Now recognized as the world’s most nutritious grain, quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) has been cultivated in the Andes Mountains for more than 5,000 years. As a whole grain, this seed-like South American fruit is unique. Quinoa has about twice the protein of other grains, fewer carbohydrates, and more healthful fats. It’s also a complete protein: like meat, eggs, and dairy products, it contains all eight essential amino acids. This supergrain is gluten-free and rich in iron, calcium, potassium, fiber, and lignans. A 2007 study at Osaka City University in Japan found it high in antioxidant activity too, making it exceptionally heart healthy.
Choose It & Use It
Find quinoa in natural food stores or supermarkets. Enjoy its delicate, nutty flavor in sweet and savory dishes; enrich it by toasting first. Substitute quinoa for pasta, couscous, rice, or oatmeal: simmer 1 cup quinoa in 2 cups liquid 15 to 25 minutes for 4 cups cooked. Quinoa’s chewy texture enhances pilafs, salads, and stews, and contrasts crunchy nuts nicely. Rinse it before cooking, and remove any black grains.
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Quinoa Salad with Orange-Cumin Vinaigrette
This light winter salad makes a satisfying meal, thanks to quinoa, a whole grain that’s high in protein.more
Black Bean-Quinoa Burgers
Here’s a delicious veggie burger you can whip up from scratch. Any steak seasoning (which is just a combination of herbs and spices) will work to give the patties a rich, hearty flavor. Stash a few in the freezer for busy weeknight meals. For super-easy cookouts, bake the patties ahead,more
Refreshing Quinoa Salad
This recipe, created by Leah Matthews, won Best Side Dish in VT’s 2011 Chefs’ Challenge. Matthews came up with this tabbouleh-inspired salad while working as a sous chef at Twist, a Rhode Island restaurant specializing in gluten-free food. When the summer menu needed an additional item,more
While brainstorming ways to make a summery lasagna with the same flavors as the classic casserole, Matheny chose to replace lasagna noodles with zucchini, and use high-protein quinoa instead of a meat filling.more
If your corn is very fresh and tender, you can skip the blanching step in this recipe; just stir the raw kernels into the salad.more
Greens and Quinoa Pie
Technically, quinoa is not a grain (it’s related to spinach and chard), so it’s perfect for Passover. Here, spring greens are wilted then mixed with quinoa and cheese for a golden-crusted savory pie.more