Cooking Quinoa

Quinoa is called the ‘mother grain’ and some people call it the ‘Grain of the Future’. It is complete protein with all the essential amino acids. Cooking quinoa is very easy just like cooking rice in a pot.

Basic Preparation
Quinoa – 1 cup
Water – 2 cups

Procedure
1. Rinse quinoa in running water for at least few minutes. It contains a saponin coat the needs to be removed. The most effective way I found to do this is by placing the quinoa in a mesh strainer and gently rubbing the grains under running cold water.
2. Place quinoa and water in a saucepan and bring it to a boil.
3. Reduce to simmer, cover and cook until all the water is absorbed – about 15 minutes.
4. Delicious quinoa is ready to use in different recipes.

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Healthy Lemon (Rice) Quinoa

A while ago, I expressed concern about the protein intake to my one of my friend and she suggested me to try quinoa. She handed me few recipes and also taught me to cook quinoa. Ever since I have been trying many recipes using this wonderful protein rich grain. This is one of the grains that supply all the required amino acids to our body. Not even our dals have all the nine of them separately. This is the reason that our tradition is to cook multiple lentils to get all the required amino acids in a staple vegetarian diet.

These days I am trying to make Indianized recipes. I tried to make lemon (rice) quinoa and came out very well.

Ingredients
Quinoa – 1 cup
Green Chillies – 4 or 5
Curry Leaves
Lemon juice – 1 tablespoon
Olive oil – 1 or 2 teaspoons
Urad dal – 1/2 teaspoon
Channa Dal – 1/2 teaspoon
Mustard Seeds – 1/4 teaspoon
Turmeric Powder – 1/4 teaspoon

Procedure
1. Rinse, wash and cook quinoa.
2. On a separate pan, make seasoning with little olive oil, mustard seeds, urad and channa dal. Add split green chillies, curry leaves, add turmeric powder and turn off heat.
3. Pour the seasoning on cooked quinoa, add lemon juice and salt and mix throughly.
4. Serve it with nice raw mango pickle and enjoy the nutritious quinoa.

Raw Mango Pickle

This is an instant pickle that goes well with any kind of upma, variety rice etc. Back home, we used to get lots of varieties and one famous for doing this is called ‘Kizhi Muukku Manga’. But, here we get only one variety and that tastes awesome too. This same pickle can also be done with dosakai. I will post the dosakai recipe sometime later. Now for the yummy mango pickle. It is so good that it makes you look for raw mango always. Enjoy!

Ingredients
Raw Mango – 1 small
Chilli Powder – 1 teaspoon
salt
asafoetida
oil
mustard seeds
curry leaves

Procedure
1.Chop the mango into little pieces.
2.Make seasoning using little oil, mustard seeds, a pinch of asafoetida and curry leaves.
3. Add chilli powder, salt and seasoning to the mango and mix well.
4. Serve with rice or upma of your choice.

Sandwich with home made peanut butter

I have to wear my thinking hat on for packing lunch for my kids most of the days. My son is fond of peanut butter sandwich. I used to buy one of the leading brand creamy peanut butter from the supermarket. Then as I became more aware, I started buying only the fresh peanut butter from places like Whole Foods without preservatives. I thought why not make it at home and ended up with the yummy peanut butter.

Ingredient

fresh roasted peanuts – 1/2 cup
honey or agave nectar – 1 or 2 teaspoons

Procedure
1. Dry roast the peanuts, if raw.
2. Blend smoothly peanuts and agave nectar to the required consistency.
I used agave nectar this time and had used honey last time.
If you don’t prefer using either of them, you can skip it and add 1 or 2 teaspoons of any kind of oil.