Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) is a small, ancient grain, a food staple part in the Andes for thousands of years. Technically, it isn’t a grain, but a seed from a weed-like plant called goosefoot. Quinoa has a nutty flavour and is slightly chewy when cooked - it makes an excellent side dish and is a crunchy addition to salad.
The most common types of quinoa are white, red, and black. White quinoa cooks the fastest, has the least crunchy texture and mildest flavour. Red is has a slightly stronger flavour and crunch – its is a bit heartier and chewier and takes slightly longer to cook, and black is the crunchiest and most flavourful – slightly sweeter than the others.
The red quinoa comes from Somerset the whote from Essex. The contrasting colours really come into their own in salads and side dishes.
Cooking with Quinoa
I recommend thoroughly rinsing before cooking to remove it's outer coating (called saponin). If not rinsed, this can leave a bitter and soapy taste once the quinoa is cooked.
Use quinoa in the way that you would for rice, couscous, pilafs, barley etc. To cook, just prepare as if it were rice - cover with water or vegetable broth and simmer over medium heat until soft, about 15 minutes, giving it a couple quick stirs. Then just add some veggies and a dressing to make an easy quinoa salad, or swap out white rice for quinoa to serve with any kind of vegetable stir-fry or substituting it in any fried rice dish. Quinoa also makes a great hot breakfast cereal, similar to oatmeal.
For a fast and simple side dish, drizzle over some olive oil, sea salt, and lemon juice or a bit of garlic and add a touch of nutritional yeast or parmesan cheese.
If you cook a little extra, pop it into an airtight container in the fridge or freezer, and you'll have some ready to toss it into any dish for added texture and nutrition.
British Grown Red & White Quinoa
Ingredients: White Quinoa (75%), Red Quinoa
For allergens see ingredients in bold.
Due to the way our food is stored and packaged, this product may contain traces of other allergens due to cross-contamination.