Secret ingredient: Quinoa

17:00, Sep 03 2012
Quinoa
ARE YOU KEEN?: Quinoa is a protein-packed superfood.

Are you keen on quinoa? Or are you still figuring out how to pronounce it?
 
WHAT IS QUINOA?
Quinoa (pronounced 'KEEN-wah') is grouped in with the grains, although if we are being really technical, it is a type of seed. An ancient grain native to South America, it is often referred to as a super food as quinoa has an abundant supply of all the essential amino acids. Quinoa is gluten-free and easy to digest.
 
WHAT DOES IT TASTE LIKE?
Quinoa has a slightly nutty flavour. Rinse well before using to remove any slight bitterness present in the grain.
 
WHERE CAN I FIND IT?
Health food stores, supermarkets.
 
WHAT CAN I USE INSTEAD?
White rice or couscous.
 
GOT ANY GOOD RECIPES USING IT?
For light and fluffy quinoa, cook it in a rice cooker - one cup quinoa to two cups water. You can also cook it in a pot on the stove. Try this spring-time salad, which mixes quinoa with feta, broccoli, peas, mint and seeds.

Kathy Paterson is a member of the New Zealand Guild of Food Writers. She co-authored The New Zealand Vegetable Cookbook and has a website.

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