Sunday, January 10, 2010

Homemaker Monday: Quinoa, the Wonder Grain

Welcome to the 75th weekly edition of...


Thank you for joining us! If you're new to this carnival and would like to enter your post, please check HERE for the rules and regs.

YOURS: This week's "YOURS" goes to Kristen over at "Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker"! Her intriguing post teaches how to make your own homemade poptarts! This post moved me because this topic is a battle about which my husband and I have had since we first met. I am so vehemently opposed to poptarts, what with the hydrogenated oil, high fructose corn syrup, refined flour, preservatives, MSG, and much more, but he loves the fun and simplicity of them, and of course, the shrieks of excitement when the kids see that he has brought them home. To his credit, however, I haven't seen a box enter into our home in over a year. I gave away the last box he brought home to our general contractor's 16-year-old son, who happened to be helping his father work on our home that day, along with some bottles of soda. I'm not sure what he thought my purpose was, but I could tell he was excited! Perhaps it is rude to pollute someone else's son, and I probably just should have thrown them away, but I couldn't bring myself to do it. Anyway....Kristen posts her homemade recipe, minus all the preservatives and MSG, and here's how they turn out...



Isn't it lovely? I just think it's so fun to come up with healthy alternatives to well-advertised products so we can feel good about feeding our kids what they love. For Kristen's entire post, click HERE. Thank you so much, Kristen, for linking up, and we look forward to many more helpful tutorials from you! If you'd like, please feel free to take the "I Was Featured" button from my left sidebar.

MINE: Quinoa, which I recently learned is pronounced "keen-wah", is a grain recently introduced to me by my sister with the PhD., and I am in love with it. The following is a paragraph taken from All About Quinoa...

"The quinoa seed is high in protein, calcium and iron, a relatively good source of vitamin E and several of the B vitamins. It contains an almost perfect balance of all eight essential amino acids needed for tissue development in humans. It is exceptionally high in lysine, cystine and methionine-amino acids typically low in other grains. It is a good complement for legumes, which are often low in methionine and cystine. The protein in quinoa is considered to be a complete protein due to the presence of all 8 essential amino acids. Some types of wheat come close to matching quinoa's protein content, but grains such as barley, corn, and rice generally have less than half the protein of quinoa. Quinoa is 12% to 18% protein and four ounces a day, about 1/2-cup, will provide a childs protein needs for one day. The 6-7% fat of quinoa is relatively high when compared to other grains, but it boasts a low sodium content and also provides valuable starch and fiber. Quinoa also contains albumen, a protein that is found in egg whites, blood serum, and many plant and animal tissues. The seeds are gluten-free which makes this a nutritious and flavorful alternative grain for those with gluten sensitivity. Quinoa would be a worthy addition to anyone's diet, supplying variety as well as good nutrition."

Because I am striving to maintain a vegetarian kitchen, this is such a great option for our family, as it is a complete protein. Here's how to make and use quinoa...

Step 1: Rinse the quinoa in a strainer, as it is coated with a naturally occurring, bitter substance, which protects the grain from insects...



Step 2: Place one part quinoa and 2 parts water in a pot and boil, then simmer for ten minutes, uncovered. It should look like this after about 5 minutes...



....and like this when it is finished...



So far, we've eaten this two ways....like oatmeal, with a little salt, butter and sugar, and as a side dish, with teriyaki sauce and canned veggies, which was super-easy...



There are thousands of ways to use quinoa, such as in salads, ground into flour, in waffles, more side dishes, as a rice substitute, etc. Just scour the internet and see what you can come up with. If you've used quinoa before, I'd love it if you left a comment and told us how! Thanks for listening!

OURS: All righty then, what do all of you wonderful homemakers have for us today to start off the new year right? Can't wait to see!

27 comments:

singlemormonchick said...

hfcs freaks me out! i have been wanting to make homemade pop tarts forever and i cant wait to try this recipe!

alessandra said...

I was intrigued by quinoa but never bought it because don't know how to do it, thank you for sharing your experience.
I love whole grains.

Kristen said...

Thank you for featuring me. I hope that this recipe/idea solves the pop-tart controversy in your home :-)

We love quinoa, too. It makes a great salad with cucumber, tomatoes and Italian dressing.

Conny said...

Try quinoa simmered in orange juice with some dried cranberries!

Anonymous said...

We love quinoa with salsa, black beans and corn. So so yummy! I can't wait to try it with OJ and cranberries though!

Mom2my9 @ 11th Heaven said...

Conny and Anonymous, thank you so much for sharing your ideas! Can't wait to try those!

Heidi said...

