Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Quinoa: A recipe for health

Is quinoa (KEEN-wah) the new couscous? Seems to be. It’s all over the Web—quinoa, the new must-have ingredient. And why not? It has great flavor. It has great texture. It has a simple no-fuss, no-muss presentation and is easy to make.

Why not?, indeed. No reason we can think of! Quinoa is a rich source of fiber, higher in protein than many other grains, and a good source of iron and magnesium. Plus, it cooks quickly, is relatively inexpensive, and is versatile—you can make quinoa as a side dish or add savory ingredients for a main dish. You can even use quinoa in place of rice, as the American Dietetic Association recommends.

Far from “new,” quinoa is native to South America and the “Andean Indians who first cultivated it call it ‘the mother grain,’” the Atlantic explains in a recent article, “Quinoa: The Story of a Cursed Crop.” Quinoa, the article explains, “provides 50 percent more energy than potatoes” and “is the only staple crop that provides a full suite of amino acids.” But the journey from ‘mother grain’ to American staple was not an easy one. Click here to read the Atlantic’s two-part article about quinoa’s journey from South America to our dinner plates.

Also, check out Well, The New York Times health and wellness blog, for the September 24 post “There’s Something About Quinoa.” Blogger Tara Parker-Pope includes several links to quinoa-based recipes like stir-fried quinoa with vegetables and tofu.

One small note: The American Diabetes Association (ADA) website warns that for people with Celiac disease, “quinoa may not be entirely safe.” Instead, the ADA suggests a rice-based pasta or a potato-rice pasta.

What are your favorite quinoa recipes? Post them here and together we'll build a Healthy Cooking with Quinoa collection!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This article has been provided for educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

1 comment:

Keenonquinoa said...

Have you heard that the UN has designated 2013 the International Year of Quinoa? Yay! I'm so excited.

I hope more countries will be able to cultivate quinoa so that everyone can benefit from its excellent nutritional profile.

My favorite quinoa recipes right now are Sesame Garlic Chicken with Tahini and Triple K Quinoa Slaw.