I recently saw a recipe for an Edamame, Corn, Quinoa Salad that I simply HAD to try. It looked so delicious, colorful, healthful and adventurous – how could I resist?! The recipe is here and the picture of my creation is pictured at the top of the post. The night before, I’d had Bruschetta Chicken – heavy on the basil, so I left the basil out of my version of the Edamame Corn, Quinoa Salad. However, earlier today, I traipsed out to my herb garden, grabbed a little basil (the beautiful aroma catches me off guard every single time). I added some to the leftover salad that had been chilling in the fridge and it’s a delicious addition.
I honestly can’t say if I prefer it with or without basil. This salad is especially scrumptious after the flavors have gotten acquainted overnight. SO GOOD! Trust me, you’ll want to click the link above and try a copy of this recipe asap.
If you’re new to Quinoa, like I was, you’re in for a pleasant surprise. I’d seen the boxes in the health section of my favorite grocery store (Kroger) before, but since I had no unearthly idea what to do with them, I left them and turned my attention to more familiar territory: Coconut Milk, Soy Milk, Greek Yogurt, and Organic Eggs from UNCAGED chickens (all caps because it matters to me).
Lacey, the Sweet Pea Chef (and creator of the Edamame, Corn, and Quinoa Salad) points out that Quinoa is pronounced “keen-wa.” I won’t even tell you how far off base I was on that. Between my Kentucky accent and the highly unique spelling of the name, it was an embarrassing attempt. Thanks be to God that I never said my 3 syllable version aloud. Quinoa is 100 percent whole grain (I just realized that I’m still, mentally pronouncing it the same old way? Hard head.). This grain has an impressive history. It dated back to the Inca culture. They referred to it as the Mother Grain.
Here are a few really interesting facts about Quinoa:
- Quinoa contains more high quality protein than any other grain. The National Academy of Sciences calls Quinoa “One of the best sources of protein in the vegetable kingdom.” High praise, much?
- Quinoa contains NO gluten. If you follow a wheat-free/gluten free diet, Quinoa could become your new best friend.
- Quinoa is light, tasty, and easy to digest.
- It has a delicious nutty flavor.
- Quinoa is quick and very easy to prepare. It can be served as a side dish, in soups, in salads, as a nutritious warm breakfast cereal, and as a pilaf.
Below is a recipe from the back of my box of Quinoa, Ancient Harvest Quinoa. Voila, they even spell out the pronunciation on the front of the box. KEEN-WA.
Quinoa Pilaf Recipe
1/2 cup carrots, diced
1/2 cup green onion, diced
1/4 cup celery, diced
1/4 cup green pepper, diced
1/4 cup red pepper, diced
6 cups Quinoa, cooked according to basic directions on box
1/4 cup butter or olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 cup almonds, sliced
1/4 tsp oregano
salt to taste
Saute vegetables in butter or olive oil until crisp; stir in oregano. Add sauteed vegetables to cooked quinoa, mix well. Salt to taste. Add almonds.
Yield: 6 Servings
No matter how you pronounce it… the way it SHOULD be pronounced or the way it comes out of my mouth… Quinoa is pretty amazing. It’s healthy, delicious, and a lot of fun. We get the most out of cooking (and our families get the most out of eating) when we keep things fresh, fun, and fantastic. Try new foods and get creative with old favorites. There’s nothing at all wrong with having favorite standbys – they’re called comfort foods for a reason, after all. But never get stuck in a rut and never, ever half-ass it!
As is the truth with most things in life, we get OUT of it what we put INTO it. Always give it your all, fellow foodie friends.