Quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) is a grain that comes from the Andes Mountains of South America. Quinoa’s origins are truly ancient. It was one of the three staple foods, along with corn and potatoes, of the Inca civilization. Quinoa was known then, and still is known, with respect, as the mother grain. It is often called the “Supergrain of the Future.” Quinoa contains all eight essential amino acids and more protein than any other grain; an average of 16.2 percent, compared with 7.5 percent for rice, 9.9 percent for millet, and 14 percent for wheat. It looks like a grain and is often regarded as a whole grain even though it is actually the seed of a plant that is related to spinach. Quinoa is also low in fat and a good source of other nutrients such as calcium. As quinoa is free from gluten, it makes an ideal alternative for people who eat a gluten-free diet. Quinoa is naturally high in fiber and this is a useful addition to most diets. It is has many uses, like breakfast cereal, as a substitution for rice or in combination dishes such as pilaf, to name a few.
Quinoa should be rinsed thoroughly before cooking to remove any powdery residue. Place grain in a fine strainer and hold under cold running water until water runs clear; drain well.
To cook, use 2 cups liquid per 1 cup of quinoa. Combine liquid & quinoa in a medium saucepan, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover & cook until the grains are translucent and the germ has spiraled out from each grain. About 15 minutes.
I add some salt, pepper and garlic to the water prior to boiling for additional flavor.