Quinoa for dinner……

Okay – I have to admit that I had never heard of Quinoa until I started researching "grains"  after reading the wonderful cooking posts of Purplesque   and   Singing Horse

Technically quinoa is not a true grain, but is the seed of the Chenopodium or Goosefoot plant. It is considered, and used, as a grain because of its cooking characteristics. The name comes from the Greek words, chen (a goose) and pous (a foot) – because the leaves of the plant resemble the webbed foot of a goose. The plant is a type of succulent and grows 4-6 feet tall.  The flower heads are branched and when in seed, look like millet – with large clusters of seeds at the end of the stalk.  Relatives of quinoa are Beets, Spinach and Swiss Chard.

Quinoa is native to the Andes Mountains of Bolivia, Chile and Peru and has been eaten continuously for 5,000 years by the people who live on these mountain plateaus.  It was once called "the gold of the Incas" who recognized its value in increasing the stamina of their warriors.  Quinoa includes all 9 essential amino acids and is high in manganese, magnesium, iron, copper and phosphorus.  When cooked it is sort of fluffy & creamy with an almost nutty flavour.

So tonight I whipped up a salad using quinoa:

While the quinoa was cooking  (which only takes 15 minutes) I cut up red onions, red peppers & cilantro 

Then add diced mango

Then production had to stop for awhile because the quinoa had cooked but it needed to be cooled before it could be added  (I cheated by putting it in a metal bowl in the deep freeze).  This is what it looked like in the last seconds of cooking: 

Once cooled – add it to the mango etc:  

And then …..   throw in some black beans and a bit of vinegar:  

Really delicious!!  (and so good for you!).

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31 responses

  1. Oh, this looks wonderful! I'm going to have to give quinoa a try. I had a recipe once that called for it, and when I went to the health food store to buy some, they were completely out. 😦

  2. I discovered quinoa just a few weeks ago while I was in the DC area, but unfortunately I haven't been able to find anywhere that sells it now that I'm back home in Perth. I could buy it online but it seems horrendously expensive compared to the price in the US.

  3. Beautiful looking food! Quinoa isn't a big favorite of mine but its nutritional value is great. Dress it up the way you did, though, and it's probably quite excellent in taste, as well! By the way, your photos lately have been fascinating and quite lovely — the parade and all. — JG

  4. Yes, it tasted very different dressed up to the taste I had of the "stuff" in the saucepan! 🙂 If you don't like mango, you could probably use dried apricots or mandarin segments. Thank you for the compliment on the photos!

  5. Thank you soo uch for the info – -I didn't know– in my mush-brain I thought it was related to quinine..lol ……good for malaria……I wonder is it's sold in supermarkets..gotta check.

  6. I like the red quinoa even better – it's more flavorful and whole-grain-y I think. I have a recipe for a sweet/sour sauce I put over it, really yummy! Or it's good cold with Italian dressing (or vinaigrette).They sell the regular quinoa at my local grocery, but I've only seen the red at natural foods markets.

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