Quinoa. Healthy, tasty, versatile—a plant that's a complete protein source—what more can vegetarians—anyone, really—ask for in a food? Pronounced keen-wa, quinoa comes originally from South America, where the Incas, who domesticated it, called it the "mother of all grains." But while it looks like a grain and is cooked like a grain, it's actually a plant whose seeds are edible, and it's closely related to other superfoods such as beets, spinach or chard. What makes quinoa so unusual is its many qualities, which combine to make it a practically perfect food:
- high protein content with all the essential amino acids
- gluten free, high in dietary fibre and easy to digest
- nutrient rich, providing starch, sugars, oils, minerals and vitamins.
And quinoa tastes good. Light and mild, with a sweet nutty flavour and fluffy texture, it's been called "South American falafel" by Seattle Weekly Food. Easy to cook, it can be used in place of almost any grain—a great alternative to oatmeal, rice, couscous, pasta—and in a wide range of dishes—mains, sides, even desserts.
Quinoa is rapidly gaining in popularity. According to Canadian Living's recent Food Trends Report, sales of quinoa salad are up by 129%. And NASA has said that quinoa's "very desirable nutritional composition" has made it a "candidate crop" for growing in space stations!
This book, with over 150 quinoa recipes, shows us how to enjoy this natural, functional food that is not only nourishing and flavourful, but loaded with nutrients. Quinoa for everyone, even astronauts!