Quinoa, I Say! - Single Servings Blog at Allrecipes.com - 117928

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Quinoa, I Say! 
Aug. 10, 2009 2:16 pm 
Updated: Feb. 1, 2010 7:05 pm
It’s pronounced keen-wah. Not kwin-oh-ah...i.e., the sound that came out of my mouth the first time I attempted to pronounce the word. And I said it so confidently, too. It didn’t occur to me that sounding it out (as I was taught to do in grade school) would not get the job done in this case. (It seems “sounding it out” does not account for foreign languages.) But, once I figured out how to say it, it seemed like everyone was talking about it. A coworker mentioned it soon after we’d had a discussion about our experiences with migraines…“Quinoa is supposed to help with them.”

Well, whattaya know? I had no idea!

Then while visiting my parents a few months ago, my mom pulled a package of quinoa out of her cupboard and asked me, “Have you heard of this stuff?” She was smarter than me—she didn’t attempt to pronounce it, uninformed.

I answered her, “Keen-wah? Yeah.”

“Oh, is that how you pronounce it? I wasn’t sure,” she said. This time the word rolled off my tongue like I’d been saying it all my life, when in fact I’d only just become aware of its existence within the previous six months. “I’m eating it for breakfast now instead of eggs—it’s supposed to be a really great source of protein,” my mom said.

Again, news to me.

There seemed to be a lot of fuss being made about quinoa, so I thought I’d get a little more information. Turns out, it is quite a fuss-worthy food!

Here are the three things I found most interesting:
  • Quinoa is a good source of magnesium (a mineral that helps relax blood vessels), making it helpful to those suffering from migraines, as well as diabetes and atherosclerosis.
  • It is considered a complete protein because it contains all eight essential amino acids.
  • Despite appearances, quinoa is not a grain, but actually a seed related to the spinach and Swiss chard family.
And that certainly wasn’t all the praise for quinoa—if you have a fun or nutrition fact, please share below in the comments.

I’ve only had quinoa a couple times, and it was delicious—perfect for a quick side or a light lunch. Here are a handful of quinoa recipes I’m looking forward to trying:

