Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Quinoa


Never heard of it? Me neither, but I hope to try it soon. Quinoa, pronounced keh-NO-ah or, sometimes, KEEN-wah, is a Peruvian seed with a mild, nutty flavor, related to leafy green vegetables but commonly used like a grain. The NY Times Recipes for Health reports:

Quinoa is as versatile as rice but it has a protein content that is superior to that of most grains, because it contains all the essential amino acids. In particular, quinoa is high in lysine, an amino acid important for tissue growth and repair. It’s also a good source of manganese, magnesium, phosphorus and copper, and it has a high iron content.

I'm not sure how easy it will be to find this protein-packed grain-alternative but it seems relatively easy to prepare and cook. Martha Rose Shulman recommends soaking and rinsing even packaged quinoa to be certain the bitter coating that protects the seeds from birds has been shed, and then cooking the quinoa for fifteen minutes in a three to one ratio (three parts water to one part quinoa), as opposed to the 2:1 of rice, for a fluffier grain. Find detailed preparation and cooking instructions here.

1 comment:

Rhonda said...

I'm reasonably sure you can get it at Whole Foods.