Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Q is for Quinoa

When I'm planning meals for my family, I often feel like I'm in a bit of a rut. With multiple food allergy considerations, I no longer use many convenience foods and I rarely make casserole type dishes. In fact, the majority of our meals follow a simple formula where meat + starch + veggies = dinner.

The problem comes in varying the meats and starches enough that we don't feel like we're having the same thing over and over again. (I'd worry about serving the same veggie repeatedly, but I can only get the two big kids to agree on a single green vegetable that's acceptable.)

I have lots of ways to fix potatoes -- baked, hot crash potatoes, mashed, or even fried. For rice, I can choose from several different varieties or have Addison make risotto. (Her risotto is far better than mine.)

Eventually, though, I wanted more options than just potatoes and rice, and I started looking around at the grocery store for other options. One new favorite is quinoa, pronounced "keen wa."

Quinoa cooks fairly quickly and packs quite a nutritious punch. At my house I serve quinoa with baked chicken or sometimes with grilled fish. It has a mild flavor that adapts well to many uses. One of our favorite meals is French Country supper, a crockpot meal consisting of chicken, white beans, and diced tomatoes. I serve quinoa with it to soak up some of the yummy sauce.

Quinoa is probably a dish many people haven't thought about fixing. For our family, it's become just a normal option. In fact, Lauren just told me that she wanted me to put some quinoa in her lunchbox to take when we eat supper at church tonight..

Perhaps we're a bit more odd in our culinary tastes than I thought. Perhaps the only odd thing is that I've just written a blog post about quinoa. It's "Q" week at Blogging Through the Alphabet, though, and I didn't really have anything quiet or quirky to write about.

Blogging Through the Alphabet

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  1. I actually like quinoa pasta better than "regular."

  2. I want to know how to make Addison's risotto and your French Country Supper!



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