Sunday, July 15, 2012


quinoa have a cup

I’m not the most cutting-edge when it comes to food. 
Or sun glasses.
Or cell phones.

But after embarrassing myself by pronouncing ‘quinoa’ the wrong way in front of several 20-somethings, I decided it was time to get my cool on in the kitchen.

I’d purchased some quinoa (keen’-wa for those who need help like I did) several weeks earlier but hadn’t tried cooking with it.  Tonight was the night!

What is quinoa anyway?  Because of its texture and taste, it’s often referred to as a grain.  It’s actually a seed and comes from a dark, leafy plant similar to spinach or swiss chard.  Quinoa is loaded with protein, fiber and nutrients, giving it its designation as a superfood.  It’s gluten-free and low on the glycemic index so although it can be used in all the ways rice can, it doesn’t cause a blood sugar spike that most carbs do.

I like it because it cooks quickly, can be served hot in a main dish or cold in a salad, and has a nutty, fairly mild flavor that goes with so many ingredients. 

I found a recipe at Epicurious but tweaked it based on what I had on hand and what sounded good.  It was delicious!  You could do some tweaking of your own so it’s made to your liking.  Here’s my version:

Black Bean and Tomato Quinoa
Printable recipe here

2 Tbl lime juice
2 Tbl butter, melted and cooled
1 Tbl vegetable oil
1 tsp sugar

1 cup quinoa
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can sweet corn, drained
12 grape tomatoes, sliced
4 green onions
¼ cup chopped cilantro
salt and pepper

Whisk together dressing in a large bowl.  Wash quinoa in sieve.  Bring 2 cups water + 2 tsp salt to a boil; add quinoa and bring back to boil.  Cover and cook over medium heat for 15 minutes or until quinoa has absorbed all the water.  Remove from heat, fluff, cover and let stand for 5 minutes.

Add quinoa to dressing and toss until dressing is absorbed.  Stir in remaining ingredients; add salt and pepper to taste.

If you have a yummy quinoa recipe, please share the link in a comment!

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