Sunday, February 20, 2011

a week of quinoa


I heard of quinoa (keen-wah) several years ago but I had never had an opportunity to try it. I noticed recently that Costco started carrying a four pound bag of organic quinoa for $10 so I finally decided to take the quinoa plunge!

I have been told repeatedly how versatile quinoa is so I thought it would be fun to prove (or disprove?) that by using a different quinoa recipe for dinner every night for a whole week. I will post the recipes and our opinion of them daily.

In case you haven't heard much about quinoa here is some info from my package of Earthly Choice Organic Quinoa.
Quinoa is a highly nutritious seed, originally from the Andean region of South America. It delivers all of the nutritional benefits of animal protein without the fat and calories. The grain has a lovely nutty flavor that is richer in flavor than couscous and it cooks quickly in roughly 15 minutes.

Quinoa contains all 8 amino acids, the protein building blocks that our bodies can’t make but must get from our food. Quinoa has on average 13 % protein compared to rice at 9%. Quinoa is an excellent source of fiber, containing both soluble and non-soluble fiber. It is high in a wide variety of vitamins and minerals, like iron, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus. It is also gluten free.

My children can sometimes be picky eaters, especially Sutton. I am hoping that they will love (or at least tolerate) quinoa.

What about you? Have you tried quinoa? Did you love it? Hate it? Do you have a favorite quinoa recipe? Do share!

23 comments:

Nicole said...

I haven't tried it but have a friend that loves it. And she buys hers at Costco. She is really into clean eating and had made some yummy recipes including Quinoa. I am hoping to try it soon. Can't wait to see what you think of it.

Diana said...

I cook mine in a rice cooker in a big batch then divide them into small bags to store in the freezer. From there I dump them in soups, smoothies, casseroles and whatever else I can think of.

Kelly said...

We've had it and we like it. My kids eat a lot of rice so it wasn't a big change for them. We cook ours with some chicken stock to give it some flavor and serve it as a side. I think you guys will like it.

Tanya said...

I'm a big quinoa fan, but hubby and the kids don't love it. One of the secrets to quinoa success is to soak the grains for about 10-15 minutes, rinse, and then rinse, rinse, rinse more...gets rid of any bitterness that might be in the grains.

Peggy said...

love it! I buy that costco quinoa too! Can't wait to see your recipes!

Kim said...

I have tried a few recipes. Some were hits. Others fails. My favorite is to top it with eggs, salsa, avocado and a bit of cilantro.

Kalleen at Second Street said...

I'm so excited Erin I've been wanting to try quinoa forever. I can't wait to see what you do.

Joy said...

I make quinoa at least once a week. That is a good price. I will check next time I go to Costco.

I usually cook it with chicken stock and add in some chopped mushrooms. Its pretty versatile and you can put in veggies that you like or just leave it plain. My girls will eat it and they are pretty picky. I always rinse mine good, but I've never soaked it. It seems to turn out ok. I usually buy it out of the bulk bins at Kroger.

Lyndsey said...

I cook my quinoa in chicken broth.. Makes it a little tastier for those picky ones. Then I just use it in the place of rice in some recipes.

merathon said...

we use quinoa all the time. use it in place of rice for a stir-fry or in place of the bulgur wheat in tabbouleh. on my recipe blog there is a recipe for chimichangas and you can use quinoa instead of the brown rice-- so YUMMY! in case you're interested, here it is:

http://vegetarianation.blogspot.com/2007/09/oven-chimichangas.html

purplegiraffes said...

I love it. Or loved it. Since we moved to China it's one of the few foods we can't find. I really do miss it. We had it in salads, in tabouleh instead of buckwheat, instead of rice, it was yum. Enjoy!!

Erin Jackson said...

I love it! Our favorite recipe is one with chopped onion, garlic and then cooked in vegetable broth with black beans and corn added towards the end and finished with cilantro! Goes great with salmon!

Kristi said...

i bought some a while ago, but haven't tried it yet- I am so excited to see what you make, and if you and your kids like it! thanks!

jt said...

I love quinoa and I too buy the Costco bag. For a side I will make it with shredded carrot and chicken broth, or I sub it for couscous in any recipe since we can't have couscous. (Rice sometimes too-) This is a great recipe to use it in: http://recipeschezmoi.blogspot.com/2008/12/chicken-couscous.html (my sister's recipe blog- I highly recommend anything on it!). Please share what you eat this week because I am always looking for more ways to use quinoa!

jt said...

I should add, Fiona (2) eats it but she eats anything, and Bella (5) won't eat it but she won't eat anything. So, two ends of the spectrum. The grownups both love it.

Mama Thompson said...

LOVE quinoa....you should find the red quinoa, I think it is better. I have a delicious quinoa/black bean salsay (?) recipe that we love....I will find it and send it to you. My little one loves to dip his chips into it. I use it as a filler with tacos instead of refried beans...so good with grilled chicken.

christina said...

that's so funny, i just dug my container out of the pantry the other day and rekindled my love affair with quinoa. i haven't done anything remarkable with it, but i love to cook it ahead of time and keep it in the fridge, then mix equal parts yogurt and quinoa and add berries. it makes a great easy breakfast, or lunch, or snack. (i'm pregnant. i eat a lot right now...)

i also threw a few spoonfuls into my shake the other day, and voila...instant protein shake!

Courtnay said...

we love quinoa and eat it all the time. we love lots of different things, but the one that comes to mind i squinoa salad. we use quinoa, blackbeans, lime juice, cilantro, cayenne, salt, pepper, onion, tomato and bell pepper. yum!!

teacherspet04 said...

My family loves quinoa. Our most typical use is as a rice substitute, cooked in either chicken or vegetable stock, maybe with spices, sometimes with butter and lemon pepper. I love some of the previous posters' ideas!

futuregirl said...

We just use it as a substitute for rice. It's easier and faster to make. It is always perfect! Can't wait to see what you do with it. :)

Anonymous said...

Love quinoa. I have been making it for a long time but pronounced it incorrectly until I heard Martha say it.
The red quinoa is my favorite, we buy both the red and plain versions at Healthy Home Market. It's super cheap, about $1.50 per pound, and a pound is a lot of food.
This is my favorite recipe, in the summer, when we have zucchini growing out of our eyeballs: http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/zucchini-quinoa-stuffing-00000000006981/index.html

Nicole said...

This recipe is so, so good: http://www.vegetariantimes.com/recipes/10896?section=

Enjoy!!

Andrea said...

Fun idea to do a full week of quinoa!

This was the first recipe I tried that used quinoa: http://www.artsy-foodie.com/2008/10/what-to-do-with-spaghetti-squash.html Husband and I both really liked it!

I have this recipe on the menu this week. I've never tried it but it sounded different and good: http://jfamilyrecipes.blogspot.com/2011/02/quinoa-vegtable-stew.html

Keep us updated on your experiment! :)

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