Quinoa is a very intriguing ingredient. It’s classified with the rest of the grains but it’s not even a grain, it’s a seed. Pronounced “keen-wah,” this grain-like crop has been around for over 6,000 years, originating in the Andean region of South America. The Incas held the crop to be sacred and referred to it as chisaya mama, meaning mother of all grains.
Nutritionally speaking, this “grain” is the mother of all grains, in protein. It’s the highest grain-like crop in protein, ranging from 12% to 18%. Unlike wheat or rice, quinoa is a complete protein.
I love cooking with quinoa. It’s super easy to make and has a nice fluffy texture with a mild, nutty flavor. You can add this ingredient to most dishes that call for rice or couscous. It usually takes about 15 minutes to cook. The rule-of-thumb is to add twice as much water as raw quinoa (sometimes I add a little extra water if I throw in other ingredients). Enjoy!