Here's a side-by-side comparison of quinoa's nutritional info with that of brown rice. It's a little hard to see, but quinoa has more fiber (4g vs. 2g), more protein (5g vs. 3g) and more vitamins and minerals than brown rice. It is slightly higher in calories (170 vs. 150), but not by much. Quinoa also contains essential amino acids like lysine, which aids the body in absorbing calcium.
This is the most popular yellow quinoa. Though often thought of as a grain, quinoa is actually the seed of the plant. Cooked quinoa seeds are fluffy, with a little crunch and a slightly nutty flavor.
Quinoa comes in a variety of colors. I've been able to find the yellow and red in the organic aisle of my regular grocery store. I found black quinoa at Whole Foods. My favorite is the red. It is a little nuttier in flavor than the yellow. I don't like the black as much, its flavor is a little stronger.
Quinoa is really easy to cook, and fits like rice into any dish. The only additional step to cooking it, is to rinse it with cold water first to help ensure that the coating has been totally removed. Most of this coating is removed when the seed is harvested, but this extra rinse helps. You simply add one part quinoa to two parts liquid, bring to a boil, turn down the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes.
I have quinoa several times a week as the grain portion of my dinner. The picture above shows black quinoa, cooked in chicken stock, that I tossed with some roasted tomatoes.
Here some other quinoa recipes I like:
Find more recipes at Tasty Tuesday!