Friday, April 18, 2014

Why is a grain called quinoa so controversial?

Tru Roots Organic Quinoa is pre-washed and a snap to prepare in an electric rice cooker. Here, it serves as a bread substitute with a breakfast omelet of egg whites, reduced-fat Swiss cheese, sun-dried tomatoes and Aleppo pepper. You can find quinoa and most of the other ingredients at Costco Wholesale.

Editor's note: Today, I discuss organic quinoa, which tastes great and has fewer carbohydrates than organic brown rice or pasta; and other terrific ingredients from Costco Wholesale that make home-cooked meals easy to prepare and delicious.


The hardest part of buying, preparing and enjoying organic quinoa is learning how to pronounce it.

Say "KEEN-wah," not "kee-NO-ah."

Everything I know about organic quinoa can be found on the back of the 4-pound Tru Roots package I buy at Costco Wholesale in Hackensack.

And thanks to organic quinoa's relatively low carbohydrates, I've also been enjoying it for more than a year as part of a no-bread, no pizza diet.

I've heard some negatives about quinoa, which is grown by Andean farmers in Bolivia and Peru.

People warn that it has to be pre-washed or rinsed to remove "saponins," which supposedly give it a bitter taste.

Two readers commenting on a recent New York Times story about quinoa claimed eating the grain gave them stomach pains that lasted four to five hours.

But I have been buying organic quinoa exclusively, and Tru Roots says its product "is further cleaned and processed in the USA to ensure high quality."

The front of the package says the quinoa has been "pre-washed." Organic quinoa also is certified non-GMO, and it's gluten-free.

It also "provides all of the eight essential amino acids, creating a complete protein," Tru Roots says.

It's a substitute for bread, and organic brown rice and pasta, and can be used in salads, soups and stews. And I enjoy the nutty taste.

One-quarter cup of Tru Roots Organic Quinoa has 30 grams of carbohydrates, compared to 35 grams in Lundberg Organic Brown Long Grain Rice and 42 grams in 365 Everyday Organic Whole Wheat Spaghetti from Whole Foods Market. 

Tru Roots recommends preparing 1 cup of its organic quinoa with 2 cups of water or broth.

But when I made it on Tuesday in an electric rice cooker (white-rice setting), I used a 1-to-1 one ratio, combining 4 cups of the grain with 4 cups of water or organic chicken stock from Costco.

I also added a can of Costco's Kirkland Signature Organic Diced Tomatoes, a little extra-virgin olive oil and salt. 

The only negative about delicious organic quinoa is the relatively high price (4 pounds for $18.99 at Costco).

This morning, I added bottled Mexican green salsa to leftover quinoa before reheating it for breakfast with an omelet, above. I did the same when I served it with pan-fried whole whiting for dinner on Wednesday, below. Pesto also can be added to quinoa after it is prepared or reheated.

More from Costco

In addition to organic quinoa, Costco's organic brown eggs, sweet potatoes, canned fish, organic spring mix, Alaskan salmon burgers and prepared pesto are some of the ingredients that allow me to prepare delicious meals.

Breaking organic yolks over mashed sweet potatoes, above, or organic quinoa is a great way to start the day. The brown eggs I prepare sunny side up with grated cheese and Aleppo pepper, below, are $6.99 for 2 dozen at Costco Wholesale in Hackensack.

Trident Alaskan Salmon Burgers are made from whole fillets of wild-caught fish. A 3-pound package was $13.99 at Costco Wholesale in Hackensack. Earthbound Farm Organic Spring Mix was $4.79 for a 1-pound tub.

Canned pink salmon, yellowfin tuna and skinless-and-boneless sardines, all from Costco Wholesale, make a great salad or sandwich when mixed with diced Pink Lady apple and half-sour pickle, and chopped scallions or onions. The dressing is Dijon mustard and fresh lime juice, both from Costco, and ground cumin.

A wedge of sweet-potato frittata topped with Kirkland Signature Basil Pesto from Costco after it comes out of the oven, served over mashed sweet potatoes with extra-virgin olive oil.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please try to stay on topic.