You may have noticed that 2014 seemed to be the year of keen-waaaa. You couldn’t scroll through a hipster yogi vegan planet-saver’s Instagram feed without seeing the stuff #eatclean. You will, therefore, be forgiven for thinking that quinoa is a superfood exclusive only to those who spend their weekends at pop-ups. But I’m here to tell you that quinoa is not just for hipsters – it’s for life!
The first step is to learn to pronounce it correctly. Kin-O-A is not a thing, as fun as it might be to say. Keen-waaaa, however, is a thing, and is equally fun to say. Now that we’ve got that sorted – what on earth is the stuff? Glorified cous cous, right? Wrong. Quinoa is many things, a grain, a protein…okay quinoa is two things. A grain and a protein. It is also worthy of the ‘superfood’ title because it packs in iron, fibre, magnesium and phosphorous – AND it’s gluten-free. What it is not, is a carb – great news for all those planning their summer holiday flat belly diets. All of these factors combined supposedly make quinoa ‘as close to a perfect ingredient as you can get’
. Are you starting to understand why everybody loves quinoa? Great. Now that you’re a convert, here are 4 things you can do with this magical foodstuff.
1. Make quinoa porridge. Forget Pret’s ‘multigrain’ porridge which is actually just normal porridge with a few extra sprinkles. Quinoa porridge is the way forward. Cook up a batch of quinoa at the weekend and store it in the fridge. Each morning just spoon a helping into a bowl, add milk (super-dairy-free-planet-friendly coconut milk optional), add sweetener of your choice and pop it in the microwave for a minute or so. Tasty, filling and slightly more exciting than regular porridge.
2. Make a quinoa casserole. Pretty much the same as a normal casserole but no starchy carbs in sight! My favourite combo is tinned tomatoes, quinoa (obviously), broccoli, sweetcorn, black olives, chopped sausages and mozzarella.
3. Put it in your salad. Everyone knows that salad is boring. But there are some things you can do to jazz it up. One of those things being to add quinoa. It adds a bit more texture and the feeling that you’ve had a proper meal instead of a prelude to the take out you’re going to get on the way home because you’re still starving after lunch. Add some pomegranate seeds for extra pizzazz.
4. Replace your carbs. Quinoa is a great carb replacement because it’s filling and is also pretty plain so a great vehicle for eating other tasty things. Sounds obvious but worth stressing as there are endless possibilities! Quinoa with bolognese. Quinoa with cheesy sauce. Quinoa with pesto. Quinoa with chilli con carne. Quinoa risotto. Quinoa with curry (I haven’t tried this one but I’m sure it works…)
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