Often referred to as the “Gold of the Incas”, quinoa is a food that is both old and new.
It is celebrated both as an ancient staple and a rediscovered foodie favorite.
Most importantly, quinoa is a powerhouse of nutrition, flavor and texture.
Those who are not yet familiar with quinoa, may think of it as a grain, or at least a replacement
However, the little tiny disc is actually a seed of a plant in the same family as beets, chard,
These nutritious, amino acid rich seeds are light and fluffy when cooked, with a little snap to it.
You’ll also find quinoa in a variety of beautiful colors such as gold, red, and even black.
“Gold of the Incas”
While relatively new to the US market, quinoa has been cultivated in Peru, Chile, and Bolivia for
over 50 centuries (that’s right, I said centuries!) and is a staple food in their diets.
The Incas considered quinoa a sacred food and referred to it as the “mother seed,” which is why
we often refer to it as “Gold of the Incas.”
When Spanish conquistadors were trying to gain control of the South American indigenous people,
they destroyed the fields in which quinoa was grown, and outlawed the farming and sale of quinoa.
In1980, two Americans re-discovered the health and nutrition potential of quinoa and started
cultivation in Colorado. Today, quinoa is finding its way into homes and restaurants all over the map.
Healthy, Gluten-Free Superfood
For being such a tiny little seed, quinoa is a complete protein, containing all nine essential
Quinoa is also a great source of manganese, magnesium, folate, phosphorus, and lysine, which is
essential for tissue growth and repair.
The minerals contained in relatively high amounts may also be especially helpful for those people
who have consistent migraines, diabetes, and atherosclerosis.
One of the most highly valued aspects of quinoa for many people is it is gluten free.
Those looking for alternatives for wheat and other gluten foods can turn to quinoa in several forms
to replace the gluten in their diets.
How to Prepare Quinoa
The quinoa seeds are naturally covered by a saponin residue that is bitter to the palate.
This is one defense mechanism the plant has to fend off the occasional passing critter that
wants a snack.
While commercial cultivation processes remove much of the saponin that coats the seed,
it is still a good idea to rinse the seeds in cold water to make sure the process is complete.
However, there are many brands that are pre-rinsed.
You can use your own judgment.
How to Cook Quinoa
Once you have the quinoa rinsed, bring a pot of one part quinoa and two parts water to a boil,
cover, and simmer slowly for fifteen minutes, or until the the water is absorbed and the
quinoa is tender.
If you want to keep more of the natural nutty flavor, you can dry roast the seeds before
Put the quinoa in a skillet over medium heat and toss, just until the quinoa becomes fragrant.
Now you have a multitude of options for enjoying your quinoa.
Whether you like it hot or cold, you can put it into a salad or in a soup.
You can add sauteed or steamed veggies and create a quick pilaf.
You can make quinoa puddings or quinoa breakfast bowls. Yum!
You can also form your cooked quinoa into patties with a variety of ingredients.
Go ahead and add cooked quinoa to your favorite pancake or muffin recipe for a brand-new take
on healthy eating.
You can also soak and sprout quinoa and enjoy it raw.
No matter if you are looking for a gluten free alternative to grains, or you are a food lover who is
just looking for something new to experiment with, or you want to give your nutrition a real boost,
give quinoa a try.
With all the possibilities, you could easily create a quinoa creation for every day of the year!
I eat quinoa regularly.
It is so versatile and easy to get creative with.
I am able to whip up new quinoa dishes daily based upon what produce and spices I have on hand.
Today I made this quick and easy quinoa, kale and kimchi combo.
Try it yourself.
I hope you like it!
Spicy Quinoa, Kale and Kimchi Bowl
1 cup organic Quinoa — cooked in advance
2 cups organic Kale
1 organic Onion
3 cloves Garlic
2 tablespoons Toasted Sesame Oil
3 tablespoons Coconut Aminos
2 tablespoons Nutritional Yeast
2 tablespoons Toasted Sesame Seeds
1 tablespoon Red Pepper Flakes
1 tablespoon Cayenne Pepper
1 tablespoon Dulse flakes
1 teaspoon Sea Salt
2 tablespoons organic Spicy Kimchi per bowl
2 organic Scallions – chopped
Cook the quinoa in advance according to package directions.
Wash and slice kale.
Wash and slice onion and garlic.
Add onion and garlic to steamer basket.
Steam for 5 minutes or until tender.
Add kale to the steamer basket.
Steam for 2-3 minutes.
Add the toasted sesame oil and seasonings to the steamed veggie water
to create a light broth.
Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.
Spoon cooked quinoa into bowls.
Spoon vegetables on top of quinoa.
Pour seasoned vegetable broth over the quinoa and vegetables.
Top with a couple spoonfuls of spicy kimchi vegetables and juice.
Garnish with chopped scallions if you desire.
Serve and enjoy!
Garnish with sliced scallions (optional)
Have you prepared quinoa?
What are your favorite ways to enjoy it?
Share your thoughts and comments with us.