I grew up eating rice all my life. So, what if there is no more rice? What would I substitute as my daily food? I have been told; yes, been told by a dietitian years ago that I should cut down on my carb intake. That means, rice and pasta. Two of my most common food consumption each week. This it to slow down the risk of being a diabetic; having been diagnosed as a pre-diabetic patient. I have since cut down on my rice intake and substitute with basmati rice, rather than jasmine rice which has a lower carb content. And, in the past year 2013 I have even cut down on my rice intake each week. Some days I will go without having rice!
Towards end of 2013, I have discovered “Quinoa” pronounced as “kin-wa”. I have heard about it, but have never cook it until November 2013. It is an ancient food originated in South America, but became the “in fashion” for the kitchen with the health conscious consumer. It is high in protein and lack in gluten with a nutty flavour. By itself it looks boring and taste boring. It is a type of grain, not wheat, as some people would have thought.
Some of my friends have even said to me, “why, Victor? why?” “what about rice?” “how can you live without rice?” LOL! As a matter of fact, I have come to love quinoa so much that I eat at least once a week now. It is not cheap (about $10 for a packet of 500 gm compare to a 5 kg sack of basmati rice that cost $15 which can last for a few months), but then it is cheaper than having rice and to cook other dishes to go with the rice. Quinoa can be a single dish with other ingredients in it to make it taste delicious. Think about it as “making a fried rice” – mixing other ingredients to the key ingredient of the dish i.e. rice versus quinoa.
As a new year post to 2014 I am dedicating my heart and love for the simple grain with an interesting name that most people would have pronounced as “key-no-wa” like me-self. But, I was told that it is called “kin-wah”.
Quinoa is easy to cook and fast. It doesn’t take long. Each time I make it, I will make a few slight twists. Tonight I decide to finish up the 1 cup of leftover coconut milk sitting in my fridge. Ingredients:
- 1 cup of quinoa
- 1 cup of coconut milk
- 1 cup water
- A can of tuna
- 4 beans cut into small dices
- 4 shallots finely sliced
- 5 olives cut into small dices
- 1 carrot julienned
- 1 lebanese cucumber cut into small dices
- 3 kaffir lime leaves finely sliced
- Wash the quinoa a few times until the water is clear
- Place in a small saucepan with the water and coconut milk
- Add a pinch of seasalt
- Turn the heat up. Once boiling reduce the heat and simmer the quinoa for 10 – 15 minutes or until the liquid is almost evaporated. Then close with a lid and simmer for another 5 minutes before turning off the heat and let it sit for another 5 minutes
- To serve, sprinkle some toasted sesame seeds and crunched up some Asian fried shallots. If you have other herbs in the fridge, sprinkle some fresh mint leaves and add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice
You will be amazed how wonderful a simple ancient grain can taste so good and fill your stomach for several hours. A great way to stay healthy and loose weight. 🙂
Another version of a quinoa that I cooked in 2013 – using chicken stock to cook the quinoa. Once cooked and cooled down, add some good extra virgin olive oil, diced up herbs, mint peas, sliced white salad onion, diced up tomatoes and cucumber, a bit of seasalt and grounded black pepper.
As this is my first post for 2014, here is wishing all of you a good, healthy and successful new year 2014 ahead!