Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Love of Quinoa

O.K. for a few years now I kept hearing about this food called quinoa.  I was curious about it, but didn't bother to try it until a few months ago.  I instantly fell in love.  The first time I made it, I used it instead of rice for a stir fry.  It was easy enough to cook (similar cooking method to rice) and the texture was amazing.  Each little kernel kind of popped in my mouth as I chewed, and I loved it!  Another good thing about quinao is the versatility of it.  It can be used in so many ways, as a warm breakfast, in salads and even in baking!  Of course, let's not forget that it is high in protein and is gluten free. 

I was very excited when I recently heard on the radio that quinoa was named food of the year by the United Nations.  The Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has officially declared that the year 2013 be recognized as "The International Year of the Quinoa." Proposed by the government of Bolivia and receiving strong support from many Central and South American countries, quinoa has now been singled out by the FAO as a food with "high nutritive value," impressive biodiversity, and an important role to play in the achievement of food security worldwide. We realize that quinoa remains unfamiliar to many people, especially in the practical sense of cooking and recipes. But we hope that situation will change, given the remarkable nature of this easily-prepared, nutrient-rich food. (quoted from here:

My most recent experiment with quinoa was a recipe for Quinoa Potato Cakes (Quinoa Aloo Tikkis).  I didn't take a picture of my finished project, but here is a picture from Soni's Food Blog just to show how good they look:

I love Indian inspired food and these were so yummy and crispy and full of yummy goodness.  The best thing is they were so easy to make!
I also love making quinoa salads.  I start with cooked, cooled quinoa and basically add anything I want.  Last night I made a salad with quinoa, beets, zucchini, carrots, avocado, ginger and balsamic dressing.  The beets turned everything pink, but it tasted delicious!
The next thing that I really want to try is this recipe for quinoa chocolate cake.  I will definitely post some pictures and let you all know how it turns out once I have time to try it. 
My husband absolutely refuses to try my "hippie" quinoa, and usually refers to it as alien brains.  I wonder if he would try it in a chocolate cake?

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