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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Quinoa is a grain-like food that comes from South America, where it has been eaten for thousands of years. It is actually the seed of a plant that is closely related to spinach and beets. It is very high in protein, and contains a balanced set of amino acids, and is a good source of fiber, magnesium, iron, and phosphorus. Quinoa is truly a super-food, gluten-free, and can be used in place of rice, or cooked as a cereal, or added to homemade bread. You can find Quinoa at most grocery stores, including health food stores.
It makes a great addition to your food storage.
Here is a recipe for a healthy, delicious Quinoa dish from

Black-Bean and Tomato Quinoa
2 teaspoons grated lime zest
2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup quinoa
1 (14-15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 medium tomatoes, diced
4 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Whisk together lime zest and juice, butter, oil, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl.

The zest of a lime (or lemon) is just the very outside layer--the green part. Don't grate down into the white part. The white part of the peel is bitter.

Wash quinoa well in cold water in a bowl, draining in a sieve.

Cook quinoa in a medium pot of boiling salted water (1 Tablespoon salt for 2 quarts water), uncovered, until almost tender, about 10 minutes. Drain in sieve.

Set sieve in same pot with 1 inch of simmering water (water should not touch bottom of sieve).

Cover quinoa with a folded kitchen towel, then cover sieve with a lid (don't worry if lid doesn't fit tightly) and steam over medium heat until tender, fluffy, and dry, about 10 minutes. Remove pot from heat and remove lid. Let stand, still covered with towel, 5 minutes.

Add quinoa to dressing and toss until dressing is absorbed, then stir in remaining ingredients and salt and pepper to taste. This recipe serves 6.

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