How to say (and cook) Quinoa

Monday, April 16

Pic from Tesco Real Food

"It's called "Keen-Wah"
"Oh isn't that Quin oh-ah?"

So, it's not called 'Quin oh-ah', its called 'keen-wah' or 'keen oh-ah', depending on who you ask, and it has become very trendy recently.

Quinoa has long been a staple food in much of South America, and has more recently become more popular in Western countries due to its high protein and nutrient content.  It also tastes great.

Tonia Reinhard in her book Superfoods, says: Fresh Quinoa must be soaked for a few hours to remove the bitter compounds known as saponins.  The water then has to be extracted and the quinoa rinsed before cooking.   

Fortunately for us living in the Western world though, we can buy quinoa from the supermaket that is pre packaged and has already had the saponins removed.

Why is it so good for you anyway?
It is an outstanding source of vitamin B6, folate, fiber, protein, thiamine, riboflavin, managanese, magnesium, phosphorous, copper, iron and zinc, and a good source of vitamin E, potassium, and selenium.  It also contains anti oxidant polyphenols and flavonoids. 

Wow, pretty impressive credentials hey?

So what can you do with it?
Quinoa can be used for a more nutrient rich substitute for any grain dish, so substitute rice or pasta, and topping it with a tomato sauce will boost its anti-oxidant power.  Another good option is to use it as a breakfast cereal, I haven't tried this yet, but apparently it works really well topped with some cinammon.

And, its gluten-free, so it's an ideal food for anyone who feels that they may have some gluten intolerance or celiac disease.

I said a few weeks ago after my friend Beany shared her Inspiring Health Story with me that she was going to share a few of her favourite recipes with us.  And so here is the first one, and unsurprisingly, it's with Quinoa:

Quinoa Salad

Haloumi Cheese
Chicken Breasts
Pine nuts
Green Beans
Red Onion
Fresh Lemon squeezed to dress salad

Boil quinoa until light and fluffy.

Chop up chicken breasts and Haloumi and lightly fry until cooked and golden brown, to then be added to quinoa.

 Roast a packet of pine nuts until brown on a light heat in a dry frying pan

Chop up Green Beans, Broccoli and Aubergine and steam them but make sure the green vegetables are still nice and crunchy.

Chop up a red onion into small pieces and combine everything into a bowl.

Add salt and pepper as well as a few splashes of lemon juice for taste.

Serve hot or cold

Happy Keen-Wah cooking friends! And please let me know if you have any other ideas for cooking with it.

Have a Happy Healthy Week
Lulu x x

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