Friday, October 1, 2010

Leftover Quinoa - Some Like it Cold

Last night I cooked Salvadoran Red Beans with Lime Quinoa. Delicious.

Later in the evening I made a Quinoa Porridge. It was like eating cream of wheat or oatmeal, uber comfort food. The granules of quinoa remind me of tiny tapioca. They have that satisfying al dente feel when you sink your teeth through them. Then again, they are so tiny they aren't unpleasant as some large tapioca can be.

I stored the porridge in the refrigerator overnight and then I ate the chilled remains this morning. It is completely versatile! Like any cereal, you can add a little milk, fruit, nuts, sweeteners and dress quinoa up any way you wish.

Warm it in the microwave if you prefer.

Or you can eat it quite simply, unadorned, as I did.

Yes, I ate that with a fork. :-) Yum.

Mine tastes fine straight out of the fridge.

For lunch I am having the red beans and quinoa from last night. This too is delicious cold, and the peppers remain crisp. Imagine bringing this to work and watching everyone fight for a chance to burn plastic pizza in a microwave while you are enjoying your spicy beans and quinoa straight out of the fridge.

I need to go back to the store and buy more quinoa.

Quinoa Recipes 9/30/10

A sampling of recipes found around the web yesterday:

Black Bean and Tomato Quinoa - This looks like a delicious brown bag lunch you can prepare early in the week. 

Chocolate Quinoa Protein Bars - Need something sweet to kick your day into gear? Whip up a batch ahead of time and you'll have 12 afternoon snacks ready to grab-and-go.

Stuffed Peppers with Mediterranean-Spiced Quinoa - I love stuffed peppers and omnivores will enjoy the feta cheese. Is there anything quinoa can't do?

Sprouted Quinoa Makizushi - I have been buying California rolls at the Market Basket sushi counter for several years now, but now that I have this recipe I want my own sushi mat. And a sharp knife. This recipe is not only vegan, but also completely raw.

Which reminds me...

Quinoa Isn't Just for Vegans

One misconception I keep running up against is the idea that quinoa is a special food, appropriate only for those on restrictive diets.

Yes, quinoa is uniquely suited for vegan, organic, gluten-free, and even raw diets, but it also combines with anything else and still makes a healthier alternative than traditional rice or pasta.

So if you want to serve quinoa with pork chops and cream of mushroom soup, you can do it.

If you want to stuff a turkey, why not? It's got more protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals than rice or bread. And fewer carbohydrates. Ironically it is one of the best whole grains, without being a grain at all.

Omnivorous Confession

I served last night's red beans and quinoa with chicken breasts and corn bread on the side. I'm not changing the whole world (not even my own household) overnight. ;-) 

By the way, don't forget to let me know - how do YOU cook quinoa?

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