Friday, February 17, 2012

Seeds with Belts


The first thing you have to do is figure out how to pronounce it and not look like a dummy.
It's keen-wah.
Kwin-o-uh will get you some odd stares--especially if you are in Whole Foods or another pretentious foodie environment--maybe even a finger-wag.  I was in the break room of my old job a couple years ago, and the nicest but most odd man was heating up his keen-wah while educating me about this mystery seed and all its nutritional perks.  I figured it was just another one of his amusing quirks, but not too long after, I saw a bag of the stuff at Trader Joe's and decided to give it a try.  Hey--I love couscous, this probably isn't too different?

Well, it is different.  And it's way better for you that couscous.  I've read over and over about its "superfood" status, and I enjoy sharing my little random trivia that quinoa's a seed rather than a grain (though it is often still called a "whole grain").  I also find it amusing that once it has fully cooked, each seed loosens its little yellow belt, as if implying, "I feel so bloated today too."

Which reminds me of one of my favorite jokes...

Quinoa is full of protein, fiber, iron, and calcium.  It can be purchased in bulk bins in the red or yellow varieties, and Trader Joe's sells a tri-color blend.  Or you can pull out the big guns and buy the 5lb bag from Costco.  My mom buys about 4 of those bags at once (even though I noticed she has additional back-up bags in the downstairs's important always to be prepared for an emergency.)  My parents' favorite method of preparation is to cook up a couple pounds at a time and later mix in a variety of veggies, beans, herbs, or other toppings, such as feta cheese, salsa, lemon juice and zest, to give it either a Mediterranean or Mexican flavor.  I think my Dad could probably be satisfied eating a quinoa bowl for every meal for the rest of the year.  Just throw in a beer at dinner.

But I have started to see some other interesting and creative uses for quinoa pop up online, and I thought I'd share, even if only two certain people see this and opt to venture out!

Breakfast Quinoa

Two versions of quinoa burgers:

I'm a sucker for a soft egg

Curried Quinoa Wrap:

Southwestern Wrap:

Which looks best?  I am especially intrigued by the quinoa burgers with the soft egg on top.

So, besides my Mom, who else has jumped on the keen-wah band wagon?


  1. I had to help Mom open one of those 5lb Costco bags when I was home this weekend...but a few hours later, we had 9ish POUNDS of quinoa ready to be eaten. We went a little Mediterranean, a little "whatever was in the house."

    That curried quinoa sure looks YUM!


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