Wednesday, 11 April 2012

What's all the fuss about Quinoa?

and there's A LOT of fuss..

With a drum up that spruiks almost a complete food, nature's supergrain, ancient food of the Incas yadda yadda yadda.. this stuff can't possibly taste any good.. well that's where you're wrong.

With a delicate slightly nutty flavour quinoa is so versatile, it works well in many different dishes.  Quinoa is high in protein and calcium, contains important vitamins & minerals, is rich in dietary fibre and iron is a generally all round good guy.  You can use it in salads, baking- including things like muffins cakes & breads, savoury toppings, stuffings, soups or as a substitute for rice as a simple side.. the possibilities are endless.

For me, preparing quinoa in my rice cooker is the easiest and most hassle free by far.  It always turns out fluffy & fantastic.  Don't be restricted by water as your main cooking liquid either - live a little - step it up a notch by using some stock to give it a flavour boost.  Using a fine sieve, rinse the quinoa under cold running water and you are ready to rock and roll.  One part quinoa, two parts liquid - EASY.  Then just turn your rice cooker on.  SIMPLE.  You can also cook in a pot on the stove top or use a microwave but I'm going to stick with my RC.

Widely available in supermarkets and health food stores, quinoa comes in white, red and black varieties so you can make your salads etc look super funky.

Recently, I added to a fresh batch of warm quinoa sliced cooked chicken breast, chunks of chorizo (heated through in a frypan until the flavour starts to release and it just starts to get crispy edges mmmmm) a generous handful of halved kalamata olives, slivers of sliced peppers you buy in a jar (whole wood roasted peppers are my fav but always check your ingredients are GF) a generous drizzle of the good oil (EV Olive Oil for those of you not keeping up) add a handful of sliced Italian flat leafed parsley, a splash of lemon juice and you have a delicious lunch or dinner.

Experiment. Go crazy.