I am a sucker for grocery brand names. I know them, I know what their food tastes like, and when a new product comes out, I’m more likely to try it just because that brand made it. I’m so dependent on known labels, that anything different automatically gets the label “weird”.
One of those weird foods is quinoa, and I went out of my comfort zone yesterday when I cooked it as a side at dinner. It looks like grain, it cooks like grain and it tastes like grain, but quinoa (pronounced keen-waah, not kin-o-a), is actually a highly nutritive seed closely related to beets. If I didn’t know better, I would think that raw quinoa was fish pellets.
Since I just boiled the quinoa in water, it was pretty tasteless. I found out that garlic powder is a good compliment. All in all, I have some experimenting to do before I get the flavor right, but it is a healthier alternative to rice and other grains. Quinoa does have more calories and 2 grams of fat more per serving than white rice, but it has fewer carbohydrates, more insoluble fiber, more antioxidants, and more micronutrients. It also has more protein than an egg.
So, is quinoa a winner? Meh. I could go for something with more natural flavor, but I’m sure my body appreciates it.