Quinoa 101

Quinoa 101

Feb 2013

Sarah Amormino

 “What the hell is that?”, I said to my Mom as she was unpacking the groceries into the pantry, “This is ‘quin-oh-ah!” She responded in an overly enthusiastic health-freak-Momma way. I picked up the bag, gazed at the little seeds and thought to myself that no matter how healthy this stuff was for you, it looked impossible to make, so I’d pass on trying to figure it out. It sat in my cupboard for weeks. A few months later, my Mom sent me a care package and included that quinoa. I sighed and shook my head, what the heck am I going to do with this stuff? At that moment I was determined to learn how to make it.


            It is now months later and I can genuinely say that I am one of quinoa’s biggest fans. I’ve mastered the art of cooking quinoa and I’m prepared to share it with you!



            First things first, let’s get the pronunciation straight (sorry Mom), quinoa is pronounced ‘keen-wah’ and can be classified as a whole grain, however, it’s actually a seed that is grown in Bolivia. It shares similarities with rice and barley, but its nutty flavour has something that other grains don’t have.  Quinoa has been called the ‘dieters dream’; it is gluten-free, heart healthy and low in sugar. It is a natural body cleanser, packed with protein, great for your bones and is an all-around brain food.


How to make that good ‘ol fashion quinoa:

HINT: For every 1-cup of quinoa, you need that in water PLUS ¼ cup


  1. Rinse the quinoa in a strainer before you cook it, some people choose to soak it for 5 minutes, whatever you have time for!
  2. Put a pot on the stove and crank the heat to about medium
  3. Put your rinsed quinoa in the pot (you should hear a little sizzle)
  4. Stir it up for a minute or two, almost like you’re toasting it to bring out its natural flavours
  5. Add some of your favourite spices! (ANYTHING works! I usually just add some garlic powder)
  6. Add your water and let it boil
  7. Once it is boiling, turn your heat to simmer, cover the pot and let it sit for 12-15 minutes
  8. Take it off the heat and let it sit with the lid on for a couple of minutes
  9. Fluff it with a fork and… viola!


            The absolute first thing you should do after reading this is open up a new tab on your computer and type in pinterest.com in your search engine, regardless if you have an account or not. In the search box type in “quinoa”…now feast your eyes on all of those simple and delicious recipes.


Quinoa is so versatile; I found this recipe on the net and had to share it with you! http://simplysugarandglutenfree.com/alyssas-quinoa-coconut-macaroons/


Just keep in mind- because quinoa is high in polyunsaturated fatty acids (this is a good thing!), make sure to store it in a cool, dry place. Once opening it, make sure to keep it in an airtight container.


Good luck my fellow fashionistas!