Monday, January 28, 2013

Experimentation with Quinoa

Have you heard of quinoa? I haven't until recently. I had no idea what it was other than some sort of "super" grain. And even after reading recipes using it, I still don't think I quite understood what it was because I was surprised at what I found after buying a package. It's actually a seed! That is not what I was expecting! However, I had read that quinoa is a whole grain that tastes great, is high in protein, is gluten free, cholesterol free and is always organic. How could I go wrong in trying it?

I had two recipes bookmarked to try it for the first time. One I found on Pinterest and the other I found on one of my favorite food blogs, How Sweet It Is. I decided to go with the one from How Sweet It Is because Jessica has never done me wrong. (And yes, I know, it's a "breakfast skillet." But I like eating these heavier breakfasts for my dinner!)

I went about preparing it. I chopped up the sweet potato, the red and green bell peppers, minced the garlic and threw them in the pan with a little olive oil. The original recipe calls for bacon, and I have nothing against bacon (I love it in fact!), but twice a week I try to go completely meatless in my meals, which is why I wanted to try a high protein grain in the first place so no bacon! The recipe was going well. But then I opened the package to rinse the quinoa. I was so surprised at what I found. Literally, it is a seed. I was scared. But I forged ahead. The quinoa took about 15 minutes to cook (not bad!) and the dish smelled delicious. I topped my dish with a "fried" egg just like the recipe called for and dove in. And I'm glad I did. Those little seeds actually taste quite good! 

The verdict? Quinoa is odd when you don't know what to expect, but tastes delicious. If I were to make this recipe again, I would play around with the seasonings a little bit. I'm guessing because I didn't use bacon the flavor was a little off or just missing that extra something. I just think it needs a bit more spice. I'm excited to see how else I can use this interesting grain! If you have any recipes, please share them in the comments!

The quinoa I tried is from Trader Joe's. 

Until next time~

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