Qui-noah? Qkwee-now? …..keen-wah!
Thank goodness I found out how to pronounce it. If you’re like me, you might have avoided this because it’s new and change is scare. But in the interest of delicious food (and more importantly) health, let’s figure out what this grain is about.
Quinoa, considered a grain, is not a truuueee grain, but a pseudo-cereal. A cereal imposter! But it’s ok, it.means.no.harm. It is regarded for its health benefits and is a great substitute for couscous (think pasta like).
It’s notable healthiness is from its high calcium content and that its gluten-free. It’s also a good source of magnesium, iron, and dietary fiber. Largely a vegan diet thing, but can be used in all your regular stews as a bedding and many other dish substitutes, like white rice.
Quinoa with Latin Flavors!
- 1 cup quinoa, (see Note)
- 2 teaspoons canola oil
- medium onion, chopped
- 1 4-ounce can chopped green chiles
- cloves garlic, minced
- 1 14-ounce can reduced-sodium chicken broth, or vegetable broth
- 1/4 cup pepitas, toasted (see Note)
- 3/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
- 1/2 cup chopped scallions
- tablespoons lime juice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
1. Toast quinoa in a large dry skillet over medium heat, stirring often, until it crackles and becomes aromatic, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a fine sieve and rinse thoroughly.
2. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add chiles and garlic; cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the quinoa and broth; bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer, cover and cook until the quinoa is tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed, 20 to 25 minutes.
3. Add pepitas, cilantro, scallions, lime juice and salt to the quinoa; mix gently and fluff with a fork.
Notes: Quinoa, a delicately flavored grain that was a staple in the ancient Incas’ diet, is available in most natural-foods stores and the natural-foods sections of many supermarkets. Toasting the grain before cooking enhances the flavor, and rinsing removes any residue of saponin, quinoa’s natural, bitter protective coating.
Hulled pumpkin seeds, also known as pepitas, are dusky green and have a delicate nutty flavor. They can be found in the health-food or bulk sections of many supermarkets.
To toast nuts & seeds on the stovetop: Toast in a small dry skillet over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant and lightly browned, 3 to 5 minutes.
Calories 181, Total Fat 6 g, Saturated Fat 1 g, Monounsaturated Fat 2 g, Cholesterol 1 mg, Sodium 196 mg, Carbohydrate 27 g, Fiber 3 g, Protein 7 g, Potassium 379 mg. Daily Values: Vitamin C 25%, Iron 20%. Exchanges: Starch 1.5,Fat 1.
Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet