People are always asking me “How do I eat quinoa?” and “What is it?“. Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is a lovely little grain from the quinoa plant, pictured. It is prepared similar to rice, cooked in boiling water. I love it because it is inexpensive, fast, and takes on whatever flavors you add to it. You can make quinoa sweet, like oatmeal, or savory for lunch or dinner. It can be served cold or hot and the icing on the cake is that is is a good source of vegetarian protein. Keep in mind, it is a grain, so the main nutrient is carbohydrate, yet the type of protein in it is “complete” meaning it provides all the essential amino acids that animal proteins contain.
Try this savory, satisfying, all around yummy recipe with basil and parmesan. Leftovers will keep quite well in the refrigerator up to 3 days.
Italian Quinoa Makes 4 Servings.
1 cup dry quinoa (rinsed in a fine sieve)
1 cup water
1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup shredded fresh basil
1/4 cup shredded parmesan
2 tsp dried italian seasoning
1 tsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt & pepper to taste
Cook quinoa in water and broth according to directions (bring to a boil in a saucepan, then cover on low for approx 15 min). Finely chop fresh basil leaves into ribbons or however you fancy. Add basil, salt, pepper, seasonings, and olive oil. Stir to combine. Add the parmesan while quinoa is still hot so it melts throughout, dispersing flavor.
Serve warm and enjoy!
What to have on the side?
Try grilled or baked halibut or salmon with garlic and lemon and asparagus. Or, serve it on top of a large colorful salad with light vinaigrette dressing. Tomato soup with more basil on top is a perfect match as well.