Quinoa is in the news these days partially because 2013 was declared the International Year of Quinoa by the United Nations. Lots of publicity ensued so now lots of cooks are trying it out.
Of course people in South America have been cropping, eating and thriving on Quinoa for 7,000 years. It looks similar of grains such as wheat and rice but is not technically a true grain and contains no gluten at all.
For those of us who like to avoid gluten Quinoa, pronounced keenwa, is one of the stars along with Buckwheat of our gluten free kitchen.
It is a very nutritious food with all the essential amino acids as well as minerals such as Iron, Magnesium, Selenium, Potassium and Zinc.
“Quinoa’s protein content per 100 calories is higher than brown rice, potatoes, barley and millet, but is less than wild rice and oats” The Wiki
The main bonus for the cook is the speed with which Quinoa is prepared with a scant 15 minutes. Longer than the 6 minutes I take to cook oats to be sure but a lot less than brown rice at 40 minutes.
In the US and Europe Quinoa is viewed as an alternative to Rice; it can be served along with beans and legumes and one’s favourite vegetables. Or served with a salad.
And like the grains it can be made into flakes which cook extra fast and into pasta to add to the options for all of us but especially those on a gluten free diet.