Why I’m Keen on Quinoa

Since the advent of the word “foodies” back in the 1980s (yes, I looked up its origin, and that’s as reliable as any I could find), it sometimes feels that as a nation, when we aren’t obsessed with who wore it best, we’re definitely fixated on not just what we put in our mouths, but knowing precisely how every bite breaks down scientifically.

The only problem is, most of the information we gobble up nearly as quickly as a gluten-free gumdrop, is anything but scientific. And even what is touted as scientific is often disproved once it leaves the petri dish and finds its way to our watering mouths.

What this means is we have vegans, vegetarians, fruitarians, Paleos, blood type, low carb, high-protein – the list goes on and on. Food and nutrition and all that goes with them — a hot topic every day of the year. And, yes, there is way too much processed food and too many things added to our foods – even too many foods, if you ask me. But there is one thing we can never get enough of (and it’s good for digestion), and that’s laughter.

So, when I find a food that makes me laugh, I’m all for it. And this is where my little buddy Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) comes in. I was introduced to what has been purported to be one of the world’s healthiest foods a few years ago. In fact, the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations declared 2013 as “The International Year of the Quinoa.” But that’s so last year …

Quinoa is touted to be filled with not only high nutritional value, but antioxidants, flavonoids, anti-inflammatory phytonutrients, omega-3s – well – I could go on and on, but I’m pretty sure you’d soon surmise I have absolutely no idea what I’m talking about.

Why do I like Quinoa? Well, for one, it’s a snap to prepare. If you can boil water, you will be a Quinoa aficionado in no time flat. Which brings up something else I like about Quinoa. You can prepare it with chicken stock, or beef stock, or vegetable stock if you decide you want to eat ts more like you would rice and less like you would cereal.

Tired of your normal run-of-the-mill white Quinoa? Well, have no fear, because you can not only substitute red or black – but it even comes in a flake or flour variation.

creamed quinoa with berries

Quinoa: It’s what’s for breakfast.

I’ve tried it hot with almond milk, cinnamon, and walnuts, with a bit of coconut sugar and called it a heavenly breakfast. I’ve also had it piled on a salad at lunch with chicken breast, avocado, red bell peppers, and shredded carrots and not only felt full – but healthy. And as I mentioned, prepare it with your favorite broth or stock, and you can use it as a side dish in the evening. I’ve even had it in casseroles and gone back for more!

Okay, so you’d think my main reason for loving it would be its versatility (and healthy attributes) – right? Well, those are all just fine. But the reason I’ve grown to really love it is because Quinoa seems to have a sense of humor. I have yet to eat it without having some literally jump off my fork. I feel sort of like Horton in Horton Hears a Who, because I could almost swear I hear this tiny voice saying, “Wheeeee!” as it lands on the table, my lap, or the floor (depending on how careful I’m being not to spill any)!

If you doubt me, then you’ll have to prepare a batch for yourself and test my theory. Just remember this: while looking for information to share about this funny little grain, I discovered it is a species of goosefoot. Do you suppose that explains its ability to skedaddle?

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