Thursday, January 06, 2011

Black, Red, Cream Quinoa for Congee, Salads, Soups

I have been eating quinoa for a while now, but since I've been eating them supposedly the boring way - there is nothing fanciful I can tell you about. I do promise myself I will do more with quinoa such as Buttered Black Peppered Mushrooms with Quinoa and Brown Rice Salad in time to come.

So, what about quinoa (pronounced keen-wa)? It is an ancient grain that comes from the Andes Mountains of South America, and full of vitamins and minerals. If you are a true-blue vegetarian, quinoa is one of the few plant foods that provides complete protein: balanced protein, with a high level of the amino acid - lycine.

This "gold of the Incas" has found its way to the modern kitchen. Other than the standard cream-coloured quinoa typically seen being sold, I have also tried the black and red quinoa and enjoy them all. Other than the texture differences in the many quinoa varieties (e.g. red/black quinoa is more "crunchy" when cooked), the nutrition profile is almost similar.


I usually buy these three varieties from the bulk section in WholeFoods Market. When it comes to cooking, I mix them with rice, and cook them like how I prepare rice or congee. There is really a depth of textures in my rice or congee when I mix those grains and seeds. Red quinoa seeds stay firmer and crunchier after cooking - better suited for salad recipes.


Front: black quinoa; back: red quinoa

See? I pour this whole darn cup (below) into the rice cooker and cook as congee. I tell ya - this is perfect for the colder months. NOW!

Botton to top: Brown rice, red quinoa, millet, black quinoa, red rice

Go buy some now! It is good for you.


The standard cream coloured quinoa become softer and break up after cooked, so it is good for congee and soups.


Sharing Quinoa over at Weekend Herb Blogging with our host Haalo from Cook Almost Anything for WHB #265.

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