Wednesday, January 21, 2009

New Foods

In our attempt to be healthier eaters, we are exploring new foods and learning more about the ones we already eat. One new food we read about some time ago is Quinoa. This is an interesting food.

"Quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) is a grain that comes from the Andes Mountains of South America. Quinoa's origins are truly ancient. It was one of the three staple foods, along with corn and potatoes, of the Inca civilization. Quinoa was known then, and still is known, with respect, as the mother grain. Quinoa contains more protein than any other grain; an average of 16.2 percent, compared with 7.5 percent for rice, 9.9 percent for millet, and 14 percent for wheat. Some varieties of quinoa are more than 20 percent protein."

We had quinoa with dinner the other night for the first time. The funniest thing about it, though, is that the cooking directions say "You will know that the quinoa is done when all the grains have turned from white to transparent, and the spiral-like germ has separated." What?! I had to laugh because how in the hell was I supposed to know what THAT meant?! You know what? When you cook it, you know. I can't explain it any better than they do on the package - but by golly, when I lifted the lid from my pot, I *knew* it was done! That "spiral-like germ" thingy was evident. It was not gross in any way, but it was definitely cool!

I bought the traditional quinoa and made the basic recipe. I used organic chicken broth rather than water. The quinoa has a nice, nutty flavor. The kids liked it, too, which is amazing...they don't like anything! I didn't think to snap a photo of the dish prior to our eating it! Oh well!

It is definitely something we will add to our diets with regularity. Next up, The Husband wants to try plantains. I don't know about that one!


  1. quinoa is great if you make a salad of it, so chill it and add veggies then a vinagarette. as for plaintains, they are really good but if you deep fry them which is not the healthiest way to eat. if you need recipes for all of these different foods you are trying let me know. i am a brave cook (LOL) or get a cookbook called The Enchanted Broccoli Forest. Or any of the Moosewood Cafe books.

  2. Fun - don't forget to take pictures next time your family tries something new, so I can decide if it 'looks' like something I would want to try! :)

  3. I have seen quinoa and never had the cuts to buy, cook and serve is going on the grocery list. If the kids even like it, we will have a new menu item!

  4. I've never had it, either. Sounds like something worth trying, though.

    Plantains aren't bad if I remember correctly... my dad used to buy them on occasion.

  5. Def need pictures of that next time!!!

  6. I've never ever heard of it... & the sound of what it does while cooking sorta freaks me out... when I think of transparent - I think of like maggots or something.... CHILLS....

    You'll for sure need to take a picture next time!!!

  7. I've heard about quinoa but haven't as yet tried it. I'm thinking, after reading what you wrote, that I'm definitely going to give it a try, especially since I like foods that have a nutty taste!!

    I agree with your comment on my blog, re teaching, btw. :-)


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