--Nicole Spiridakis of cucinanicolina.com--
I'd heard of quinoa, but never had a reason to try it before I happened on Susan's recipe at her fabulous Food Blogga's site. I can't get enough of this stuff. I've already made 6 batches for breakfast & then made a savory version for dinner last night.
If you've never tried it before here's why you should! This is an ancient Incan sacred crop, that the Inca's called "chisaya mama", or mother of all grains. But it's not really a grain. It's actually a seed. And it's even Kosher for Passover.
Because it's high in protein, (7 grams per serving compared to 4 grams for brown rice), high in fiber, & is a good source of manganese, magnesium, iron, copper & phosphorus, the United Nations has classified it as a "super crop". It contains the amino acid lysine which is needed for tissue growth & repair. As if that isn't enough, it's gluten free and a breeze to cook. Trust me, 15 minutes on the stove is nothing. Don't let that stop you.
You can use quinoa wherever you'd use rice or couscous. It's kind of risotto-like. My very "picky eater" sister was visiting last weekend & she rolled her eyes when she saw me mix up a batch on Monday morning. I knew better than to offer her a taste, but this stuff smells delicious, so she asked me for a taste.
She literally took her spoon to the wastebasket, prepared to spit it out. But Voila, even she loved it. She said, "What is this stuff? Is it a dessert?" Believe me, it's that yummy. Kind of like a bread pudding.
I don't know if this accounts for all it's nutritive value, but it's a relative of beets, chard, and spinach & we all know how good those are for us.
I recommend you use Eden Organic Quinoa. They use a mechanical rubbing process to remove the protective saponin coating from the grain, rather than a water wash. This retains more flavor, fiber & nutrients. When I compared the nutrient values of Eden's with other brands, it had the highest in all categories. I found quinoa in my local grocery store, but it's also at Trader Joe's & any health food store.
Here's my "less-work-less-pots-to-get-dirty" version of Susan's Breakfast Quinoa with Dried Cherries, Raisins, and Pecans. To print on one page click HERE!
A variation based on Susan's recipe from food blogga
1/2 cup dry quinoa, rinsed (this recipe is based on Eden Organic Quinoa which is higher in fiber & nutrients than other brands, so why not get more bang for your buck?)
1 1/4 cup boiling water
1 TBS brown sugar or maple syrup (or Splenda brown sugar blend- I'm not perfect!)
1/4 tsp. pinch of salt
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 TBS. dried cherries
2 TBS. mixed raisins
1 TBS. ground flax or chia
- Rinse the uncooked quinoa in a fine-mesh sieve in cold water-this helps remove some slight natural bitterness from the grains
- Boil water in a saucepan
- Add quinoa, sugar, salt, cinnamon, vanilla, cherries & raisins
- Return to a boil, and then cover, reduce heat & simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the quinoa absorbs the water, puffs up, & turns translucent. Add more water if needed.
- Quinoa retains a slight crunch when cooked.
- When done, stir in the flax or chia
Makes 2 servings. I eat one, & save the rest for the next morning. It heats up beautifully in the microwave with a little soy milk to moisten it.
Breakfast Quinoa with Dried Cherries & Raisins
Serving Size: 1 recipe
|Amount Per Serving|
I cut the salad in half, since there were just the two of us, and I used the mesclun mix I had on hand instead of wild arugula & spinach. Definitely use the fresh mint, basil & blood oranges. I took the easy way out & instead of making the salad dressing, I had something similar in my fridge, called, Wild Thymes Meyer Lemon Salad Refresher. It's a healthy ingredient, 35 calorie dressing that is very similar to Susan's!
Check out Susan's Yummy Creations: