Quinoa. Considered a sacred grain, sustained the Inca civilization for thousands of years. It’s sustained my family through the years as well. If an evening menu is “less than healthy”, I quickly cook a side of quinoa and wash away any maternal guilt I may have regarding the chicken nuggets.
No matter how you pronounce it, quinoa (KEEN-wa) should be a pantry staple in everyone’s kitchen. I wonder why this powerhouse doesn’t share the popularity of rice or potatoes on our dinner plate? Whole grain quinoa contains more protein than any grain, and the protein supplied includes all nine essential amino acids’s. Moreover it’s just as easy to prepare and the “poppy” texture and nutty flavor are incomparable.
Like a sponge, quinoa absorbs the flavors of the roasted vegetables in this recipe and I love the fresh sunny flavor of the lemony vinaigrette. Freshly boiled or roasted corn off the cob is also great in this dish. There is something about the texture of corn combined with quinoa that offers up a tasty bite everyone enjoys.
Of course you can find great seasonal and local vegies for this salad at the Farmer’s Market, roadside stands and your local grocery’s produce departments. Through Sunday of this week, Kroger’s has a sale on assorted colored bell peppers(three for a buck) and zucchini and yellow squash are only $.79# (these prices available only with a Kroger card.)