Just a few weeks ago I introduced Chia Seeds to our diet and over the weekend I cooked Quinoa for the first time. It will absolutely be a staple in our diet moving forward. I found Quinoa on a few cooking blogs that I read regularly and I was always scared to try it, and let's be honest, I didn't even know where to find it in the grocery store, a huge deciding factor to ingredients I use in my cooking. So I had always avoided it. When I saw this recipe on the blog How Sweet It Is, I had to try it. I love everything that goes into the dish, it was my chance to suck it up and try Quinoa for the first time. (BTW, it's pronounced KEEN-WA, I have a hard time remembering that.)
A BRIEF history - Quinoa has been used by civilizations for thousands of years, it was a super food to the Incas and before them and it still is today. Like Chia Seeds, Quinoa has so many health benefits that I'm sad I haven't been eating it for years and years. Quinoa is super high in protein and also has the nine essential amino acids. Also important for me is that it contains riboflavin which has been shown to reduce the frequency of migraines which I seem to be getting these days. It's also non-fattening with a low number of calories per serving while supplying your body with protein, complex carbohydrates, fiber and healthy fats. And for those who are on a gluten free diet, it's also gluten free. I've seen a lot of people on gluten free blogs and recipe sites use Quinoa or Quinoa flour to replace traditional flour in recipes.
You're supposed to rinse Quinoa before you cook it to remove the bitter taste, that was the hardest part of the entire dish. I wasn't prepared for how sticky it would be once wet and I had it all over the place, I thought it would be more like a seed - oops. People recommend placing it in a strainer and running cold water over it. I'll try that next time (tonight).
The watermelon, basil and feta Quinoa dish was amazing. We covered it in lime juice and it was delicious. The recipe feeds 2 to 4, we devoured it in one night. Tonight I'll be making the recipe again and making a few variations. I plan on eating some Quinoa a few times this week for lunch or dinner. We'll cook as the recipe directs us to, we'll add some cooked bacon crumbles to some and I want to try a salad with the Quinoa, sautéed spinach and feta cheese, maybe with some cherry tomatoes, too. This could be a great addition to the lunch salads that we try to prepare for a week.
Also, on a side note, Chia Seeds are amazing. We've started incorporating them in everything possible when we cook. Making a smoothie, adding Chia Seeds. Cooking fish, adding Chia Seeds. Anytime we have Greek Yogurt, it also has Chia Seeds. The small, $15 bag that I bought at Whole Foods a few weeks ago is still hanging in there (a serving is one or two tablespoons) but I just purchased a three pound bag on Amazon that we should have on Thursday. We love the little seeds and we're committed to using them.