|Red Quinoa (dry)|
The glorious book in question? Quinoa 365: the Everyday Superfood:
What the heck is quinoa (pronounced "keen-wah")? From the publisher's website:
One of the world’s healthiest foods, quinoa contains a perfect balance of all eight essential amino acids, and is a great source of protein, making it an increasingly popular food choice for those looking to incorporate superfoods into their everyday diets. Gluten-free, wheat-free, and nutrient-packed, quinoa is ideal for those who are health-conscious, vegetarian, or physically active, as well as for those with gluten intolerance, wheat allergies, and other digestive disorders. But that’s not all; you can eat quinoa guiltlessly knowing it’s free of cholesterol and trans fats, contains natural antioxidants, and is a source of vitamin E, calcium, potassium, iron, and magnesium. In Quinoa 365 sisters Patricia Green and Carolyn Hemming show you how to use this miraculous superfood in all your favorite dishes.It is not a grain either, but the fruit of a broadleaf plant. All by itself, cooked quinoa is a great sidedish and alternative to rice. Since it's a complete protein (extremely rare for a vegetable or plant), it is an ideal meat substitute. But really, use it in all your favourite dishes? Yep. There are recipes in this book for salads, breads, cereals, stews, burgers, frittatas, cookies, and puddings to name a few. Flipping through the book, there are countless ways I see that we can incorporate quinoa into our new flexitarian way of eating.
|White Quinoa (dry)|
|Golden Quinoa Salad with Mango and Walnuts|
My first dish from Quinoa 365 was the Minestrone Soup. I had all the ingredients on hand and felt like making something warm and cozy (because of what our weather has been like lately). The quinoa cooks with the soup, so there is no extra step. When I served this yummy minestrone, it looked like this:
But after it had sat a little longer, the quinoa plumped up and became more visible:
|Minestrone Soup - Day 2|
I make a similar soup as part of my own repertoire, but I will now definitely add quinoa to it for a nutritional boost. In fact, I'll likely be adding quinoa to all my soups!
The other recipe I tried was Outrageously Quick and Easy Pizza Crust. In a word: fantastic. When we make our own pizza dough, I've used a recipe that came with our breadmaker. It's very good, but this is better. The quinoa is cooked and cooled first, then added to the dough. I found the dough a little difficult to work with, but I'm sure that will improve with practice - and I WILL be "practicing" this recipe.
|Slightly Overcooked Pizza made with |
Outrageously Quick and Easy Pizza Crust recipe
You can find a handful of recipes on the Quinoa 365 website, including Championship Chili (on my list of next-to-try), but I strongly suggest buying or borrowing the book, because once you get started with quinoa, it's pretty exciting stuff. Some other dishes on my list: healthy cookies, quinoa veggie bake, jalapeno chedder pepper scramble, pumpkin pancakes, black bean soup, tomato and basil crustless quiche, caramel date cake, chewy chocolate chip cookies, to name but a few. I did say I was obsessed!