Meet This Grain: Quinoa

by in Healthy Recipes, March 30, 2011
Scallops With Citrus Quinoa
Scallops With Citrus Quinoa/ Image Courtesy Food Network Magazine

You cook it up just like other whole grains, but this quick-cooking, nutrient-packed goodie has more protein than any other. Find out how to work some in to your weekly meals.

What is Quinoa?
Quinoa (pronounced “KEEN-wah”) is no spring chicken in the culinary world — its use dates back 5,000 years. According to botanical experts, quinoa is actually categorized as a seed (not a grain), but it has similar characteristics and prep methods to most grains. The individual pieces look like tiny beads and are most commonly beige in color, but red and black varieties also exist. No matter what color you choose, quinoa has a mild, nutty flavor and pleasingly chewy (but firm) texture.

Plain quinoa makes a simple side dish, but is also a common ingredient in whole-grain breads and hot and cold cereals; it’s also ground into flour to make pasta. Quinoa expands to 4 times its size when cooked, so each cup of dry grains will yield 4 cups cooked.

Why Is Quinoa Healthy Eats?
Where to begin?! One cup of cooked quinoa has 220 calories, 5 grams of fiber and a whopping 8 grams of protein (almost 50 percent more than an equal portion of brown rice.) You’ll also find hefty doses of thiamin, vitamin B6, folate, zinc, potassium, magnesium and selenium, along with 15 percent of your daily iron needs.

Quinoa is especially unique because it contains all the essential amino acids (protein building blocks) that your body needs. Soy is the only other plant-based food that achieves this.  It’s also gluten-free, so folks with gluten allergies can also enjoy this fluffy, grain-like seed.

What to Do With Quinoa
Give dry grains a quick rinse before cooking to remove a bitter residue called saponin from its surface.  To prepare quinoa,  add one part of the rinsed grain to a pot with 2 parts water or broth.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes.  Remove from heat and let the quinoa sit, covered, for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork, then season and serve. You can also cook it in milk with cinnamon and honey or brown sugar for an out-of-this-world hot breakfast cereal.

Flavor up cooked quinoa with herbs, dried fruit or chopped nuts. Make a grain salad with your favorite diced veggies, beans, and crumbled feta cheese (black beans, bell pepper and diced mango is a fabulous combo). Take leftovers and combine with a sprinkle of cheese as a vegetarian filling for baked stuffed peppers.

TELL US: How do you cook quinoa?

Recipes to Try:
Sweet Potato Quinoa
Quinoa Breakfast Cereal
Cucumber-Bell Pepper Quinoa
Curried Quinoa with Squash
Quinoa Pilaf with Pine Nuts
Scallops with Citrus and Quinoa

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition. See Dana’s full bio »

You Might Also Like:

Meet this Grain: Brown Rice
Top 5 Pantry Must-Haves
Cooking with Quinoa

More posts from .
Tags:

Similar Posts

8 Ways to Get Your Salmon On

It doesn’t take much to bring out salmon’s rich flavor, but let’s face it: The old lemon-with-a-dash-of-salt routine gets old. The good news: Salmon need not be boring. Try these tasty ways to amp up an old standby. Mustard Maple Roasted Salmon (above) Mustard and maple syrup? The two condiments may seem worlds away, but theyRead more

Comments (2,209)

  1. sex tube says:

    Title…

    [...]The data talked about inside the article are a few of the ideal obtainable [...]…

  2. Title…

    [...]Here is a superb Weblog You might Find Intriguing that we Encourage You[...]…

  3. cellphones says:

    cellphones…

    [...]usually posts some incredibly interesting stuff like this. If you?re new to this site[...]…

  4. Title…

    [...]please check out the websites we stick to, which includes this one, because it represents our picks from the web[...]…

  5. Virility Ex says:

    Title…

    [...]always a large fan of linking to bloggers that I appreciate but don’t get a great deal of link like from[...]…

  6. The Silent Shard…

    This could most likely be quite helpful for a few of your respective work I intend to really don’t only with my blog but…

  7. website says:

    Title…

    [...]Here are a few of the sites we recommend for our visitors[...]…

  8. buy likes says:

    Title…

    [...]here are some hyperlinks to web-sites that we link to mainly because we consider they’re worth visiting[...]…

  9. how to get followers twitter…

    [...]usually posts some incredibly interesting stuff like this. If you?re new to this site[...]…

  10. Title…

    [...]always a huge fan of linking to bloggers that I love but do not get a lot of link appreciate from[...]…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>