I always thought it was pronounced, “Kwin-o-a”
Kind of like “Hermes” was Hermees instead of Emez. Or “Givenchy” was Givenchee instead of Shee-von-shee.
But I’m from ‘Straya mate. We have a collective word for all of you, youse. “Whad d’youse wanna ‘av for lunch ‘ey? Vegemite sanga’s?”
Anyway, apparently it’s keen-wah. And it’s delicious. And it’s healthy as. And if you buy the Rainbow quinoa, or mix the yellow, red and black varieties you can get a bright and festive mix! But what makes this humble little grain the ‘Supergrain of the Andes’?
Well, my friends, scientifically speaking, Chenopodium quinoa is a seed, most closely related to the beets, spinach and tumbleweed family.
It’s a psuedocereal, looking all grain-like and stuff, wanna be hanging out with the couscous, burghul and polenta’s. Quinoa is like that ridiculously smart, beautiful, perfect student who everyone wants to be like. In Korea, where competition is fierce there is a slang term ‘umchinah’ 엄친아 (son) or umchinttal (daughter) which directly translates to “mother’s friend’s son” and refers to that holier-than-thou-person you’ve never met but already hate because your mum pratts on about them all the bloody time. They can do no wrong, even their crap is gold-plated. And unfortunately, you are always compared to them “Why can’t you be like my friend’s son? He studied at Seoul National University and did post-grad at Stamford. Now he’s a dentist and drives a BMW 7 series. What have you done?”
But ah, anyway, back to quinoa. Unlike it’s wheat companions, quinoa is gluten free. However it’s high mineral and protein levels is what really makes it the “Supergrain of the Andes.” Take a look at the comparison with couscous below or here:
Quinoa is the clear winner.
Let’s not mention that it is high in proteins and delivers all of the essential 9 amino acids with especially high levels of Lysine, which is essential for tissue growth and repair. These amino acids are generally found in animal products, making quinoa essential for vegetarian/vegan diets to ensure adequate protein intake. For example, an egg has approximately 5-6 grams of protein, 100grams chicken breast has 20grams protein. A typical serving of quinoa is about 1 cup, which is roughly 200grams, so a serving of quinoa has 8grams of protein. Not too shabby if you add in some beans, nuts, seeds and tofu.
As you can see from the tables above, quinoa is also high in fibre, magnesium and iron when compared with other grains.
Quinoa is also versatile, being able to be eaten sweet with yogurt, nuts and berries for breakfast or dessert, flattened and baked into crackers, rolled and grilled into burger patties or pressed and sweetened into energy bars.
Anyway, on this lovely Saturday afternoon, I decided to make a festive salad for my lovely friends.
Quinoa whole*istic crunch salad
2 cups organic quinoa
1 tsp salt
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 cup roasted garlic cloves
1 1/2 cups roasted capsicums
2 cobs corn (I used Korean purple corn cobs)
1 tbsp coconut oil
1/2 cup chopped cashews
2 tbsp sesame seeds unhulled
2 tbsp black sesame seeds/chia seeds/poppy seeds
1/2 cup pepita seeds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1. Rinse quinoa. Add 3 cups of water and salt and bring to boil. Once it reaches boil, turn down heat to low, simmer for about 10-12 minutes, or until all water is absorbed and it fluffs up.
See beautiful video here if unsure how to cook quinoa.
4. Add corn and coconut oil to frypan and cook until corn begins to brown.
5. Add in chopped roast garlic, capsicum and corn and mix by hand.
Tangy, *slutty dressing (*Easy as and goes with anything)
Can easily be made vegan, I only had plain yogurt on hand, and determined to work with what I had in my flat. Just substitute for almond yogurt/soy yogurt/silken tofu
Makes 2 cups
1 cup soaked, organic cashews
2x 85g tub yogurt*
*(whilst I usually buy plain yogurt with 5g natural sugar, I only had yoplait ‘plain’ yogurt which has a whopping 12g sugar, 7g added. I would suggest adding a tbsp maple syrup/honey if using good, plain yogurt)
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 lemon – juiced
1/2 tsp salt
1. Add all ingredients into blender/food processor. Blend the crap outta it until smooth. Refrigerate for at least a couple of hours or until it thickens.
Too easy right? Told you it was a slutty dressing.