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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Red Quinoa with Pine Nuts, Cilantro and Green Onions

Quinoa (pronounced "KEEN wah") is a somewhat curious food.  It could take a little getting used to, texturally, but is uber nutritious and also quite pretty, as you can see here... as a bed for our shrimp and scallop skewers.  Nutritional notes to follow at the end as usual.

Ingredients:
1 Tbsp canola oil
1 cup rinsed quinoa 
1 3/4 cup chicken stock
3/4 cup toasted pine nuts
1/2 cup sliced green onion
2 Tbsp finely chopped cilantro







Method:

First, you have to rinse the quinoa in water. Let it sit for a while, then drain.

While it is draining, cut the cilantro and green onions.  I suppose you could use flat leaf parsley if you are not a cilantro fan, but I love it!  This is also the time when you should toast the pine nuts in a dry pan.  Careful, they get brown fast!
Toast the quinoa in the oil for 3-4 minutes.  It will begin to smell toasty.
Add the chicken stock.
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover and cook for about 15 minutes.  The chicken stock should get absorbed into the grain, just like making rice.  Once stock is absorbed, let it sit for about 5 minutes.

Add the toasted pine nuts, cilantro, and green onions and fluff with a fork.
Serve hot as we did here, or cold as a side salad.
 Written Method:

First, you have to rinse the quinoa in water. Let it sit for a while, then drain. While it is draining, cut the cilantro and green onions.  I suppose you could use flat leaf parsley if you are not a cilantro fan, but I love it!  This is also the time when you should toast the pine nuts in a dry pan.  Careful, they get brown fast! Toast the quinoa in the oil for 3-4 minutes.  It will begin to smell toasty. Add the chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover and cook for about 15 minutes.  The chicken stock should get absorbed into the grain, just like making rice.  Once stock is absorbed, let it sit for about 5 minutes. Add the toasted pine nuts, cilantro, and green onions and fluff with a fork. Serve hot as we did here, or cold as a side salad.


Food Nerd Notes:
Quinoa (a species of goosefoot - Chenopodium), is a grain-like crop grown primarily for its edible seeds. It is a pseudocereal rather than a true cereal, or grain, as it is not a member of the grass family. As a chenopod, quinoa is closely related to species such as beets, spinach, and tumbleweeds.

Quinoa originated in the Andean region of Ecuador, Bolivia, Colombia and Peru, where it was successfully domesticated 3000 to 4000 years ago for human consumption.  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.'

In contemporary times, this crop has become highly appreciated for its nutritional value, as its protein content is very high (12%–18%). The nutrient composition is very good compared with common cereals. Quinoa grains contain essential amino acids like lysine and good quantities of calcium, phosphorus, and iron.  Unlike wheat or rice (which are low in lysine), and like oats, quinoa contains a balanced set of essential amino acids for humans, making it a complete protein source, unusual among plant foods. It is a good source of dietary fiber and phosphorus and is high in magnesium and iron. Quinoa is gluten-free and considered easy to digest. Because of all these characteristics, quinoa is being considered a possible crop in NASA's Controlled Ecological Life Support System for long-duration manned spaceflights.

Quinoa grains are in general cooked the same way as rice and can be used in a wide range of dishes.  When cooked, quinoa has a light, fluffy texture, and its mild, slightly nutty flavor makes it an alternative to white rice or couscous.  Most boxed/pre-packaged quinoa has already been pre-rinsed for convenience, and cooking instructions therefore suggest only a brief rinse before cooking.

1 comment:

  1. good relevant information about nutrition vlaue of pine nuts .what are the benefits of pine nuts for more information click here.. Nutritional Value Of Pine Nuts

    ReplyDelete

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