Quinoa – a real super food!

quinoaCultivated in the Andes for more than 5,000 years, quinoa was a staple food and sacred to the Peruvian Incas who referred to it as chisaya mama, or the mother of all grains.

With over 120 known varieties, it’s not surprising that quinoa is categorised and acknowledged as a superfood. It’s one of the only plant foods that is a complete protein, offering a great source of dietary fibre and all the essential amino acids which also helps control blood pressure as it has the highest of all the grains in potassium.

 

Every so often quinoa pops up on the WOOP menu – check out our take on a Whole Food Heaven recipe below with a Crispy skinned salmon served with a lemony quinoa, smoky courgette and carrot ribbon salad – we did the hard work and cooked the quinoa which can be tricky. However if you are keen to know how to cook quinoa for yourself here are our tips – it is fantastic for lunch!

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Five simple steps when cooking quinoa (along with a few WOOP tips):

1. Rinse the quinoa: Measure 1 cup of quinoa and place into a fine-mesh strainer. Rinse thoroughly with cool water for about 2 minutes. Rub and swish the quinoa with your hand while rinsing. Drain.

Tip: Rinse it well! There is a bitter coating on the tiny seed that needs to be rinsed away

2. Add liquid and bring to a boil: Stir in 2 cups of water or broth and a pinch of salt. Bring to a rolling boil.

3. Lower heat and cook, covered, for 15 minutes. Turn heat down to the lowest setting. Cover and cook for 15 minutes.

Tip: Quinoa holds lots of water, so once cooked make sure you drain it thoroughly. Otherwise, it will make your whole dish watery. And don’t forget to use that fine-mesh strainer again!

4. Let stand, covered, for 5 minutes: Return quinoa to the pan after it has been drained and let stand for a further 5 minutes, covered. Don’t peek!

5. Fluff and eat! Remove the lid —Fluff the quinoa gently with a fork, and serve.

Bonus Tip! For a lighter risotto, use quinoa by sautéing some onions in olive oil, then add quinoa (rinsed!) and toss to coat with oil. Begin adding warm liquid a bit at time, stirring frequently, until it’s creamy and cooked through.