Quinoa, pronounced keen-wah, is a grain-like seed native to South America. Along with corn, quinoa was a food staple for the Incan civilization and has been continuously cultivated for more than 5,000 years. Because quinoa contains all nine essential amino acids, it is a complete protein high in potassium, magnesium, B vitamins and iron. It is also gluten-free, easy to digest and an excellent source of dietary fiber. Although small packages of prepared quinoa are readily available, you can generally find a less costly, organic variety in the bulk bins of your grocery or health food store.
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Place 1 cup of quinoa into a fine mesh strainer. Rinse under cold, running water until the water runs clear. Drain well.
Combine the quinoa with 2 cups of unsweetened coconut milk in a small saucepan. Bring to just below a boil, stir once and reduce the heat to low.
Cover the saucepan with a lid, and simmer for 10 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed.
Remove the quinoa from the heat, and fluff with a fork.
Top with chopped nuts, dried fruits or flaked coconut if desired.