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Quinoa

Quinoa is a high-energy grain that, because it is easy to digest, is an ideal endurance and fitness food.  It is drying and warming , strengthening to the kidneys and heart, as well as the whole body.  Quinoa also contains high levels of Magnesium which helps relax your muscles and blood vessels and effects blood pressure. It is packed with Fiber and is a wonderful way to ensure that you consume valuable fiber.  It is a good source of Manganese and copper, minerals that act as antioxidants in your body to get rid of dangerous cancer and disease-causing substances.Quinoa's protein content, about 16 percent, is higher than that of any other grain. The protein in wheat and most other grains is lacking in the amino acid lysine, which quinoa has in abundance. In fact, the amino acid composition in quinoa is almost perfect. The world health organization has judged the protein in quinoa to be as complete as that in milk. In addition, quinoa contains more iron than most grains, is a good source of calcium, phosphorus, folate, magnesium, manganese, and many b vitamins, and is low in saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium. 
STORAGE INFORMATION  The shelf life of quinoa is approximately one month because the seed is rich in essential oils which makes it a prime target for spoilage. You'll be able to keep quinoa longer if you store in the refrigerator.
FUN FOOD FACTS   Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) - though not technically a cereal grain like wheat or oats, has been cultivated and eaten as a cereal for thousands of years by south Americans. Quinoa is the tiny seed of the chenopodium quinoa, a leafy plant that is a distant relative of spinach and beets.

Quinoa was called the "mother grain" by the Incas (chisiya mama). Now, as people in the rest of the world learn more about quinoa, they're discovering that its ancient nickname was well deserved - quinoa is indeed a nutritional powerhouse.

Read more about how a rise in the demand of Quinoa here in the U.S is effecting farmers in Bolivia.

Quinoa tip:, make sure you rinse it before cooking, it has a bitter coating and can taste weird if you just cook it. You can also toast it in a hot pan, no oil, for a few minutes to deepen the flavor a bit.


SIMPLE FROM SCRATCH

Basic cooking directions for quinoa

1. Rinse measured amount of quinoa in a strainer under cold water for about one minute. This removes a bitter resin that coats the grain.

2. The ratio of quinoa to water is 1:2. For example, one cup of quinoa requires two cups of water.

3.bring water to a boil, add quinoa, cover and cook about 15 minutes or until all water is absorbed.

4. Fluff quinoa with a fork.

Alternatives:

1.    measure out and pre-soak quinoa grain overnight.  Use equal amout of water (instead of double as if not soaked).  bring to boil, turn down to simmer, cover and time exactly 8 minutes.  watch carefully to turn off when water is absorbed.  let stand a few minutes more.

2,    Quinoa and rice.  Measure equal parts quinoa and white rice.  Use double water.  Boil, turn down to simmer, cover and steam for 20 minutes.  (It's the same as making steamed rice but substitute half the rice for quinoa.) 

Favorite Quinoa and Rice

If you aren't crazy about quinoa yet or if you like rice, this is a wonderful way to have both together -- and many like it better than either quinoa or rice separately.   Using the usual quinoa or rice cooking method of 1 part grain to 2 parts water, bring to boil, cover and simmer 20 minutes, EXCEPT use a mix of 50% QUINOA and 50% RICE.  It is a really nice combination, they cook the same length of time, and adds protein and flavor to your rice.


To Rinse or Not to Rinse?  The quinoa plant actually produces its own natural repellent- called saponin.  This natural defense can give the grain a bitter taste, make the cooking water taste soapy, and may have a mild laxative effect.  It is not harmful to humans.  Rinsing quinoa removes the saponin.

 We called Frankferd Farms, and verified their farmers do rinse the grain before shipping.  However, the woman who answered the phone suggested rinsing one more time before cooking to avoid having a soapy side dish- although it isn't necessary.  I like to toast mine until light brown before boiling to bring out the nutty notes.


