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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Quinoa- the third time is charmed after all.


Some time ago when I switched my diet drastically I bought a number of new to me grains and flours to try out. Ahem, I still have some to try. :)

I'll admit I did try quinoa a couple of times since I bought it. The first time I added some to oatmeal but since I was unsure how to properly cook the grain....we'll just say it did not work very well and due to that the rest sat in my cabinet for a few months afterwards.

I tried it again perhaps a month ago, only this time I decided to cook it in my rice cooker as I had heard was possible. I also added chicken bouillon (not a 'clean' ingredient, but I did not have any broth on hand and had cubes to finish up). Some people can cook quinoa in their rice cookers. Apparently, I am not one of them. It burnt thoroughly on the bottom and man was it salty! So the second try= another flop. No one in the family ate it except me as I was reluctant to waste it.

After my second, and failed, attempt I was determined to get this quinoa thing right. I thought I could like it and besides, I still had more in the cabinet so I decided to give it a 'go' one more time. This time I researched a little more thoroughly beforehand.

I really, really wanted to like quinoa. I have a particularly high need for protein and I really wanted quinoa to be in my diet as it is unique as it contains a balanced set of amino acids which makes it a nutritionally complete source of plant based protein which is also easily digestible. Quinoa also contains lysine, phosphorus, calcium and iron.

Quinoa is relatively new to the US market and was first cultivated by the Inca.

As I was researching how to get my quinoa to turn out well edible I found the blog "Cooking Quinoa" and stumbled upon a post on how to cook quinoa perfectly. Since I've always been interested in perfection, especially when it comes to my taste buds, I decided to try Wendy's method. What did I have to lose? I am happy to report that it was perfect! I did use 2 cups of homemade chicken broth in place of some of the water.

Another happy bonus is that my most picky eater decided he really likes it as well. :) I made a few cups thinking I would do as others have and dip into it over the week for various meals. It has worked very well and has helped to provide me with the needed boost of protein at meal times. And while I have always liked brown rice since my mom forced it upon me had me try it as a teen, I am happy to have an alternative for the sake of variety.

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