Gluten-free quinoa (pronounced “KEEN’- wah,”) is similar to couscous but with some major differences. Though uncooked non-Israeli-type couscous and quinoa and look quite similar, couscous is fluffed with a fork after soaking in boiling water for a certain number of minutes. Quinoa, also fluffed with a fork, must simmer in its liquid for 15-20 minutes before fork-fluffing. It’s also different in appearance after cooking. “Little white tails” develop against the background of an off-white grain mixture. Tabbouleh is a very popular recipe for quinoa.
Red, as well as black quinoa, is also available. All colors of quinoa are eaten as cereal grasses. Ironically, it is related to beets, spinach and chard. Flavor of all colors is mildly nutty, texture is crunchy yet creamy. Rinsing quinoa in a fine-mesh screen colander removes any traces of a slightly bitter-tasting coating.
Typically, the U.S. is quite late in working quinoa into its diet. The highly-nutritious grass/grain is native to western South America and had the name of Incan rice, also “mother grain” as far back as 5,000 years ago. The greatest amount of quinoa is still grown in South America.
Quinoa is very rich in nutrients, including vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, E, folate, pantothenic acid, calcium, iron and protein.
Stir quinoa in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will keep for up to six months.
SEARCH AND SERVING SUGGESTIONS:
Cook quinoa in a pot or rice cooker using 2 parts liquid to one part carefully-rinsed quinoa for about 15 minutes. Liquids can be broth, fruit juices or water. Besides salt, herbs and aromatics can be added, as well. When tender, it will have tiny, white tails against translucent, off-white grains. Dry grains may be toasted before rinsing. One cup dry quinoa cooks up as 3 cups cooked quinoa.
Compatible with herbs, tomato, olives, chilis, peppers, parsley, cucumbers, onion, garlic.
- Porridge with nuts and fruits
- Soups and stews
Below are foodsites with quinoa recipes.