a-to-z-letters-qFor those of you, like me, that are not chefs or work in fancy restaurants, the word quinoa is not pronounced as it looks.  You know, phonetically.  It actually pronounced like this, keen-wa.  I’m trying to figure out how that pronunciation got in there.

Anyway,..

The actual meaning from, you guessed it, Wikipedia says:

Quinoa (pron.:/ˈkiːnwɑː/ or /kɨˈnoʊ.ə/, Spanish: quinua, from Quechua: kinwa), a species of goosefoot (Chenopodium), is a grain-like crop grown primarily for its edible seeds. It is a pseudocereal rather than a true cereal, or grain, as it is not a member of the true grass family. As a chenopod, quinoa is closely related to species such as beets, spinach and tumbleweeds.

Basically, it’s not a grain, but is treated much like rice.  In fact, you cook it just like rice and can be used in the same applications.  This little fruit comes from South America in the Andes Mountain regions.  It was first cultivated for human consumption some 3000 to 4000 years ago by the Incas.  But, evidence shows it has been used with herd animals about 5000 to 7000 years ago.  This plant really gets around.

This is one of those things I have tried.  The only place I know that sells a quinoa salad is the local Whole Foods Market.  For years I have heard of it and had the flavor described, but not until recently have tried it.  It is good and picks up flavors well like a high quality rice.  (Yes, I do know what that is, too).  I always thought it was a type of rice.  That is how I have heard it referred.

Strange how a little research changes a few ideas.

On to the recipe!

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Ingredients

1 cup quinoa
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 hothouse cucumber, diced
2 scallions
1/2 cup roasted red pepper, diced
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fines herbs (recommended: Spice Island)
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
3 tablespoons slivered almonds
For serving:
9 cups spring salad mix
1/4 cup light roasted garlic and balsamic salad dressing

Mmmm... looks good to me!
Mmmmlooks good to me!

Directions

Combine quinoa and stock in small pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer and cover. Cook 10 to 15 minutes or until liquid has been absorbed. Let cool completely.

In a large mixing bowl, combine cooled quinoa with remaining ingredients. Toss to mix thoroughly.

Serve chilled on a bed of greens tossed with a little dressing.

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/sandra-lee/quinoa-salad-recipe/index.html?oc=linkback

http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/p/2012-to-z-challenge-sign-up-list.html

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