I can hear you from here!! Queen-what????
Although quinoa is new to the American market, it was a staple of the ancient Incas, who called it "the mother grain." To this day it's an important food in South American cuisine. Hailed as the "supergrain of the future," quinoa contains more protein than any other grain. It's considered a complete protein because it contains all eight essential amino acids. Quinoa is also higher in unsaturated fats and lower in carbohydrates than most grains, and it provides a rich and balanced source of vital nutrients. Tiny and bead-shaped, the ivory-colored quinoa cooks like rice (taking half the time of regular rice) and expands to four times its original volume. Its flavor is delicate, almost bland, and has been compared to that of COUSCOUS. Quinoa is lighter than but can be used in any way suitable for rice — as part of a main dish, a side dish, in soups, in salads and even in puddings. It's available packaged as a grain, ground into flour and in several forms of pasta. Quinoa can be found in most health-food stores and some supermarkets.
Read More http://www.epicurious.com/tools/fooddictionary/entry/?id=4164#ixzz1OtZoF58g
Photo courtesy of quinoasalads.com
My favorite way to enjoy QUINOA (aside from just substituting it for rice) is in a refreshing summer salad.
QUINOA SALAD with TOMATO and MINT
* 2 1/2 cups water or broth
* 1 1/4 cups quinoa
* 1/3 cup raisins or currants
* 1 pinch sea salt
* 2 medium tomatoes, diced
* 1 medium onion, chopped fine
* 10 radishes, sliced (optional)
* 1/2 English cucumber, diced
* 2 tablespoons sliced almonds, toasted
* 1/4 cup minced fresh mint
* 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
* 1 teaspoon garlic powder
* 1/4 cup fresh lemon or lime juice
* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* salt and pepper to taste
1. Bring water to boil in a small saucepan. Pour in quinoa and a pinch of salt. Cover, and let simmer for 12 to 15 minutes, then remove from heat, and allow to cool to room temperature.
2. Toss together the tomatoes, onion, radish, cucumber, and almonds in a large bowl. Stir in the cooled quinoa, raisins or currants, then season with mint, parsley, garlic, lemon or lime juice, olive oil. Toss gently. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Can be served at room temperature, or chill if desired. **Note: I have used fresh basil from my garden in place of the mint, and it was GREAT!
Serve your delicious QUINOA SALAD in a classic vintage bowl; like this beauty from vintagejunkinmytrunk on etsy: