Late to the Party: Discovering Quinoa

While I’ve eaten quinoa before, I had never tried making it at home. Today’s 90-degree weather called for something quick and light for lunch. Luckily, I just picked up a bag of quinoa the night before at Target, of all places. I had been thinking this would be a good allergy-friendly option for my son. So, during a recent shopping trip, a huge bag caught my eye and ended up in my cart.

I like quinoa, but rarely notice it at the grocery store and haven’t sought it out. Part of the reason may be the price. A 1-lb. bag (454 grams) of quinoa at Target was $7.99 compared to a 5-lb. bag of rice for $4.99 at the grocery store. However, unlike rice, it contains all essential amino acids and is high in protein (see The New York Times, “Recipes for Health: Quinoa”). This is another ingredient I’m hoping to find easily in Switzerland, and it sounds like our local coop will likely have it in stock.

For my first attempt cooking quinoa, I decided to modify a recipe I found online. Here’s my version, as shown in the photo:

 

Quick Quinoa and Chickpea Salad

(dairy/egg/nut-free)

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions (or a white onion)
  • 1 16-oz. can of chickpeas, rinsed
  • 1 orange or red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • Salt and pepper, as needed

Rinse quinoa and drain. Cook quinoa per the instructions on the package (e.g., cook in about 1 1/2 cups of water for about 10-15 minutes, then let sit for 5 minutes). Add the other ingredients and mix well.

Note: For those without a dairy allergy, mix or top with desired amount feta or goat cheese.

 

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