Saturday, May 30, 2009

Quinoa with Carrots and Chives


Quinoa (keen-wah)...what?
I stumbled across quinoa about a year into my kitchen journey when I was tired of pasta and rice.

In fact, I strictly believe weight correlates with consomption of pasta, rice, sugars and processed foods.

So, I was browsing through the barrels at my local health foods store, passing by the varieties of rice, the pastas, lentils and beans when I saw an interesting looking rice like product. They were tiny, with a nutty color and the price was right so I thought I would try it. Besides with a name like quinoa (keen-wah) how could I pass this up? I went home with my little scoop of quinoa excited for adventure and went to the internet for some advice in cooking these strange little south African morsels; I had a difficult time finding practical recipes.

I discovered that quinoa is low in gluten, one of the few foods that comes complete with all the essential amino acids for human needs, and is easily digestible.

I was stumped on what to cook it with. So, I went to my kitchen and decided to chop up carrots and green onions and boil it all together.

I used carrots for their sweetness, and green onions always add great flavor, as well as pairing well with the carrots. I knew at least the flavor would be great, even if the quinoa wasn’t.
Well, viola, it was fantastic, and my new household staple.
The great news is that since my quinoa journey, many new recipes have emerged on the web and quinoa seems to have become a more noted food source:

Stove top Preparation:
1/2 cup Quinoa
3 Bias cut green onions or chives
2 Diced carrots
1 1/2 cups chicken stock

(see homemade version in previous blog) or use vegetable stock for a vegetarian option

Bring chicken stock to a boil. Add quinoa and carrots and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the chives or green onion and continue simmering for 5 minutes. Turn off heat, and fluff grains with a fork before serving

**Kitchen Tip; Rinse the grains first: Some say the the seeds should be rinsed to remove the bitter resin-like coating, called saponin. Quinoa is rinsed before it is packaged and sold, and I have never experienced this bitter taste.

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