Until recently I didn’t even know how to pronounce the word quinoa, let alone how to cook it, and what it would taste like. I’ve read in a few places recently though just how good it is for runners, so thought I would give it a go.
So, first things first. It’s not kween-oh, keen-oh, or even kwin-oh-a. In fact it’s pronounce keen-wah.
Where to find quinoa
You can normally find quinoa in the healthy living wellbeing section of the supermarket amongst the other grains and beans. Most supermarkets stock it now, and it’s also easy to find organic quinoa. It’s also very cheap (just over Â£1 for about 5 servings).
What is quinoa?
Quinoa is a seed that’s not only packed with carbohydrates, but is also very rich in protein. In fact it’s about 12-18% protein.
The main way it differs from other carbohydrates such as rice is that it’s rich in essential amino acids (including lysine – which plays a major role in helping the body recover from injuries).
How to cook quinoa
Cooking quinoa is much like cooking rice…
To serve two:
- First of all measure out one cup full of quinoa and rinse well under cold water. I find it best to use a sieve.
- Once the quinoa has been rinsed well tip it into a saucepan (one that you have a tight fitting lid for) and add two cups of cold water. You basically need twice the volume of water than quinoa.
- Now, here’s the secret to making good quinoa… add a very small amount of vegetable stock powder to the water. I tend to add about half a teaspoon.
- Bring the water to the boil and then reduce to a medium heat – so that it’s quite a strong simmer.
- Cover the pan tightly with a lid. If there’s lots of steam escaping then put some tin foil on top of the pan first.
- Cook for 10 minutes then turn off the heat and allow to stand for another ten minutes before taking off the lid and fluffing up with a fork.
What does quinoa go with?
Pretty much anything really. It’s a very good side dish to have with salmon or tuna, but what I like best is letting it cool and then having at work for lunch with a salad. It goes really well with watercress, lettuce, tomatoes, celery and some diced ham.
So, give it a go, and let me know what you think.