Tonight, I have decided to make a dish with the wonder grain: Quinoa. For those you who may be asking "quinoa who? quinoa what? " Quinoa is a pronounced "keen-wa" (taken from the Quinoa Ancient Harvest Box). It is relatively new in North America, but can be traced back to the Andes to 3,000 BC. The Incas used this grain to feed their armies with this "mother grain." After the Spanish Inquisition, the quinoa production declined (apparently) considerably. However, in South America, this grain is still widely used and cultivated to make bread, soups, and even fermented to make a "beer like beverage."
My research also informs me that quinoa is not actually a "true grain, but is the seed of the Chenopodium or Goosefoot plant. It is used as a grain and substituted for grains because of it's cooking characteristics. The name comes from the Greek words, chen (a goose) and pous (a foot). This is due to a resemblance of the leaves of the plant to the webbed foot of a goose."
Quinoa cooks a lot like rice, but is still unique because it looks a little weird and crazy but is delicious. "Quinoa has a delightful characteristic that is all it's own: as it cooks, the outer germ around each grain twists outward forming a little white, spiral tail, which is attached to the kernel. The grain itself is soft and delicate and the tail is crunchy which creates and interesting texture combination and pleasant "crunch" when eating the grain. Quinoa has a fluffy consistency and a mild, delicate, slightly nutty flavor that borders on bland. The leaves of the Goosefoot (quinoa) plant are also edible and make a pleasant vegetable, like spinach. A quinoa leaf salad is generally more nutritious that most green salads."
***All quotes taken from: http://chetday.com/quinoa.html "All About Quinoa"***
The dish I made tonight I am going to call "Quinoa, Sure Why Not?"
1 cup Quinoa
2 cups water
2 cloves of garlic
1 Red Pepper
1/2 package of baby carrots
1 package sliced baby bellas
In a sauce pan, boil two cups of water and 1 cup of quinoa. Bring it to a boil and let it simmer/sit for 10-15 minutes. I added a clove of garlic diced up to this part. The box said that you can add the veggies while it absorbs the water.
In another sauté pan, combine all the veggies and cook them while the quinoa is cooking. Add the olive oil and seasonings and diced garlic at this time too.
Once the quinoa is done, I put it off the burner with the top still on and let it sit for another 5 minutes. They I added it all together in a bowl and served.
|This is the quinoa after it's been sitting.|
|Veggies in the sauté pan|
|close up again|