Wednesday, March 28, 2012

I tried quinoa!

Last night, I finally tried the quinoa that has been sitting in my cabinet forever! Since trying new foods is one of my 24 goals this year, I'd like to tell you a bit about it.

What is quinoa: Quinoa is a pseudo-grain--a plant that likes to pretend it's a grain but is really is more closely related to beets, spinach and (according to the always-right Wikipedia) tumbleweed (?!?). You eat the seeds.

Why I tried it: I had never ever heard of quinoa before joining Pinterest. Then I started seeing it EVERYWHERE. People rave about it because it has a high protein count (6 grams in the one serving I had last night) and it's wheat free and gluten free.

The protein count makes it great for me as a vegetarian since that's one of the things I have to work to make up for in my meat-free diet. (When it came down to it, though, I finally bucked up and tried it because I had absolutely NO other options. I had cereal, but no milk. Pasta, but no sauce, etc....)

How to cook it: Like rice, you boil with a set amount of water and then let it sit for a few minutes before fluffing it with a fork. Here's a post on how to make it perfectly fluffy (and my pin of it), but I just winged it. I did add some water because I knew I always end up burning my rice.

I made a cheese sauce and accidentally sort of drowned my quinoa, but here are some other ways to try it:

Quinoa and blackbeans
Source, pin

Quinoa "mac and cheese"
Source, pin

A breakfast pudding with bananas and blueberries
Source, pin
My thoughts: I liked it! It has a very subtle taste. I think I would like it plain, too, maybe with some salt.

I didn't realize quinoa was so SMALL! Doesn't that picture make it look big? They're like little bubble pod things. It reminds me of the seaweed that washes up sometimes with the little bubbles in it. You know the kind?

Not super appetizing... Source.
Also, make sure you have a superfine strainer--one of those mesh ones. You must rinse your quinoa because it naturally has a very bitter coating. I had to improvise and it took foreeeever. So I bought a $2 mesh strainer last night.

So don't be afraid! I tried it, survived, and actually liked it!

Have any of you tried quinoa yet? What did you make?

P.S. I also tried a new restaurant last week! That's part of another one of my goals! We went here

Sources for info: The package my quinoa came in, Savvy Brown, and wikipedia.


Valerie Griffin said...

yayyyy! I LOVE quinoa! We had pineapple quinoa for dinner last night!

Margaret Hart said...

how does one pronounce the name of this food?


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