We love Quinoa! The quinoa pastas are delicious and much healthier than most of the brown rice pastas available for gluten free consumers. We always add quinoa to rice when we cook it to improve the protein content of our meals.

It is also good sprouted and then baked into bread.

shopannies said...

great pic as the make it yourself poptart was a great feat.

I had never heard of quinoa either thanks for letting me know

Mom2my9 @ 11th Heaven said...

Wow Heidi, thanks for the tip! I never thought of sprouting it, but I will have to try that. I love sprouting!

RhondaLue said...

I have tried to use Quinoa but I failed in my attempt. We tried it as a side dish as a rice substitute. Epic Fail. Why? because I didn't know what to season it with to make it taste better.

Oh and I'm with you. I HATE POP TARTS! I will only buy them as a "treat" and not as a breakfast. Because having a pop tart for breakfast is like having a big ol' piece of pie to start the day. Good? sure. Good for you? Uh,no.

Aubrey said...

my inlaws sub quinoa for brown rice and pasta. So we have it with stirfry veggies, with pesto and veggies (so good) marinara sauce..etc. I have a great cous cous recipe where you can use lemon juice, red pepper and almonds. Yum it's a great side dish. :)

Kate said...

I haven't seen you around the blogfrog lately so I came over here to make sure you're still alive!

Freya said...

I've never cooked with quinoa myself but I ate a lot of it whilst travelling in Ecuador and Peru. In both countries I had it mostly in soups - in much the same way as you can add rice or pasta to soup to bulk it out a little. As "bulk" goes, it's really healthy too. Yum!

Becky said...

I use quinoa instead of bulgar for making tabbouleh, and it is always a huge hit. Allrecipes.com has "Quinoa Side Dish" as their featured recipe today:

http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Quinoa-Side-Dish/Detail.aspx

I love allrecipes.com...you can do a search with the keyword "quinoa" and come up with other recipes. It really is an amazing food.

Mom2my9 @ 11th Heaven said...

Becky, allrecipes.com is definitely my favorite recipe site as well. I love that you can search by what ingredients you have on hand!

K @ Prudent and Practical said...

Quinoa is one of those things that's a little expensive around here - and I wasn't sure what to do with it. I feel confident enough to try some out now - thanks!

thorney said...

I thought I commented here, but I guess I didn't. I'm glad I came back to get a recipe that someone posted.

I bought quinoa at Trader Joe's and haven't used it yet, but you've all given me so many ideas for it. I will also try the recipe site you mentioned, as I ususally use The Food Network to find recipes. Quinoa was big when I lived in Berkeley, but I hadn't seen much of since moving away from there, so it's nice to see it making a comeback of sorts.

Kris said...

Jen,
You are an amazing woman and have an amazing blog!
Thanks so much for inviting me in...I could stay here all day :)

Kris
(myspiritrejoices)

Mom2my9 @ 11th Heaven said...

Wow, Kris, thank you so much for your sweet comment. You made my day, and its only 3:00 AM!

Amanda B. said...

very interesting pop tart recipe! I, too, am anti poptart! It always cracks me up when people say they give them to their kids for breakfast. I always think, really? If you are going to do that, why not just give them a big stack of cookies?!

Kristin said...

I'm excited to try the black beans, salsa, and quinoa recipe. And I'm sure Pablo is equally excited ;-)

restrainedchaos said...

I'm still trying to work out how to incorporate alternative grains into our diet without weirding my husband out. He wasn't a big fan of quinoa last time, but maybe it'll grow on him. Thanks for the post. I never knew why we had to rinse it. :)

Cheryl B. said...

Hi Jen, it's me, yet again wading in where angels fear to tread.

Ever since I read the "Yours" part of this posting on Monday, I have been struggling with something you shared. Yes, the part about John bringing home pop tarts. Why am I still 'on' that, several days later?

Here goes -

John likes pop tarts. And by buying them and bringing them home to the kids, from his perspective, (at least most likely) it is his way from time to time surprising them with a special treat.

Knowing what else you have shared about John, I do NOT think he was doing it to undermine your overall plan/move for healthier nutrition. He is usually quite supportive of you!

But to him, pop tarts, for whatever reason, are something special. And thus it became a special "daddy treat".

And a treat they were - he wasn't trying to get them to eat them every morning for breakfast was he? If so, then I'll be quiet now. Well, actually, you should stop reading now. ;-}

Many a story is told about visiting grandma's houses and how she has freshly baked cookies waiting. They are/were her special "I love you!" treat.

Also many stories are told about Grandpa's taking the grandkids down to the corner shop for ice cream. