For today’s Get To Know, let’s talk quinoa. I know, by now, a lot of you are already BFFs with quinoa, so I’d be remiss not to mention one of the most popular pantry ingredients out there. Let’s get down to it:
What it is: A lot of people consider it a whole grain, but quinoa is actually a seed, though it can be used in the same way you’d use rice and whole grains.
Why you should give a damn: It has a nutty taste, is really versatile (as great as a side dish as it is in a dessert), is easy to prepare, and a great value with a ton of nutritional qualities.
Where you can find it: It’s native to Bolivia and is causing an economic boom down there as more Americans have come to discover and embrace it.
How it’ll benefit you: Quinoa is seriously healthy for you, with loads of fiber and protein, and tons of amino acids.. And, for those with dietary restrictions, it’s an awesome choice because it’s gluten-free and cholesterol free. Turn to it when you’re looking to go meatless with your menus but don’t want to miss out on the protein.
How it really shines: Cook it like pasta, steam it like rice (I like a ratio of 1 part quinoa to 1 2/3 parts water), or just simmer it until the little tails at the end of each seed pop off like a curlicue. You’ll find your favorite way quickly but it’s easy no matter which method you choose.
Some Quinoa Recipe Ideas (in order of easy to challenging):
- Cucumber-Bell Pepper Quinoa
- Cowboy Caviar Quinoa
- Quinoa Fruit Salad with Honey-Lime Dressing
- Poached Eggs with Crispy Quinoa and Balsamic-Brown Butter Asparagus
- Vegetarian Spaghetti and Meatballs
- Baked Quinoa Adobado
- Pumpkin Pie Custard with Spiced Streusel
- Potato, Cumin, and Quinoa Hash Browns
Get To Know helps you explore the far reaches of the grocery store and takes you out of your culinary comfort zone. These are some of my favorite pantry ingredients that take food from everyday to adventurous.