May 29, 2009


Quinoa – A Healthy Gluten-Free Food

I first learned about quinoa soon after starting on a gluten-free diet. I was glad a pronunciation was given many places where I saw the word, because I was saying it wrong. If you don’t know, it is pronounced keen-wah with emphasis on the first syllable.

Nutritionally, quinoa is a great addition to any diet.  According to my box of Ancient Harvest Inca Red quinoa, 1/4 c. dry contains 6 grams fiber and 6 grams protein along with 20% RDA phosphorus, 12% RDA iron, and 5% RDA riboflavin. For more useful information visit the Quinoa Corporation web site.

I admit quinoarice & quinoa hasn’t been a big hit at our house, but it hasn’t been a complete dud either. When preparing it as a side dish, I have found two things that help my family enjoy it. 1. Cook it in chicken broth. 2. Mix it half and half with rice. Usually I use white rice because it cooks in the same amount of time. Of course, the lack of nutritional value in white rice makes it a bit of a trade off. I cook it in my pressure cooker using 3/4 c. white rice, 3/4 c. quinoa, and 2 1/4 c. water/broth. I cook it under low pressure for 5 minutes.

More water is needed when cooking it in a regular pot, just follow the package instructions (1 c. quinoa to 2 c. water.) If there is too much liquid at the end of cooking time, remove the lid and cook it a little longer.

I have added quinoa to soups and casseroles, which my family doesn’t seem to mind. I have not tried it in salads, but I know some people like it that way.

There are two types of quinoa, traditional and red. I prefer the red, but I can’t say why. Maybe it has a firmer texture. For more quinoa ideas, visit Diane’s Friday Foodie Fix blog carnival. 

What is your favorite way to prepare quinoa?


Sneaking in nutrition any way you can! I just tried the red quinoa and I do like it better, too. It is nuttier tasting and has a little more crunch to it.
I haven't tried red yet, I'll have to do that. My husband might like it even better than the regular quinoa as he's a fan of the "crunch" factor. I was surprised when he said he like quinoa as he tried it even before it went into my dish this weekend.
Funny, I never thought about mixing it with rice. I bet my husband would enjoy that more. Great idea! Thank you for sharing it on Friday Foodie Fix.
What a great idea. I guess you could mix different varieties of quinoa together, too. I like the extra color and texture it adds to a dish.
I like the idea of mixing it with rice to make it more mainstream. ;-) One of our support group members mixes red and white quinoa for some very attractive and delicious dishes.

Thanks, Linda!
I def. agree about making the quinoa in broth, it adds so much to it! Cool idea to mix with rice!
Love, love, LOVE quinoa here in our household. Here are our two favorite ways to eat it:
1. as a breakfast cereal. Cook some quinoa in water. Once cooked and all water is absorbed, heat up in a pan with soymilk, apple juice, maple syrup, goji berries (or raisins, or dried cherries, or all 3!), some shredded coconut, nutmeg, and top with toasted pecans. Add another drizzle of soymilk on top and serve sprinkled with cinnamon. My kids LOVE it this way!
2. This recipe here:
is our next favorite, and we eat it at least twice a month. Susan's creations are amazing, and this quinoa dish is a real winner in our home.

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