Tonight’s dinner? Quinoa and steamed broccoli. Sounds boring? Maybe. But to the wee ones, this is an epicurean delight.
This Incan power grain has taken the world by storm and is not only jam-packed with protein (14g per uncooked cup!) and a complete set of essential amino acids, but it’s a cinch to prepare.
Got 15 minutes? Then let’s get cooking some basic quinoa!
1. Begin with one cup of uncooked quinoa in a fine mesh strainer.
2. Rinse VERY well under cold water. Quinoa’s exterior has a bitter residue of saponins that needs to be washed off.
3. Put it into a pot and add a tiiiiiny bit more than 2 cups of broth. We like vegetable broth, but you can experiment. Try chicken, beef or even tomato!
4. Bring this to a boil, put a lid on it and then turn down to a simmer for 15 minutes, checking it occasionally. You’ll know it’s done with the wiggly white germ “tail” is visible from the clear seed.
*Note: Allegedly, you can use a rice cooker to prepare quinoa, but I haven’t tried it and therefore cannot vouch for its success.
The very best part about quinoa is its versatility. You can use it just as you could rice, adding it to soups, chilling it for a pasta salad effect, or even bake it into things! My girls LOVE quinoa pancakes (prep the quinoa with plain water instead and add into your favorite pancake recipe).
Once you master the basics and introduce it to your kids, you will never run out of fresh ideas. Just make sure you make enough… the girls are on their THIRD helping as I write this!
Pssst… Mom… have a sweet tooth? Shuuuush! Not so loud! If they hear you, you’ll have to share! Check out Alter Eco, a fair-trade company that makes — get ready — quinoa chocolate. Yeah, you heard me. It is, by far, the most delicious thing you will ever eat.