Quinoa, although considered a grain is technically the seed of the plant Chenopodium quinoa, and is related to the spinach, beet and chard families. It has been cultivated since 3000 B.C.E. in South America, where it was a dietary staple of both the Incas and Aztecs. The Incas considered quinoa as their “ mother seed”, as the Aztecs, revered it as their source of “Gold”, for it provided both strength and stamina, most likely due to its high protein content. The Spanish Conquistadores attempted to wipe out the cultivation of quinoa, in an attempt to destroy South American native culture, cultivation was considered punishable by death, and quinoa was nearly eradicated as a food source.
Quinoa, cultivated now in North America is considered to be a nutritional powerhouse, as is a complete protein with an excellent amino acid profile. Inherently gluten and wheat free, quinoa is also an excellent source of manganese, vitamin B2, vitamin E, and dietary fiber.
As most of our FFT customers know, we love cooking with quinoa, and we have fun creating innovative salads with our favorite gluten free grain. It is extremely versatile, delicious, and nutrient dense. Tammi, one of our regular customers requested the following recipe, and we look forward to hearing your feedback, reviews.
Mediterranean Quinoa Salad Ingredients:
2 Cups Cooked Quinoa, At Room Temperature or Cooled
½ Cup Chopped Kalamata Olives
½ Chop Chopped Red Bell Peppers
½ Chop Orange Bell Peppers
½ Cup Sliced Grape or Cherry Tomatoes
¼ Cup Chopped Italian Flat Leaf Parsley
½ Cup Finely Diced Red Onion
1/3 Cup Crumbled Feta Cheese
1/3 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
¼ Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
2 Teaspoon Agave Nectar, Honey or pinch or two of Sugar
Salt and Pepper To Taste.
1. Follow the directions on the package, quinoa cooks similarly to rice, 1 cup grain to 2 cups liquid. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Cook until the liquid is absorbed and the grain is fluffy, typically 15-20 minutes. Cool to room temperature.
2. In a large bowl, toss the quinoa with all of the salad ingredients, and set aside.
3. Whisk vinaigrette ingredients together in small bowl, and toss with the quinoa salad, serve immediately or store in the refrigerator for 2-3 days and enjoy!
Wed, January 5, 2011
by Food For Thought