new food friday 09.03.10

by Stacy

We also got our CSA share this week but I just managed to take pictures (curse you, working during all daylight hours!) so those will go up today, too.

When I started my new job a few weeks ago, one of my coworkers mentioned that she hates to cook. Shocking, I know, but completely true. She likes to eat healthy food, but she won’t even cut up fruit for her lunch. She had been eyeballing my packed lunches (post forthcoming, I swear) for a while, so when we started our long days of technical rehearsals she said, “If you bring me lunch, I will bring you money. I am not kidding.” So I have been.

It’s given me an excuse to use up produce and keep trying out new dishes, so it’s one of these lunches that brings me to this week’s

new food friday

red quinoa

Red quinoa! Pronounced “keen-wa”, is native to South America and was called “mother of all grains” by the Incas. It’s a seed, not an actual cereal grain, gluten-free, and very high in protein, iron, and fiber. There are several commonly-found varieties, and this is the red version. It has a bit nuttier flavor than the lighter-colored type.

Basic Cooking Method for Quinoa

  1. Place quinoa in a bowl or sieve and rinse thoroughly. Quinoa is coated with a layer of saponin (you’ll recognize the root word for “soap” there) that must be rinsed off to prevent a soapy taste. Rinse several times and then drain.
  2. Heat a small amount of oil in a pan over medium heat. Add quinoa and stir until coated. Toast about 3-5 minutes until fragrant.
  3. Add water (twice the amount of water as quinoa) and stir. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a bare simmer and cook, covered, about 20 minutes. Check after 20 minutes to see if more water is needed (quinoa stuck to the bottom of the pan) or if it needs to cook for a few more minutes (excess water left in the pan).
  4. Let stand 5 more minutes before serving.

red quinoa

I made a really awesome quinoa salad that I didn’t photograph but will try to get the recipe up soon.

Have you had quinoa? What did you try this week?

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Kimberly September 3, 2010 at 5:30 pm

Cool. I need ideas for quinoa. I like it but don’t know what to do with it, probably because I don’t eat rice and it is often suggested as a substitute for rice. I would also like you to make lunch for me :) Pretty please?


Birch September 3, 2010 at 8:38 pm

Mmmm, I like quinoa.


ronnie September 3, 2010 at 11:54 pm

I think that means you can put “personal chef” on your resume. Grats!


Teri [a foodie stays fit] September 4, 2010 at 3:13 pm

I love quinoa. One of my favorites. I tried patty pan squash for the first time this week. :)


Tyffanie September 4, 2010 at 8:03 pm

Mmmm I too love quinoa! I haven’t tried red quinoa, but I use the normal kind and black quinoa a lot! I really like that you can use it in a savory dish or in a sweet one like for breakfast with fruit!!


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