The first time I was introduced to this ancient grain was when I was hostessing at Napa Valley Grille in Westwood Village Los Angeles while I was attending UCLA. The menu’s specials for the evening contained some sort of organic pasta, a slow-roasted, bone-in steak of sorts, and then the thing that I obviously remember better: a grilled halibut with mango chutney atop a bed of organic QUINOA.
“Keen-o-ah?” I asked, when analyzing this new dish.
The manager laughed. Hard. And slightly winced knowing that I was their hostess and was not familiar with this miraculous grain. “Keen-wah,” she replied.
Turns out this quinoa business is pretty phreaking phenomenal. Quinoa is like if bulgar wheat, rice, and couscous formed a single plant and reproduced with the intention of being ridiculously healthy and delicious. QUINOA is gluten-free, safe for those with nut allergies, and doesn’t even taste that good with dairy, so it’s a win-win for all bubble children looking for some grainy goodness without, well, serious repercussions.
Here are some of the health benefits of quinoa:
- Complete protein. Quinoa contains all 9 essential amino acids that are required by the body as building blocks for muscles.
- Magnesium helps relax your muscles and blood vessels and effects blood pressure. Quinoa contains high levels of this vital nutrient.
- Fiber. Quinoa is a wonderful way to ensure that you consume valuable fiber that eases elimination and tones your colon.
- Manganese and copper. Quinoa is a good source of these minerals that act as antioxidants in your body to get rid of dangerous cancer and disease-causing substances.
1. Always rinse your quinoa before cooking. It takes away a slight “soapy” taste that you will not receive if you simply rinse it off!
2. Cook one part quinoa with two parts boiling water. Reduce to a simmer, and cook covered for about 15 minutes, or until the grains spiral and the seeds look plump.
3. Eat at any time of the day! Combine with cinnamon, maple syrup, and berries for an amazing morning treat. For a lunch-time snack, serve up with some olive oil, basil, tomatoes, and chopped grilled chicken. For dinner, you get even go a little ethnic and add in some coconut milk, jalapenos, garam masala spices, and cilantro to pair with either a grilled fish or spicy chicken.
The world is your oyster! And the QUINOA is something to get inspired by.