Being Bruce -: Quinoa Power!

Friday, December 31, 2010

Quinoa Power!

OK, so maybe you've already heard of quinoa (pronounce it "keen-waa"). It's a grain apparently discovered  by the Incas that was a stable of their diet. The cool thing about quinoa is that it has all seven of the essential amino acids that make up complete proteins. It may be the only grain that has this. Usually to get a full complement of protein amino acids  you have to mix two other ingredients (like say, rice and beans), or just take the easy way and grab a burger, because all seven are in meat.

OK, but here's some other cool stuff about quinoa (and please remember, I'm talking off the top of my head and reading from the box and from stuff I've seen on the Internet and specifically on Wikipedia. I'm not an expert on food and nutrition or health or any o' that cool stuff. Which means you oughta check for yourself, realize your mileage may vary, and I'm a professional driver on a closed course...but this is cooking, so don't take my word for any health stuff, ok?).

Anyway, besides being a "complete" protein source, quinoa is:
  • gluten-free
  • high fiber
  • low sodium
  • low fat, including no saturated fat or trans fat
  • low cholesterol (like none)
  • easy to prepare
  • easy to digest. 
Cool huh? And I'm not even selling the stuff - nor do I care to.

I also think it tastes pretty good but you're reading this from a guy who likes the taste of everything but crab apple, so take that into account.

So here's what I've been having for breakfast lately:

Quinoa Power Breakfast

  • Ancient Harvest Quinoa (mentioning this brand because it's easy to find, organic, AND prewashed - which saves step)
  • Ground Coriander
  • Ground Cardamom
  • Chili Powder
  • Garlic Salt
  • Tumeric
  • Ground Cumin
  • Dried Minced Onion
  • Ground Ginger
  • Fresh ground pepper (I use Tellicherry peppercorns)
  • Tap Water
  • Pastor Karl's Fit to be Thai'd Chili Pepper Oil made with EVO and Thai Chili Peppers

Easy to make:

I just dumped a box of Ancient Harvest Quinoa into a bowl and added some of the spices (not the water or oil yet). Please note, I'm an ingredient cook, not a recipe cook, so I just dump some in in an amount that feels and looks right from past experience.

I mixed it up and then put 1/3 cup portions in sandwich bags. Turned out I ended up with seven bags worth (which means one week's mixture ready to rock).

Then, I took one of the baggies, dumped it in a sauce pan, added 2/3 cup of tap water, and a healthy dollop of Pastor Karl's Fit to be Thai'd oil.

Stir it all up.

Bring it to a boil and let it boil pretty much wildly for 5 minutes.

Remove from heat and cover, let sit for 15 minutes.

It's done.

I cut up some red apple and some walnuts to add to the cooked quinoa and that's it.

Total prep time (for a week's worth of servings), about 5 minutes.

Total cooking time, about 22 minutes (2 to get the water boiling, 5 to boil, 15 to sit - a good time to take a shower and get dressed).

That's it, folks. I think it's tasty. I used dried spices, and of course you get more of a kick out of fresh spices (and it takes more time, too).

I think it's pretty tasty. I KNOW it's healthy (subject to the above disclosure, of course).