Quinoa (“keen-wah”) is a grain originally from South America. It is getting popular now because it has high protein, is a good source of calcium, phosphorus and iron, but has little or no gluten. It is not related to the grassy grains such as wheat and rye. Rather, it is related to spinach and tumbleweeds (tumbleweeds!).
It is easy to cook and versatile. It can be used in dishes such as couscous and salads in place of bulgur wheat, or added to soups.
Cook it like rice: about one cup quinoa to two cups water. Bring to boil, then simmer until water is absorbed (about 12 minutes). Makes about 2 cups of cooked quinoa.
The salad below was brought by a friend to a brunch, and has the added benefits of avocado, citrus, and blueberries. It is delicious and nutritious!
Quinoa and Blueberry Salad
2 cups quinoa, cooked
1 cup blueberries
2 large avocados, diced
1 cup pecans
Lime Basil Dressing:
1 tbsp olive oil, extra virgin
1 tbsp honey
juice of 1 large lime
4 tbsp basil, finely chopped
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
In a large bowl, add cooked quinoa, blueberries and avocados.
In a small skillet, toast pecans on low-medium heat until lightly brown, about 5 minutes. Stir frequently and watch closely not to burn. It also works to toast them in a toaster oven. Transfer to a bowl with other ingredients.
In a small bowl, whisk together Lime Basil Dressing ingredients, pour over the salad and gently stir to combine. Serve cold.
Storage Instructions: Refrigerate covered for up to 3 days.