How do you spell it?
Q U I N O A.
How did you say it?
Oh. I always wondered what that word was.
And so it went. Before she ate it she had to know what it was. I explained that it was an ancient grain, eaten by the Incas, now grown in the US, packed with protein iron potassium magnesium and lysine. By many it's considered one of the Super Foods. JUST TRY IT.
I was getting impatient with her reluctance to dig in. Her fork finally made it to her mouth and she was surprised. Quinoa is really mostly about the texture. The flavor is mild nutty and easily embellished with herbs and sauces. I admit that the little pop quinoa makes when you bite into one is a surprise at first. And yes, they get stuck between your teeth. Alone it taste a little like nothing, why bother. You must bother, with herbs and spices and fruit and whatever it takes, because it's so good for you. Aren't you tired of the same old same old?
This recipe has a little Indian twist to it. Because I had a guest with a certain resistance for things new, I went easy on the spices. You could easily adjust the recommendations here, doubling them even.
3/4 cup quinoa, rinsed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small red onion, diced
1/4 teaspoon cumin, ground
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
1/4 teaspoon ginger, ground
1/4 teaspoon coriander, ground
1/8 teaspoon turmeric
1.4 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup raisins (or currants)
3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts or almonds
1 teaspoon grated lemon or orange zest
Cook quinoa in 1 1/2 cup water with 1/4 tsp salt.
Saute onion in olive oil with the spices until soft
Drain quinoa and toss with the onion, spices and cilantro, raisins, nuts and zest.
Serve on a bed of the salad green of your choice.