Try, Try Again……
Almost 4 years ago, right before I jumped onto the Paleo band wagon for a year, I decided to try a food that was all the rage. In my opinion it was really expensive, but if this amazing “super food” was what everyone said it was, I was willing to give it a shot. I went to our local Sprouts Market and bought a small amount from the bulk section just in case I didn’t like it. At that time, I was still finding my “cooking wings” and was still in the process of learning how to eat healthy so the fact that I only bought an ounce, or two, was very wise. I hated it.
That was the day I discovered that quinoa (Keen-wah) was just a food with a weird name. I did my research, I thought I was going to be impressed, I was optimistic that I would have a new food that I could eat without guilt. And now I am laughing because it was a disaster. First of all, I decided that I was going to try to make it in the microwave. That just might have had everything to do with it. It boiled all over the microwave in less than a minute thirty. I salvaged what I could, thankful I had just cleaned the turn table plate, and was so disappointed. While I looked at it over the years, I never bought it again, until this last Thursday when I saw it on markdown and figured, “Why not?”.
Here is the good news, it is awesome! Trust me, I didn’t try to cook it in the microwave this time. 😉 But unlike last time, when I cooked it plain, I decided to slowly add ingredients and see what popped out. I found one thing is for certain, if you are making a savory dish, onions are a must! I used dry onions, because that is what I had on hand, but I am sure that fresh onions would be just as yummy. And while I don’t use a lot of salt, I found that it is necessary to at least use a pinch of sea salt to take away the blandness. On the second day I decided that I couldn’t go wrong with apples. I was using the quinoa as a side to a ground turkey patty, and we all know that turkey and fruit are a match made in heaven. It was, and is, a total win!
If you haven’t done any research on quinoa, let me help you out. This “super food” might have a fairly high carb percentage, but it has a very low glycemic index thanks to all of the healthy fats that are packed into each little seed. There is also a nice amount of protein, and it is just loaded with vitamins, with a very high level of manganese. Studies have shown this food to help lower cholesterol, and decrease the risk of cancer due to its antioxidants, and phytonutrients. Quinoa is not a grain; it is actually a seed. And for those who are sensitive to gluten, you are in luck, quinoa is gluten free. This food is delicious eaten right away, or reheated. I saved a serving of quinoa, alongside a turkey patty, in a reusable container, and it reheated great! This would be a perfect go to for make ahead meals, or taking to work! I foresee many different quinoa experiments in my future, so keep your eyes open. 🙂 Regardless if you eat it fresh, or reheat it, don’t pass this recipe by, make a batch, sit back, relax, and enjoy!
Have you ever eaten quinoa?
What are your favorite add-ins?
Apple & Onion Quinoa
By Angie Gouchenour
1 cup dry pearl quinoa (I used Alter Eco organic pearl quinoa) rinsed
2 small apples (I used Gala) chopped with the peel
4 Tablespoons dry onion
1/16-1/2 teaspoon sea salt (Salt to your taste)
3 cups water
Before cooking make sure that you rinse your quinoa thoroughly
In a medium sauce pan combine water, rinsed quinoa, chopped apples, and dried onions
Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to medium
Stir a couple of times during cooking so it doesn’t stick
Cook until all the water is absorbed
Remove from the heat and allow to sit for a few minutes before serving
(I served mine sprinkled with parsley and extra julienned apples)
1 serving = 205 calories