What’s this thing called ‘quinoa?’

Posted on Friday, April 5, 2013 by Health_and_Fitness

There are lots of recipes out now which call for quinoa.  What is quinoa, and how do you pronounce that word anyway?

Quinoa – pronounced “keen-wa” – is a grain-like crop grown primarily for its edible seeds.  It is not a true cereal, but is closely related to species such as beets, spinach and tumbleweeds.  It originated in the Andean region of Ecuador, Bolivia, Colombia and Peru and was domesticated 3,000 to 4,000 years ago for human consumption, so it’s been around for a very long time.

Quinoa is very good for you, being rich in essential amino acids.  It is also a good source for calcium, phosphorus and iron.  It has a toasty, nutty flavor, and is wonderful when combined with vegetables and spices.   

Here is a quinoa recipe to tempt you:

Quinoa with Pesto

  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 cups water or vegetable broth
  • 1 large handful fresh spinach
  • ¼ cup prepared pesto
  • ½ tsp fresh lemon or lime juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp fresh grated Parmesan cheese

Preparation:  Simmer quinoa in broth or water, covered, for 10 – 12 minutes, until quinoa is almost cooked.  Fold in fresh spinach and heat for 3 – 4 more minutes, until spinach has wilted and quinoa is cooked through.  Remove from heat.  Stir in pesto, and lemon or lime juice, and season with salt and pepper.  Garnish with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.


More recipes can be found in the cookbook section of your local SCCLD library.  Here are a couple of books that you might like to check out.

The Conscious Cook The Conscious Cook

Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone

Tagged: quinoa, Health and Fitness, Cooking, Health & Fitness, Healthy Cooking