First let’s set the record straight, it’s pronounced keen-wah. Don’t worry, we’ve all been through the kwinoa phase.
It’s a very trendy food at the moment and you really should believe the hype as it’s packed full of protein which is great if you’re avoiding or eating less meat as you need to make sure you’re hitting your protein goals in some way. It’s also gluten free so ideal if you’re wanting to beat the bloat.
Most local supermarkets now stock it (if not get us on the case, we contacted Sainsbury’s to ask them to stock it in their Arnold store and they’re working on it now) so you don’t need to go out of your way to get it and it’s even cropping up in restaurant menus (much to our delight).
As well as being a super tasty super food, it’s also really flexible and can be used in so many ways. It’s easy to make and I usually batch cook a load on a Sunday to form part of various meals throughout the week. Make sure you rinse it thoroughly as it can taste bitter if you skip this step. I also cook it in some veg stock (I like to use bouillon) and add some seasoning to give it a bit more flavour. You can also squeeze in some lemon and lime while it’s cooking but I usually do this just before I serve it.
If you’ve got some pre-cooked quinoa in the fridge making a salad bowl out of it is so easy. You can put it together with pretty much anything. My usual lunch is quinoa with kale, avocado and hummus topped with chilli flakes. I also made a big batch of quinoa for a Jacob’s join at work recently and teamed it with roasted pine nuts, grapes and chick peas (I was planning on using pomegranate seeds but didn’t have any in and found that grapes worked just as well). For a post-run midweek tea last week I put some with tinned tuna, spinach, grapes and a sprinkle of tahini.
If you’d prefer it warm there are lots of recipes around. Deliciously Ella’s roasted squash and pine nut quinoa is a favourite of mine and she also has a brussel sprout, portebello mushroom and pomegranate recipe that I’ve been meaning to give a try. Quinoa can also be a healthy equivalent to rice in any risotto recipe so if you’ve got any suggestions let us know!
If you’re feeling adventurous it doesn’t have to end there! It can also be used to make pizza bases, pancakes, muffins, bread and Ali does a mean porridge with it following a recipe by Madeleine Shaw. If you fancy a challenge Buzzfeed has got 32 recipe ideas (aptly titled 32 ways to eat quinoa and succeed in life) that sound amazing. In their words, quinoa is more than just a grain, it’s a lifestyle.