Sopa De Quinoa Y Tomate (Quinoa And Tomato Soup)

1 tb oil

1 ts fresh cilantro; minced

1 garlic clove; pressed

1 onion; diced

1/2 green pepper; chopped

2 celery stalks; chopped

1 cup tomato; chopped

salt and pepper; to taste

6 cups veggie stock

1/2 cup quinoa

Scallions; to garnish

1/4 cup grated cheese; to garnish

Heat a 2-qt. Soup pot. Add oil and sauté cilantro, garlic, onion, pepper, celery and then tomato. Add salt and pepper. Add stock and bring to a boil. Add quinoa and return to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes. Garnish each bowl with scallions and cheese.


Quinoa with Sun-Dried Tomatoes

1 cups quinoa

1 tsp butter

8 sun-dried tomatoes (not oil-packed), diced

2 shallots, minced

1 clove garlic, minced

2 cups water, or veggie stock

Pinch of cayenne pepper

2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

Salt & freshly ground black pepper

Place quinoa in a fine-meshed sieve and rinse under warm running water for 1 min. Set aside. Heat butter in a heavy, med. Saucepan over med. Heat. Add tomatoes, shallots and garlic and sauté for 3-5 minutes, or till shallots are softened. Add stock or water and bring to a boil. Stir quinoa and cayenne, return to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for about 30 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed. Let sit for 5 minutes, and fluff grains with a fork to separate. Stir in fresh parsley and season with salt and pepper.


Quinoa Tabbouleh

1 cup quinoa, rinsed

1/2 cup finely chopped fresh parsley or substitute another leafy green and chop finely

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (about 1 lemon)

2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil

1 to 2 cloves garlic, minced

Combine quinoa and 2 cups water in medium saucepan. Cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 15 to 20 minutes, or until quinoa is tender and liquid is absorbed. Place cooked quinoa in large bowl, fluff with fork and let cool. Add remaining ingredients and salt to taste, and mix well.


Can add grated raw or cooked carrots or other vegetables or greens.


Black Bean Chili Burgers

1 cup water

1/2 cups quinoa; rinsed

2 cups black bean flakes

1 1/2 cups boiling water

2 ts chili powder

1 ts ground cumin

1/2 cup fresh cilantro; chopped

2 green onions; chopped

1/2 cup red bell pepper; chopped

1/2 cup plain bread crumbs

3/4 ts salt

2 ts vegetable oil

Bring 1 cup water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add quinoa, cover and simmer 15 minutes. Place black bean flakes in a medium-sized bowl. Stir in boiling water. Cover and let stand 5 minutes. Combine 1/2 cup cooked quinoa with black beans, chili powder, cumin, cilantro, green onions, red bell pepper, bread crumbs and salt. Mix well. Lightly flour hands and divide mixture into six equal balls. Flatten each ball into a 1/4-inch-thick cake. Heat oil in a nonstick skillet. Cook each bean cake about 2 minutes each side. Serve topped with lettuce, cheese, sour cream, salsa and other garnishes, as desired.


Quinoa, Leek and Tofu Casserole

1 1/2 c tofu

2 ts sesame oil

1 garlic clove -- pressed

1 leek -- chopped

2 c quinoa -- cooked

1 t sea salt or

2 ts shoyu

Dash black pepper

1 cup whole wheat bread crumbs

1 cup soymilk

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350. Working with 1/2 cup tofu at a time, squeeze out water with your hands. Set aside. Heat a large skillet or wok and add the oil. Add the garlic and the leek. Sauté until lightly browned.

Add quinoa, then tofu, sautéing for 2 minuets after each addition. Add seasonings. Oil a casserole dish. Add 1/2 cup bread crumbs and rotate the casserole dish to coat evenly. Gently add the quinoa mixture. Press a well in the center of the quinoa and pour in the soymilk, cover with the remaining bread crumbs. Cover and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the cover and continue to bake for about 10 more minutes.


Quinoa Pudding

Ingredients:

2 cups cooked quinoa

3 cups milk

1/3 cup honey or 1/2 c brown sugar

3 eggs; beaten

1/8 ts salt

1 tb butter

1 ts vanilla

1/2 cup raisins

1/2 cup shredded coconut

1/2 cup ground almonds or walnuts

1/2 ts cinnamon

1/2 ts lemon or orange rind; grated

1 ts lemon juice

Combine all ingredients. Pour into a greased baking dish or greased individual custard cups. Bake at 350 until set, about 45 minutes.Serve hot or cold, topped with yogurt, cream or apple juice.