Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) is becoming a popular grain in America these days, and rightly so. It has the highest nutritional profile and cooks the fastest of all grains.
It is an extremely high-energy grain and has been grown and consumed for about 8,000 years on the high plains of the Andes Mountains in South America. The Incas were able to run such long distances at such a high altitude because of this powerful grain. According to Wikipedia, the Incas, who held the crop to be sacred, referred to quinoa as chisaya mama or 'mother of all grains', and it was the Inca emperor who would traditionally sow the first seeds of the season using 'golden implements'.
Quinoa is gluten-free and easy to digest. It contains all eight amino acids to make it a complete protein. It strengthens the kidneys, heart, and lungs. It is high in B vitamins, iron, zinc, potassium, calcium and vitamin E.
I often cook a pot of it on Sunday and will have it for breakfasts or lunches during the week. For breakfast, just reheat in a little nut milk and add nuts, cinnamon, and honey. For lunch, drizzle on a little olive oil and sea salt, then add whatever chopped veggies you like. My favorites are avocado and tomatoes. I have really grown to love the flavor, nutrition, and versatility of this super grain.
Here is a simple and tasty salad recipe with cooked quinoa.
3 cups cooked Quinoa
1/4 cup lime juice
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
1/4 cup chopped onion or scallion
1 tomato, chopped
Few olives, thinly sliced
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and serve at room temperature.