Quinoa, Other Healthy Treats

Last week, I featured some rather indulgent grilled cheese recipes that may have appalled some of you health nuts out there.  So this week I’m going the healthy route, and it’s all about quinoa.

First, what the heck is quinoa (pronounced kin-wa) ? It’s actually a type of high-protein, gluten-free, whole grain that originated in the Andean region of South America, and it was held as sacred by the ancient Incas.

Quinoa comes in a variety of colors, like red and purple, though the most common is the transparent yellow type.

Uncooked, quinoa resembles tiny seeds, but when cooked, it has a light, fluffy, and somewhat crunchy texture.  The basic flavor is sort of a nutty taste.

Quinoa is fairly quick and easy to cook, but as I’ve also noted in the recipe below, you’ll want to rinse the quinoa well before cooking, since quinoa has a coating of a bitter-tasting substance called saponins.

Even though the following recipe is more on the savory side for lunch or dinner, quinoa can also be used in baking.