Thursday, August 28, 2008

Quick & Simple Quinoa

It seems like every gluten-free blogger has some quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) recipe they adore, and I am no different. This grain is incredibly versatile: you can use it with any recipe that would normally call for couscous, it makes a great tabouleh and is even good in place of rice for "rice pudding." It is packed with protein (12%), so it's good for those who don't eat meat and it's one of the few grains with a high amount of the amino acid lysine (if you ever feel a cold-sore coming on, eat quinoa or take a lysine supplement, it works for me), making it a "complete" protein.

So, as you can tell, I think very highly of quinoa. My sister makes a mean middle-eastern inspired quinoa, but I have yet to get the recipe out of her, so I give you mine with a little cumin as an ode to dear sis:

Quick & Simple Quinoa (gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan)

1 cup of quinoa, toasted
1 1/4 cup water, brought to a boil
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
1 cup purple grapes, halved

After rinsing and toasting the quinoa, add to the boiling water and turn down the heat to a simmer. After twelve minutes, take the quinoa off the stove and let sit for five minutes, then fluff with a fork and let cool. Meanwhile, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, cumin and garlic powder. Then, add the pine nuts and the grapes to the quinoa, then the dressing and taste for seasonings. Add salt and pepper (or any other spice) if you desire. A nice addition would be some fresh herbs: mint, parsley, basil...

I served mine over mustard greens (and took the obligatory Henry photo).

One of these days I'll make something he can actually eat....


Ricki said...

I know what you mean about quinoa--my "go to" was the first quinoa recipe I posted. I love the addition of grapes in this, though!

Sally Parrott Ashbrook said...

Oooh, I like the addition of grapes in there!

Amy said...

i have been reading your blog for a few months...i love it by the way. can you tell me how you toast quinoa?

Tiffany said...

I love quinoa, too! What a great recipe, I love the pine nuts :)

The Good Eatah said...

Your quinoa recipes always look so tasty Ricki! I must make them soon.

Thanks Sally! They add a nice little change of texture and sweetness.

Amy, thanks so much! Thanks for asking -- I toast quinoa by placing the grain in a hot, (medium-high heat) dry skillet and cooking for about 5-7 minutes, or until a bit fragrant. I feel it gives the quinoa more of a nutty, toasted taste.

Thanks Tiffany! I'm a big pine nut fan, too.

Emilia said...

Love the Henry photo.

The pine nuts seem like a great idea to pair with quinoa. I sometimes make rice with cilantro and pine nuts and it gives the rice also a nice nutty flavour and a bit of a crunchy texture. So I can imagine it would work with quinoa too and I will try it.

I sometimes worry that I eat too much quinoa and will become allergic to it too. I don't know if that's possible though.