Well and Good

Amazing grains: quinoa made easy

No wonder quinoa is one of today’s hottest superfoods. It’s rich in nutrients, cooks in a jiffy, and makes a versatile ingredient for delicious salads, sides and more.
Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) sounds exotic, but don’t be put off by the name. After all, it wasn’t long ago that couscous was new to American kitchens. Like couscous, quinoa preps in minutes and goes with almost anything, making it a go-to grain for the busy home cook. It’s also high in nutrients and relatively low in calories. Here are some compelling reasons to rethink quinoa and work it into your repertoire:  

It’s complete protein without the calories. Quinoa is a complete protein source. That means it contains all nine essential amino acids, which, while common in fish, meats, and other animal sources, is rare in plants. Quinoa also provides a dose of fiber and iron. Even better, you get all this nutrition at just 111 calories per ½ cup of cooked quinoa.

It’s gluten-free. If you have celiac disease or choose a gluten-conscious path, quinoa’s nutritional profile makes it a smart choice to replace other grains that contain gluten, like wheat, spelt, and bulgur.

It’s quick and simple to make. Cook quinoa like you would cook rice: Combine 1 cup quinoa with 2 cups water (or broth) in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed, about 15 to 20 minutes. Fluff with a fork before serving.

It’s a versatile ingredient for many dishes. Our Fuji apple, Kale & Quinoa Salad makes a flavorful side, or a stand-alone dish when topped with grilled chicken. For a satisfying meal, try this quick and delicious Santa Fe Chicken and Quinoa Skillet. Or if you’re looking for a feel-good appetizer, Broccoli Cheddar Quinoa Bites make a nutritious treat for kids and grownups alike.

Once you’ve discovered how versatile and flavorful it is, you might feel inspired to add quinoa to some of your favorite dishes or as a substitute for rice. One thing’s for sure: quinoa is here to stay.  

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