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Colorful Quick Quinoa Grecian Salad
Credit: Howard L. Puckett

Colorful Quick Quinoa Grecian Salad

I don't know about you, but the first time I saw the word 'quinoa' I didn't even attempt to pronounce it. If you're new to the craze, allow me to help: it's pronounced KEEN-wah, so not like the man who built the ark.

This tiny, ivory-colored bead is often referred to as the "Mother of all Grains." What's the big deal? It's actually one of the only plant foods considered a complete protein. It's a good source of calcium, iron, and Vitamin E, and contains nearly double the amount of fiber as most other grains. Quinoa is a meat-free way to get protein, so it's an obvious choice for vegetarian and vegans, and it's also naturally gluten-free. Quite the resume!

Pronouncing it is the hard part, but making it is easy. It cooks exactly like rice, and those teeny-tiny beads really do fluff up when boiled in water. It has a mild, nutty flavor and a fluffy texture similar to couscous.

Ready to start cooking? Below are some of our favorite quinoa recipes but you can also click here for lots of other ideas!

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Quinoa Panzanella with Wild Salmon

Quinoa Panzanella with Wild Salmon

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Quinoa-Stuffed Heirloom Tomatoes with Romesco

Quinoa-Stuffed Heirloom Tomatoes with Romesco

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Roasted Vegetable and Quinoa Salad

Roasted Vegetable and Quinoa Salad

You can use quinoa as a substitute for rice in nearly any dish, so don't be afraid to experiment! Earlier this week, I threw together a quick quinoa chicken salad using a bunch of ingredients I had on hand. Mine was more of a southwestern style (and clearly not as pretty as the images above), but the options are endless. Happy Flavor Friday!

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