Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Quinoa Hangover

So I'm definitely not one of the first to have tried the "miracle grain" called quinoa (pronounced KEEN-WA - don't embarrass yourself at the supermarket like I did) . It's technically not a grain, it's a seed, and it's more related to spinach than wheat. Most preparations of this seed tell you to prepare it like you would rice.  

Why did we decide to try it ? 

  • I've been having stomach problems after most meals that are especially unhealthy
  • It has to be good for you if the year of 2012 was named "Year of Quinoa"
  • It contains all 9 essential amino acids, twice as much fiber as grains,  iron, lysine, magnesium, B2, and manganese. (Now that I've taken so many science courses I could tell you about how those all individually affect your body and your cells' lives - but it's complicated so just trust that this all is very beneficial
One cup has about 172 calories, and this stuff must be washed because the outside of these seeds is covered with a substance that is used as detergent in South America. 

One huge drawback to purchasing Quinoa is that this grain has been native to many South American countries for a very long time. (The Incans called it the "mother grain" and the Aztecs and Mayans used it in religious ceremonies) Up until recently, these poor, poor, POOR South American countries (look up their GDPs and annual incomes) lived off of this grain and relied on it for their protein and nutrients. It was cheap for them and easy to grow. Now that America is on a "all natural" health kick. Quinoa is too expensive for these South American farmers to even afford. The U.S. likes to buy land in other countries, hire native farmers for a cheap hourly wage, take the product back and sell it at high prices. Yeah, it's a good business, but it definitely is sad too!  (That information all credited to my "World Food Problems" course that  I took last semester)

(Since that problem is out of my  individual control, I bought it anyway)

Washing it freaked me out a bit so I washed it a few extra times (five). We made a cup of it and washed it by filling the bowl with water, massaging the grains, draining the water, and then repeting it.

We used this recipe found here : http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/quinoa-pilaf   and all we needed was garlic, carrots, onion, and chicken broth.  The grain is prepared just like rice - add water, bring to a boil, and cover and simmer for 15 minutes. 

When it was finished cooking, it looked like the one from the recipe link! 

I mean it looked like this. ( I really need to work on my presentation skills)

We had it with pork tenderloin :

The quinoa tasted just fine. Not bad at all, I mean it tasted like rice does.  I'm picky so I mostly had trouble getting used to the texture of eating onions and carrots (usually I pick them out).  

This post was titled "Quinoa Hangover" because the next day I regretted eating so much of it. I felt great after dinner but woke up with a stomach ache and had trouble digesting all of the fiber. Next time I will mix it in half and half with rice. 

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