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All About Quinoa...

Posted by [email protected] on July 15, 2014 at 1:55 AM Comments comments (0)

You see it splayed all over the Internet, gracing the cover of numerous food magazines, popping up in national grocery stores and even at our favorite restaurants...No it's not David Beckham's abs (although I wish it were), but none other then...QUINOA!!!


So what's all the hype about his hard to pronounce to super food? Well that's exactly what I'm going to tell you! Quinoa (pronounced: KEEN-wah, for all of those struggling for the correct pronunciation) is a grain extremely high in protein and gluten free. I've been told that if you were stranded on an island and only had quinoa to eat for the rest of your life you would survive solely because of how much protein it's packed with. Packs a punch to your face with all that protein!!! Quinoa is derived from a Spanish name and originated in Ecuador, Bolivia, Colombia, and Peru. The nutrient composition can be compared to some common cereals and quinoa contains essential amino acids, phosphorous, calcium and iron.

Nutritional evaluations indicate that quinoa is a source of complete protein and it's protein content is higher than that of potatoes, brown rice, and barley, but is less than wild rice and oats. It is a source of calcium which makes it great for vegans and those that are lactose intolerant.

There are over 100 different types of quinoa and you can see some of the most common ones below... white quinoa, red quinoa, black quinoa, quinoa flakes, and quinoa flour:


Here are some things to remember: 1 cup dried quinoa produces 3 cups of cooked quinoa so keep in mind that it doubles when you're preparing it. You use a 2:1 ratio when cooking quinoa so if you have 1 cup of dried quinoa you're going to need 2 cups of cooking liquid. It usually takes about 20 minutes to cook quinoa and you can also cook it in your rice cooker making sure to utilize the 2:1 ratio as well. I generally wash the quinoa and rinse it of any dirt or silt before I start to cook it. To cook quinoa you will need a small to medium-sized saucepot depending on how much quinoa you're cooking. Measure out your quinoa and generously rinse it in a fine mesh strainer. Place the quinoa and desired measured cooking liquid (water, stock, broth, etc) into the saucepot and bring to a boil. Continue to boil on a medium-low heat for 15 minutes. Take off the stove and allow it to sit, fluff after about 5 minutes with a fork and enjoy!!!

Now after all that quinoa talk here's a delish salad that you can start making IMMEDIATELY!!!

Golden Quinoa Salad with Radish, Dill & Avocado

Serves 4 to 6 as a side dish



1 cup golden quinoa

1 3/4 cups chicken or vegetable broth

8 small red radishes, well-cleaned and tops removed

1/3 seedless English cucumber, about 1/4 pound, unpeeled

1 large shallot

2/3 lightly filled cup dill fronds, without stems

1/2 lemon, zested and juiced, about 1 1/2 tablespoons

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1/2 cup sliced raw almonds

1/2 cup pitted dates, roughly chopped

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (omit for a vegan adaptation)

Flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 ripe avocado, to serve


1. Start by rinsing the quinoa in a fine mesh sieve. Pour in the broth and measured quinoa, bring to a boil, cover, and turn the heat down to low. Cook for 15 minutes. Turn off heat and let sit, covered, for 5 minutes.


2. Line a large baking sheet with parchment and spread the cooked quinoa over it in an even layer. Let cool while preparing the vegetables.


3. Dice the radishes finely — about 1/4-inch to a side. Do the same with the cucumber. Finely dice the shallot. Finely chop the dill fronds. Toss with the quinoa in a large bowl.


4. Zest the lemon right into the bowl and fold in the zest. Juice the lemon half and whisk the juice together with the olive oil, and balsamic vinegar, until emulsified and thick. Toss this with the quinoa.


5. Fold in the almonds, chopped dates, and Parmesan. Taste and season to taste with salt and pepper. When ready to serve, top with chopped avocado.


~Healthy Eating from your Martial Chef Stacey~