As we approach summer, it’s time for us to take a look at our diets and see what winter foods need to go to make room for summer foods.   For me, brown rice is one of the winter foods that I adore but is just too heavy in the summer.  Enter quinoa:  a grain (well, technically it’s a seed) from the Andes that has been grown and eaten since 3,000 BC.  Quinoa is protein-packed, easy to digest and, importantly for the summer, quick cooking.  Who wants to slave over a hot stove in the heat?!  Quinoa is a great source of iron and contains all eight essential amino acids. It’s the perfect summer grain.

Over the next few weeks, I’m going to be posting some of my favorite quinoa recipes.. but first:

THE PERFECT POT OF QUINOA

1 c quinoa, rinsed well*
4 c water
salt

Bring water to boil in a medium pot. Add salt. Once boiling, add rinsed quinoa and reduced to simmer. Cover and cook for 12-15 minutes.  Pour into mesh colander and strain water. Fluff up and add salt and pepper to taste.

*Make sure you always rinse your quinoa well! The seeds are covered by a bitter-tasting substance called saponin. It’s not dangerous, just tastes a little funny, so make sure you always rinse rinse rinse.

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