Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is an ancient food native to the Andean region of Central America. Quinoa has a greater protein content than most grains, and unlike other grains, contains all the amino acids needed to build protein. Thus, a recent favourite of mine – replacing pasta for dinner! Quinoa has a mild slightly nutty taste, firm texture and can be made slightly chewy or creamy. Quinoa should be rinsed or soaked before cooking. To cook it just put 1 cup of quinoa in 2 cups of water, cover and simmer until all of the water has been absorbed. For a lighter, fluffier dish cook in more water for longer. Most quinoa available in the UK is yellow but it is also possible to get red quinoa which can be used in the same way.Quick and easy recipe:
1 cup Quinoa
2 cloves of Garlic (diced)
1 medium chopped Zucchini
1 chopped Red Pepper
1/2 chopped Green Pepper
1/2 chopped Red Onion
1 large red Chilli
1 small slab of Halloumi cheese, cut into small cubes
Wash quinoa thoroughly. Add 2 cups of water for 1 cup of quinoa and cook until soft and fluffy. Separately, in a little olive oil, saute the garlic until browned, then add in the red onions and chilli and saute for 2 more minutes. Follow with the peppers and zucchini for 4-5 minutes, until cooked but slightly crunchy. Stir in the cooked quinoa and mix well. Lastly, add in the halloumi, cook for 2-3 more minutes. Add in a little salt - about half a teaspoon should be enough as the halloumi is quite salty. Add freshly ground black pepper to taste and serve hot.
Have to mention that I only thought of using Halloumi when I saw a Quinoa recipe of Anne's blog. It tastes delicious.