Thursday, January 6, 2011
After stuffing our faces full of Christmas cheer long after Christmas was over, right through the New Year, and up and down the east coast on our way to and from Virginia, Joe and I decided we ought to look at some new healthy food options to start off 2011. And thanks to Reny's (a Maine landmark, in case you're unaware), I stumbled across an aisle full of Bob's Red Mill products marked half off. I picked up several versions of bean soup mixes, special flours, cereals and grains, and quinoa, something I'd only heard of through my gorgeous and ever-healthy friend Rachel. So I brought it home, along with another half-off item from the supermarket-- a big platter of veggies for dipping. Don't worry folks. I checked the dates on all this stuff. We're in the clear. So tonight, rather than start off with chocolate-covered potato chips, devil dogs, or one of a choice of 5 different kinds of Virginia-made cookies, we stuck to veggies and quinoa. It's a little grain, originally grown in parts of South America, not unlike the texture of brown rice, but more like a seed. It's got a slightly bitter after-taste inspired by saponins, a natural coating the plant creates to protect it from pests. Smart plant, huh? So, people who are really into quinoa make creative salads, soups and stew with it, as well as it can be cooked like rice, rather quickly actually (12 minutes), with water or other liquids. For our first try at the stuff, we opted to cook it up in some chicken stock. Our girls love any kind of rice cooked in stock, so we went for it, and it worked. All five of us enjoyed it thoroughly.
This is NOT the quinoa we had for dinner. Thanks to Jillicious Discoveries for both the photo and her recipe for Yummy Quinoa Salad. I'm all over it.