For the new kid in the kitchen…

Quinoa? Quin-what?

Woot Woooooot Do you hear that? It’s the whole grain train and it’s coming our way. Lest we be considered white bread eating, unimaginative, behind-the-times nutrient-lacking bozos It seems like we’re supposed to hop on this fad ASAP.

I suppose if we are to give in to this health-crazed whole grain fad, we may as well do it in style right? Well what if I told you that one of the best ways to get all of our whole grain benefits could be achieved by eating something that wasn’t even technically a grain? Enter quinoa.

While quinoa is technically a seed it contains many of the same qualities as a whole grain and has thus been dubbed a “pseudo-grain”. This little super food contains an almost perfect balance of all the amino acids needed by the human body, and harbors an average of 16.2 grams of protein per serving. That’s more than double rice people! For more health info click here.

While quinoa can be ground up and used as flour, or substituted as breakfast cereal, my favorite use by far has been as a rice or couscous substitute. By its self it can taste pretty plain, so we’re gonna have go ahead and jazz it up a little bit.

Cooking your quinoa

The trick is quinoa:water = 1:2 ratio (unless otherwise specified by the box). This, when cooked, will produce about 4 cups of grain. After bringing the water to a boil, pour in your quinoa and let it simmer for about 15-20 minutes, or until the grain has fluffed and the little outer germs have separated from the body of the grain. Now time to throw in some flavor.

Adding Pizzaz to you Quinoa

Chop up about 1 cup of onions, 3 gloves of garlic, and 2 cups of mushrooms. Cook this together until soft in a medium frying pan and then toss into your pot of quinoa. pour in some olive oil, and thyme to taste. Throw in a pinch of salt and serve with fish, chicken, or just guzzle down a bowl by itself.

There you go. The whole grain train is leaving the station and you are aboard holding a one-way ticket to pretentious health-ville. Enjoy!

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