Not so many years ago, most of us might never have heard of quinoa, the superfood whole grain that today features on so many menus and in so many dishes around the planet.
Let's take a look at what quinoa is, what kind of nutrition it contains and some of the different ways you can enjoy eating it. Whether you're after tasty vegetarian dishes, or you just want quinoa as an alternative to pasta or potatoes, there are numerous meals it can be a part of.
What is quinoa?
The first thing you need to know about quinoa is how to say it! Pronounced 'keen-wah', or "kee-NOO-wah", it's a great staple food for anyone who is gluten-free and also likes to avoid cholesterol - as it's cholesterol-free too. Along with those qualities, it has high levels of essential amino acids, as well as iron, magnesium, B and E vitamins and fibre.
One serving of quinoa, about 3/4 cup, will contain 170 calories and 6g of protein, along with 3g of fibre, so it's great for keeping your appetite in check. For instance, a Beetroot and Quinoa Salad from Zest makes for an ideal working lunch as it will give you an energy boost for the rest of the working day. Along with the quinoa and beetroot, the salad is loaded with sweet potato, roasted almonds, eggplant and zucchini, so there'll be no danger of getting mid-afternoon hunger pangs if you eat this!
Ways to enjoy quinoa
Quinoa has certainly helped to expand the variety of salads we can now enjoy, and while this is one of the most popular ways to eat it; there are plenty of other meals that include the South American whole grain. For instance, flaked quinoa can be a great cereal topping and it can also be mixed into a crumble topping.
If you're after a quinoa hit in the morning, start your day with a bowl of Quinoa Porridge from Dood328. It's made with quinoa and almond milk, and served with poached fruit and vanilla yoghurt. You couldn't find a much healthier way to start the day.
The Sondra burger at Huxtaburger is a delicious veggie burger with the patty made of zucchini, kale and quinoa. It's topped with pickled onions, beetroot, tomato and lettuce. Quinoa adds great texture to veggie burgers, as well as supplementing some of the protein you'd usually get from the meat in a burger.
One of quinoa's many plus points is that it can be used as a way to thicken broths and stews, to make them more of a substantial meal than they would otherwise be. In the Super Chicken Soup at Crisp, quinoa is added to the chicken broth, along with raw broccoli and spinach.
Quinoa delivered to your door
While it's perfectly possible to buy quinoa from the supermarket and cook it yourself, it's one of those foods that does take a bit of practice to get just right. Before you start cooking your own quinoa dishes, why not try it when it's been prepared by the pros and see how you like it best?
Order your first taste of quinoa with Deliveroo today!