Monday, June 16, 2008


Quinoa is an ancient grain that comes from South America. "It was one of three staple foods, along with corn and potatoes, of the Inca civilization. Quinoa was known then, and still is known with respect as the Mother Grain."

Previously when I've read about quinoa, I was scared off a bit by the fact that it had an unpleasant taste and needed to be washed and rinsed before cooking. The quinoa I bought was pre-washed and required no rinsing. The quinoa could be cooked just like rice, in a rice cooker...or in a pot of boiling water. I choose to cook it in a pot.

Inside the box was a little recipe booklet and some additional information on quinoa. The instructions state that "when done, the grain appears soft and translucent, and the germ ring will be visible along the outside edge of the grain." For some reason I thought it was cool seeing the little germ ring...kind of a little curl.

Plain, the quinoa did not have much taste. Similar in taste and consistency to things like couscous or bulgur. The girl really liked the flavor - the boy thought it was mediocre. I left some plain for them to sample and then followed the recipe in the booklet for the "Mexican Quinoa With Pinto Beans" (revised greatly due to the fact that I didn't have the required pinto beans...used black beans, didn't have bell peppers either).


Heather said...

It is an excellent replacement for corn or rice in most recipes. My kids love it with oil and salt or sweetenr for breakfast (kind of like grits.) The ground version makes an excellent corn bread.

Mrs. Mordecai said...

Oh, I love quinoa! Rinsing isn't too hard if you have a fine-mesh strainer (mine just broke so I've been using a kitchen towel which is a pain).

Here is my favorite quinoa recipe. I start missing it if I don't make it every month or so. There's another good recipe in America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook that has apples, walnuts, and chicken broth.

Quinoa is much cheaper from the bulk bins of a health food store. But I loved seeing your box! It's the same box my roommate had in college when she introduced us to her quinoa vegetable soup.

Anonymous said...

Quinoa DOES NOT look appealing to me . This is one that I won't try.

Anonymous said...

I just made my very first batch of quinoa. I opted for the hot cereal version--looking for something to maybe replace oatmeal in the morning? anyway, added a little cinn and sugar and some margarine...not bad. Def get the nutty flavor and the little pieces are kinda hard to chew up, but it def could be the alternative I'm looking for!