Keen-wa is Soop-ah!

Over the past year or two I have really started to develop an appreciation for cooking and baking. This is surprising only because “cooking”, to me, used to be sticking something in the microwave and returning when I heard a ding. Today I really try to “cook” in the more conventional sense. Using fresh ingredients, learning about when and how to use spices, and of course using other means to heat food other than radiation.

I can’t be the only newly married woman who has felt incredibly lost, confused and down right scared in a kitchen while trying to prepare her new husband an award winning meal. Who are we kidding anyway? The vows have been said and the papers have been signed so he isn’t going any where whether the cooking is good or bad. However, I think it makes every girl feel good to hear, “Mmm. This is really good, (insert favorite pet name here)” or maybe, one day, “This is better than my Mom’s recipe.”

Of course you don’t need to be newly married to want to brush up on your cooking skills either. So I welcome all to learn along with me and feel free to send me your recipes and tips as well.

Today I got off work around 1pm so I got a good head start with my homework which allowed me more time to plan for dinner. I have read about Quinoa a time or two before in different health magazines and cookbooks, but I never really knew what it was or how to even pronounce it. A co-worker brought it up to me the other day and it finally clicked what it was and how to say it! After a strong recommendation I decided to give it a shot…tonight!

Quinoa, pronounced Keen-Wa, is a tiny little grain. However, it is a very powerful grain. It is a complete protein grain, therefore, it contains more high quality protein than any other grain. It doesn’t contain gluten, so it is great for those on a gluten free diet. And one of the best benefits of all, it is easy to digest! Also, since it is so high in protein it is a great food for my vegetarian friends to eat, but I am sure they already know that.

So, tonight I decided to make it for me and the hubs. All I did was follow the instructions on the box.

Organic Ancient Harvest Quinoa
*172 calories for 1/4 cup dry.
2 cups of water
1 cup of Quinoa
Bring Quinoa to boil. Reduce to simmer and cover and cook until all water is absorbed. (about 10-15 minutes.)

First thoughts and reactions- “This smells like dog food!” “No, I take that back. This smells like a fish tank!” Once it boiled, I covered and decided not to think much more about it. That is a good idea for me. Maybe I will share the Japchae story with you some day so you can better understand what I mean by that. After the timer went off I had a fluffy-ish side dish. I did add a little garlic salt for extra flavor. I made it with stir-fried teriyaki chicken, with zucchini, red bell peppers, mushrooms, onion, garlic (actual clove, not salt this time!), and celery. It was pretty dang yummy and even JB liked it!

And for those who have no idea where to find Quinoa in the grocery store, it can be found in the Organic/Natural Foods section with the gluten free products.
For more information you can go here.