rice, but I've also mixed it with Egg Beaters and I really liked that combo. I haven't found anywhere that sells it in bulk, so far it's only been in the wee expensive boxes in the organic section at the grocery store but I'm going to try a health food/vegan store this week to see if they do.

  14. What brand is usually the cheapest and best tasting for quinoa?

  15. Try cooking the quinoa in chicken broth with sliced carrots and onions!! it tastes like stuffing :)