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!
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!