I’d also love to know if you have any favorite recipes or ways you like to serve quinoa—its versatility seems to be another of its many benefits.
Tomato-Mint Quinoa Salad -- photo by SunFlower
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Tex-Mex Quinoa Salad -- photo by larkspur
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Spiced Quinoa -- photo by Dianne
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Quinoa Tabbouleh -- photo by Jailin
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Cheesy Quinoa Pilaf with Spinach -- photo by SunFlower
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Lemony Quinoa -- photo by gapch1026
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Quinoa and Black Beans -- photo by SunFlower
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Aug. 10, 2009 7:15 pm
I love Quinoa! I work in a natural foods department, so I am used to people pronouncing it incorrectly. I always like to inform them of the right way to say it (even though I only learned myself right after starting my job). ;) My favorite recipe is definitely the Cheesy Quinoa Pilaf with Spinach. I used parmesan cheese and pine nuts and it was outstanding!
Aug. 11, 2009 1:15 pm
So far, the Quinoa Tabbouleh is my favorite! I like to put some in pita bread with some hummus...something MAGICAL happens when it's combined with hummus! YUM! I have a package of "Inca Red" quinoa in my pantry - the seeds are dark red. Pretty! ;)
Aug. 11, 2009 1:56 pm
Thanks Dianne and Christine! I'll put your two faves at the top of my list. And I didn't even know they came in different colors--I'll have to try that--I, too, enjoy pretty food;).
Aug. 11, 2009 11:05 pm
There is a fantasti Lentil, Orzo, Feta and minta salad on AR, and one of the reviewers suggested adding a bit of quinnoa in when cooking the lentils. It just adds that wee crunch. I do a bit of catering and this has become one of my TNT dishes.
Aug. 12, 2009 12:26 pm
Mmmmmm,noted--thanks, goodeatNZ!
Aug. 12, 2009 1:25 pm
I've been a fan of quinoa for a long time. I add it to homemade soups for added nutrition. I'm going to try the Quinoa Tabbouleh.
Aug. 12, 2009 4:13 pm
Yeah, that's a great idea--seems like you could add it to all kinds of dishes for a little extra healthy kick.
Aug. 18, 2009 5:38 am
Have enjoyed quinoa for a couple of years now. Saw a recipe in Cooking Light for a quinoa pasta ragout and the search began. The quinoa grain is milled into a flour and various "pastas" are made. Look in the natural or health food section of your grocery store for some styles. Great replacement in spaghetti, elbow macroni, shells, etc.
Aug. 26, 2009 10:56 am
So have you tried any recipes yet? I have to admit, I've never made quinoa either! I agree with Dianne, the cheesy quinoa pilaf looks awesome!
Aug. 27, 2009 1:44 pm
I've only tried the Quinoa and Black Beans and it was VERY good.
Oct. 11, 2009 12:01 pm
Like your mother I enjoy eating quinoa for breakfast. I make a big batch and store in the fridge. In the morning I scoop out 2/3c in a owl with 2/3c milk and zap till warm. To that I add some ground flax seed, 2/3c fruit, and 1 T chopeed nuts. An excellent way to start the day!
Oct. 11, 2009 12:03 pm
That's a bowl! Do not turn me in to the authorities. I DO NOT eat owl. lol
Feb. 1, 2010 7:05 pm
The Quinoa tabbouleh links to the Lemony Quinoa . . . just fyi. But the Lemony Quinoa is delicious!
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About Me
I am a 32-year old woman (I still stumble over the word "woman," but I don't think I can get away with "girl" anymore) living in Seattle, WA, writing for the very website you are browsing right now! I am originally from Bellingham (about 80 miles north of Seattle), where I went to Western Washington University, and then just kinda hung out for several more years until I moved south in September of 2006. I've always loved cooking and even had my own little spiral recipe notebook when I was in middle school to collect my star dishes in. (Apple pizza and scones were always a hit with the family—thanks Home Ec.!) I seriously considered going to culinary school when I was twenty, but then decided I didn't want to cook for a living. I’m definitely more of an entertaining cook, as opposed to a professional cook.
My favorite things to cook
I prefer cooking over baking, but I've been branching out more in the past couple years--I made a pie from scratch for the very first time for Thanksgiving 2006 and it was delicious. But, I made a cake from scratch for the first time recently, and it did not go as well. It looked great, but I would not use the word "great" to describe how it tasted. I've resolved to go back to boxed cake mix, and put my efforts into the decoration where I can actually do some good.
My favorite family cooking traditions
People are always surprised when I say that my dad does most of the cooking for holiday meals. "Does your mom get stressed out for Thanksgiving?" people will ask. Are you kidding me? No way! She, my sister, and I are all watching movies while my dad is basting the turkey and making mashed potatoes and gravy. Thanksgiving is probably the most relaxing day of the year for my mom!
My cooking triumphs
Ah, I remember it well ... I was twelve years old; I believe it was a Thursday and there was a chill in the air that night ... I pulled that seafood pasta bake out of the oven oh-so-carefully, and when we sat down to enjoy it ... so cheesy, creamy and seafoody (and I mean that in the very best way)... so very, very, delicious ... though I lost track of the recipe, each bite will live on in my memory forever ... ;)
My cooking tragedies
On my 30th birthday, I set fire to a cookie sheet full of French bread that I had only intended to toast. I had just finished cooking something else when I turned the oven to broil and underestimated how hot the top element already was. Chatting away with a friend, I was completely confused when I saw smoke coming through the burners and it wasn't until my friend yelled, "It's on fire!" pointing to the partially open oven door, that I realized what was happening. I swiftly yanked the baking sheet from the oven, dropped it into the sink, and cranked the faucet. Disaster averted. Moral of the story? Let other people cook for you on your birthday.
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