Pronounced ‘keen-wah’, this grain has quickly reached superfood status. And honestly, I think it’s well deserved. I’m completely obsessed with it, and eat it most days. It comes in three colours; red, white and black, and although some people will argue that they all taste and cook differently, I don’t see any difference at all! I normally buy tri-colour, which is a mixture of all three. Not only because I love the taste, but the colour that it adds to salads and other dishes is divine.
But what gave it it’s superstar status? The fact that it’s one of the most protein rich foods you can eat is a good start. Just one cup contains around 8 grams of protein! So, it’s a great way to add a protein punch, especially if you’re having a meat free meal. It’s also packed full of fibre, containing almost twice as much as any other grain. To be honest, I could be here for a while explaining all the health benefits.
It was something that I’d heard about for a while, and really wanted to try. So, one night when I went to a restaurant for a meal, I took the opportunity to try a quinoa side salad. I thought that this would be the best place to try it; prepared by professionals who knew exactly how to cook it. But when it came to my table, I was so disappointed. It was nothing but a wet, soggy mess. It was completely unappealing, and didn’t look anything like the pictures that I’d seen of it.
Determined, I came home with a mission to master quinoa. I jumped straight into the deep end, and the next day decided to cook some up with a bag that I bought and had just stuffed in the cupboard. I had no idea what I was doing, but sometimes winging it is the best thing to do. The whole thing was just a guess; I just threw in a bit of this and a bit of that, and just waited to see what happened.
A Little Boost
It turned out perfectly, and I honestly couldn’t believe just how easy it was to make. The key is to make sure that all the water has disappeared. As I’ve become more and more confident with making it, I’ve started to experiment a bit more. Don’t get me wrong, I love the natural flavour, but I always thought that it could have a little boost. So, I started to try different things. I’ve found lemon and lime are both great tastes, which help to add a little kick. You just simply add it at the start with the water, and all the flavour will be absorbed into the quinoa.
Now, quinoa is something that I can’t live without. It’s a staple in my cupboard, and there’s always a fresh batch made up in the fridge. It can be added to so many different dishes, and taste great every single time. From salads, to a breadcrumb replacement, and even in porridge and rice pudding! I know it may sound weird and slightly unappealing, but seriously, don’t knock it ‘til you’ve tried it!
But I love the fact that it’s so healthy, and tastes so good as well. A lot of the time, people think that you need to substitute taste in the name of a healthy meal. And I absolutely hate that thought! Healthy food can be full of flavour, and this is a prime example!
So, what are you waiting for? Give your meals a serious health (and taste) boost, and add a little quinoa. You’ll only learn to love it just as much as I do.
Back to Basics – Cooking Quinoa:
This pseudo-grain is packed full of protein, and gives your meals a true superfood boost
- 1 Cup Uncooked Quinoa
- 1 – 2 Teaspoons Fresh Lemon / Lime Juice (Optional) – Or any other flavour of your choice
- A Little Water (1/2 – 1 Cup)
- Place the uncooked quinoa into a saucepan
- Cover the bottom of the pan with water, ensuring the quinoa is just covered with water. It doesn’t matter if you add too much, as the water will evaporate whilst it’s cooking.
- Then, add the lemon/lime juice (or any other flavouring), and give it a stir.
- Place it on a medium-high heat, and bring the water to the boil.
- Boil for roughly 1-2 minutes.
- Then turn the heat down to low, and simmer the quinoa.
- Keep an eye on it as it simmers, as you don’t want it to get stuck together, or burnt.
- Once all the liquids been absorbed, remove from the heat and allow to cool.
- Enjoy! Add to salads, parfaits, or even in porridge. you’ll only regret not trying it sooner.
Want to stay up to date and receive exclusive content and recipes? Follow me and never miss a moment!
Have something to say? Just sprinkle your thoughts and let me know what’s on your mind…