Vegetarian and Vegan FAQ - F.Y. I. about grains

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02-11-2005, 02:56 PM

Quinoa is the seed of a leafy plant that's distantly related to spinach. Quinoa has a light, delicate taste, and can be substituted for almost any other grain. Quinoa has excellent reserves of protein, offers more iron than other grains and contains high levels of potassium and riboflavin, as well as other B vitamins: B6, niacin, and thiamin. It is also a good source of magnesium, zinc, copper, and manganese, and has some folate (folic acid).

Quinoa grains are about the same size as millet, but flattened, with a pointed, oval shape. The color ranges from pale yellow through red and brown to black. Quinoa cooks quickly to a light,fluffy texture. As it cooks, the external germ, which forms a band around each grain, spirals out,forming a tiny crescent-shaped "tail," similar to a bean sprout. Although the grain itself is soft and creamy, the tail is crunchy, providing a unique texture to complement quinoa's delicate flavor.

Quinoa can be found at health food stores and some supermarkets. It should be stored in a tightlysealed container in a cool, dry place.

Cooking Quinoa:
Quinoa should be rinsed thoroughly before cooking to remove any powdery residue of saponin. Place the grain in a fine strainer and hold it under cold running water until the water runs clear;drain well.

Toast the grain in a dry skillet for five minutes before cooking to give it a delicious roasted flavor.To cook, use two parts liquid to one part quinoa. Combine the liquid and toasted quinoa in a medium saucepan, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until the grains are translucent and the germ has spiraled out from each grain, about 15 minutes. During cooking,
Quinoa increases about three to four times in volume.

To make a quinoa pilaf, begin by sauteing chopped onion and garlic in a little oil. Add toasted quinoa and liquid (two parts water to one part quinoa) and simmer as described above. After the pilaf is cooked, you can stir in other ingredients such as toasted nuts, dried fruit, shredded greens,fresh herbs, or cheese.

07-08-2005, 04:28 PM
i just found a recepie for curried peas with quinoa-- i'm excited to try it and will post how it turns out. i never thought to make quinoa like a pilaf-- it would be so good with as a sub for rice in my standard rice/nuts/dried fruit dinner.mmmm

07-09-2005, 04:50 PM
mauv ..Thankyou so much for posting this.. I've seen Quinoa on the shelf..but since I didnt know about it..shied away.. will add to the grocery list ... Punkrockgrrl: Love your bloggette! Please let us know about your dish...

07-11-2005, 03:45 PM
You're welcome - I'm working on some other info to. I keep seeing things in the stores and trying to figure out what to do with them - I used to be afraid of couscous and now love the stuff! :)

07-13-2005, 01:27 PM
the quinoa turned out pretty good last night- though i think the next time i make it i'll use veg stock (or 1/2 veg stock) instead of water and i'll add more peas.

curried quinoa with peas
1 c quinoa- rinsed and drained
1 TB vegetable oil
1/2 c onion- diced fine
1 t minced ginger
diced green chilies to taste (i used these hot-as-heck red cherry peppers :devil: )
1 t tumeric
1 t coriander
1/2 t cinnamon (i didn't have ground cinnamon so i just threw a cinnamon stick in)
salt to taste
1 3/4 c water (option- sub veg stock)
1/2 c fresh or frozen peas
fresh chopped cilantro

sautee onions in oil until translucent about 3 - 4 minutes, add ginger and chilies. cook another few minutes and add quinoa, tumeric, coriander, salt, and cinnamon. cook 1 - 2 minutes stirring constantly. add water. bring to a boil. cover, reduce heat and simmer for 15+/- minutes until water is absorbed. add peas and cook for an additional 4 or 5 minutes. garnish with cilantro and serve.

this tasted more middle eastern than what i think of when i think of a curry but it was good and very aromatic and the tumeric made it a pretty yellow that looked nice with the green peas and the red chilies. if you like raisins, it would be good sprinkled with mint and raisins instead of cilantro.


07-20-2008, 01:30 AM
I've been seeing this a lot lately. It has piqued my interest. :)

07-20-2008, 01:39 AM
I love quinoa. I cook it and use it as I would rice. My husband especially likes it when I use it instead of rice in "fried rice."

07-20-2008, 01:45 AM
Mmmmm...sounds delish!

Where can I find this? Trader Joe's? Whole Foods?

07-20-2008, 11:29 AM
Trader Joe's, Whole foods but I also see it in the regular grocery store where the other grains are sold.

07-20-2008, 03:07 PM
Prices vary tremendously for quinoa though, and it's one of the few things that are usually much less expensive in the healthfood store than the tradtionional grocery. Also, if you can find it in bulk bins, it's usually WAY less expensive than prepackaged. So it's usually worth comparing prices, especially if you have reasonable access to bulk stores and health food stores in addition to "regular" grocery stores. With the price of gas these days, that has to be figured in.

07-20-2008, 08:49 PM
Thank for the curry recipe...that's now on my menu for this week!!

05-12-2010, 11:21 PM
I love quinoa, sometimes I throw it in a green salad or eat it oatmeal with milk, cinnamon & sweetener.