Though quinoa’s cooked and eaten like a grain, it’s actually an amino acid-rich seed. This versatile superfood serves as a great source of protein, as well as minerals like manganese, magnesium, iron, copper, and phosphorus. And though it’s a relative newcomer to North American kitchens, it was a staple food in South American native cultures for thousands of years.
While a transparent yellow type of quinoa is the most commonly-found variety, quinoa can also be found in orange, pink, red, purple, or black versions. Look for quinoa at the supermarket or in natural food stores. Keep quinoa fresh by storing it in an airtight container; for maximum freshness, stash it in the fridge.
To cook quinoa, a general rule is to add one part quinoa to two parts liquid in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cover. One cup of quinoa is usually ready in about 15 minutes. When fully cooked, each seed’s white germ will be partially detached, forming a tiny white spiral. For a nuttier flavor, toast the quinoa seeds for a few minutes over a medium-low heat (stirring constantly) before cooking them in liquid.
With a texture similar to couscous, quinoa’s a great grain substitute in many of your favorite dishes, replacing rice in beans and rice, subbing for oatmeal as a hot breakfast cereal, and standing in for bulgur in the classic Middle Eastern dish, tabbouleh. For delicious salads, side dishes and entrees featuring quinoa, check out these easy recipe ideas.
From: The Daily Meal
Here’s an entrée idea — quinoa nicely rounds out a healthy dinner-for-one.