Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Quinoa Salad

Technically quinoa isnt a grain but is a seed that was cultivated in the Andean regions of Peru, Chile and Bolivia for thousands of years. The Incas used to call quinoa the "mother grain" and likened it to gold. Quinoa is a nutritional powerhouse. It is cholesterol-free, and it contains more protein than any other grain.

It rates low on the Glycemic Index, meaning it won't spike blood sugar levels, and it has the highest amount of unsaturated fats and lowest ratio of carbohydrates of any other grain. Unlike wheat or rice, quinoa is a complete protein. It contains all nine essential amino acids. It is high in fiber, phosphorus, magnesium and iron and is good source of Vitamins E, B6 and a host of other nutrients. ( Information from the net )
For this recipe soak the quinoa 20 minutes in hot salted water . This helps the quinoa to expand and cook evenly . Next squeese the quinoa of all water and set aside .Meanwhile prepare your vegetables , I chopped some red peppers , celery and leek to be used at the end of the cooking .
In olive oil lightly cook without browning minced garlic and freshly ground black pepper . Then add and saute the quinoa for 3-4 minutes and slowly start adding hot water to it , adding more as it absorbs what you fed it .When the seed is almost done and there is no water left , stir in the chopped vegetables , cover and after a minute on low heat turn the heat off  leaving the wok covered . When ready to serve , adjust flavors , fluff the quinoa with a fork ,the grains shouldnt be lumpy or sticky . Substitute the water with stock , add some white wine - the possibilities are endless and delicious .

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