Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Ingredient of the Month- Quinoa.

Qu-I-no-A? Queen-O-A? Kai-O-noa?

Oh the ever elusive pronunciation of Quinoa. (It's KEEN-wha by the way.)

Quinoa has been around for thousands of years, though only recently has it become a popular ingredient, and dubbed a superfood. 

A complete protien, quinoa is the only plant food featuring all essential amino acids. It's also gluten free, low GI, low carbohydrate, and high fiber. It's pretty much a complete food. 
Whether you are a health nut, trying to lose weight, or are just after some good wholesome food, try quinoa. 

There is, however, a nack to cooking it. 
First off you need to make sure you give it a good wash as most don't come prewashed, and quinoa naturally has a bitter coating. 

You then boil it using a 1:1 water ratio. It will take between 10-15 mins to cook. What you're looking for is a small hook to begin to pop out- if, by this time, your water hasn't all been soaked up, strain it. Otherwise use a fork to mix the quinoa around, trying to get as much air in it as possible- you want fluffy quinoa.

Quinoa is relatively flavourless, the black and red varieties being more earthy than the white- and will also take a bit longer to cook. All 3 colours are natural, so don't worry about any possible bleaching. 

This is a really versatile food. It can be used in baking, as a replacement to potato, rice or pasta, added to soup, or bread. Here's a really basic recipe to get you started.


1.1 cup of quinoa
2. 1 cup of water
3. 1 stock cube
4. Tin of chopped tomato
5. 3 cloves of crushed garlic
6. 1 medium onion
7. Handful of button mushrooms
8. 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika
9. Pinch of salt.


1. Chop the onion, garlic and mushroom to suit. 

2. In a saucepan add the quinoa, water, and stock and bring to boil.

3. In a fry pan, fry off your onion, garlic, and mushroom(filling the room with that amazing smell)

4. Add the tin of tomato and simmer until the tomatoes turn to a dull red.

5. Add paprika, and salt. 

6. Once you're satisfied with your quinoa, take it off the heat (sieve if you need to) let if cool for a minute or two, using a fork to stir it every so often. 

7. Stir the qunioa into the sauce and voila!

I hope you enjoyed this first Ingredient of The Month. Let me know if you try this recipe or what you love to do with quinoa.

Au Revoir my lovelies Rachael x

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