January 22, 2014

What the Hell is Quinoa?

Like most things that EVERYONE's talking about, or wearing or reading...at some point you want to know what the fuss is all about. Like Fifty Shades of Grey, remember that? If you read my blog you know how that worked out.
But Quinoa? What the hell is quinoa? It's the new big thing in the cooking world. I won't tell you it's good for you (it is) because then you won't try it. I won't stress that it has a high level of protein, or that it contains flavonoids, anti-inflammatory phytonutrients, omega-3 fatty acid...forget all that. Who cares? What I'm going to tell you is it tastes really good; kind of nutty with a nice crunch, and is a great base for veggies, meats, fish...whatever. See for yourself what the fuss is all about.
Here's one recipe but if you Google it you'll find a ton more.
Quinoa: much better than Fifty Shades of Grey.

Quinoa Fried Rice
1 cup quinoa (or 2½ to 3 cups leftover cooked quinoa)
1 ½ cups low-sodium chicken stock
¼ small onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
3 scallions, chopped 
3 garlic cloves, minced
½ teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 eggs
½ cup frozen peas, thawed
1 ½ tablespoons teriyaki sauce
2 ½ tablespoons soy sauce
¾ teaspoon sesame oil

·       Rinse quinoa a few times in cold water.
·       Bring quinoa and water or chicken stock to a boil in a medium saucepan, and then reduce to a simmer. Season with salt.
·       Simmer for 15-20 minutes until quinoa is fluffy and cooked through. Remove from heat and let set for five minutes or so. Fluff with a fork.
·       Cool and store in the fridge, preferably overnight.
·       Mix teriyaki, soy sauce, and sesame oil in a small bowl. Set aside.
·       Heat ½ tablespoon olive oil in a large sauté pan over a high heat. Add onion and carrot, cook about two minutes.
·       Add 2 scallions, garlic and ginger to the pan. Cook another two minutes. Add in the rest of the olive oil and the quinoa. Stir-fry about two minutes.
·       Add sauce and stir-fry until incorporated, about two minutes.
·       Make a well in the center of the quinoa and break eggs into it. Let cook a minute and then mix in. 
·     Add peas, then toss everything together until the peas are warmed through.


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