Getting over the pronunciation is the hard part. Quinoa (“keen-wah”) is the seed of a leafy plant grown for centuries in the Andes that cooks like a seed and tastes like a nut. That should totally be its slogan!
One of the best things about quinoa is that it is a complete protein, which means it contains all nine of the essential amino acids and can serve as a great substitute for eggs, meat and cheese in a vegetarian or vegan diet. It’s also great for those with gluten intolerance and scores a 35 on the glycemic index, making it a good choice for diabetics. It’s also high in iron, magnesium, and riboflavin and low in fat and calories.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette recently posted an article about the increase in quinoa sales and the slow path toward acceptance and mainstream-ness. Quinoa only recently (as in, within the past 40 years) became available in the U.S., and while many consumers have been both baffled by and curious about it, they have been hesitant to embrace it, mostly due to poor preparation.
This article both describes how many chefs and restaurant owners use and experiment with it, and it even includes a few great-looking recipes at the end!
I think I have a box hiding somewhere in the back of my cupboard. Maybe it’s time to try this thing again…