What is Quinoa?

The Incas, who lived in the high Andes Mountains region of South America, grew fields of quinoa. For centuries, it was a permanent staple of their diet. Agricultural historians consider quinoa as an ancient grain, because we grow and harvest it the same way that South Americans did years ago. Ironically, quinoa is not a grain—although cooks use it interchangeably with other grains. It is technically a seed.

If you are looking for smart recipes that are delicious and healthy for your family, you might consider using quinoa. Out of all the other ancient grains, quinoa provides the most protein and amino acids. Quinoa is the perfect choice for those with dietary restrictions. It is gluten-free, kosher for Passover, and free of cholesterol. No wonder so many vegans and vegetarians use it for weeknight meal ideas.

Not only for Vegetairians

You may be raising a family while working full-time, and do not have a lot of time to cook. Why not experiment with some smart recipes that incorporate quinoa? It cooks just as quickly as rice and lends a scrumptious, nutty flavor to the dish. Does your family like Asian cuisine? They will probably love quinoa fried rice.

What could be more comforting and satisfying than a steaming bowl of soup? When you plan your weeknight meal ideas, consider cooking up a pot of vegetarian quinoa chili. It provides an interesting complement to the sweet potatoes in the recipe. This venerable seed makes dishes go further without sacrificing flavor. Quinoa is a favorite ingredient for vegetarian burgers, such as this hot quinoa burger.

Fast & Creative Meals

Let quinoa be part of your breakfast and simple lunch recipes. If you boil it like rice and add cinnamon and your choice of sweetener, it is as delightful as oatmeal in the morning. Do you love strawberries? Try this yummy breakfast treat, strawberry quinoa porridge. Even your little Goldilocks will declare it to be “just right”!

Chocolate for breakfast? Have it without guilt when you stir up a bowl of chocolate and banana quinoa. Take any of your favorite hot breakfast cereal recipes and replace the cereal with quinoa. Your family may prefer it instead of their usual fare.

Bring some variety into your family’s meals by adding quinoa. It is often sold in the bulk food section of the grocery store, or in little bags by the rice and couscous. Quinoa can be part of simple lunch recipes, as well as main courses or desserts. Once you taste its firm, nutty goodness, you will find different ways of enjoying it. Find out why the ancient Incas relished these tiny seeds that are packed with flavor and nutrients.

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