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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

cooking with quinoa

I first started cooking with quinoa about five years ago when my daughter was a baby. I wanted to make my own baby food so I bought a baby cookbook called Simply Natural Baby Food, by Cathe Olsen. She uses quinoa in a lot of her recipes, mixed with broccoli, sweet potatoes and other veggies. I wasn't sure what it was back then (and didn't do any research) but knew it was healthy for my baby, so mixed it in her food.

Just until recently I found out that I haven't even been pronouncing it properly. I was saying "kwuh-NO-uh" but learned the correct pronunciation of "KEEN-wah" from some friends (thanks D and L).

So I have been feeding it to my babies for awhile but just recently started making it for the whole family. It is a great replacement for rice. Especially for those who are gluten intolerant and would like more variety in their diet. Quinoa is a complete protein and is high in fiber, calcium, magnesium, and many other vitamins. It only takes about 15 minutes to cook...less time then rice! It is recommended to first rinse quinoa and then soak for about 8 hours before cooking. In order to aid proper digestion.

I have made chicken quinoa soup, quinoa pilaf, and stir fry with quinoa. Blend it in with your veggies when making baby food or just give chunks of cooked quinoa straight to your toddler.

If I haven't convinced you to give it a try and expand your culinary palate...maybe this guy will.

My next quinoa cooking adventure... quinoa tabbouleh...oh ya!

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