Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Yes, I know, more food!

There is a delightful, tiny little shop next to the Coin Laundry cafe down the road from here.  It's called The Little Grocer.  The lady who runs it is a very friendly New Zealander and clearly a good cook.  Her shop was full of wonderful ingredients and things to eat and it was all beautifully displayed.

I picked up this.
We had a delicious supper involving quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) when we stayed with our very special friend in Devon recently.  I hadn't realised it was quite such a super food and so when I saw this packet I thought it looked rather interesting with all the extra bits and pieces included on the top - pistachios and stuff .  The Little Grocer lady told me how to cook it - boil for 10 - 12 minutes and then dress it with olive oil, a little lemon juice and sea salt. She said you can then add all sorts of goodies to make a very delicious salad, bits of cold chicken, roasted vegetables, rocket, chorizo, parsley and other herbs, all sorts of things.  I am going to take this packet home and do some experimenting.  It all sounds too good to miss and it's ridiculously good for you!

I've known about quinoa for a while because our youngest son has sung its praises in the past, so I thought I would do a little more research.

It is the seed of the goosewort plant which is related to spinach and chard.  The pre-Columbian Incas regarded it as a sacred food, calling it chisaya mama (mother grain).  They planted the first seeds of each season in religious ceremonies.  Cunningly, depriving the people of quinoa was one of the means the Spanish used to conquer the Incas.

On the nutritional front, quinoa provides a complete protein, making it especially valuable for those of us who prefer to reduce or completely eliminate animal protein from our diets. It contains all the essential amino acids we need, like lysine and good quantities of calcium, phosphorus and iron.  And if you are into statistics apparently one cup of quinoa provides 9 grams of protein which is one more gram than a medium size chicken egg!  I am rather more interested in the fact that once you have cooked the quinoa and dressed it as mentioned above, it will keep in the fridge for up to three days and you can then ring the changes with whatever you choose to chuck in.

Bon appetit!

1 comment:

  1. One can never have too much food (as in photos of - everything looks scrumptious . . .)

    So glad to hear that you have embraced the wonder that is quinoa!

    Much love,

    The Special FriendXXX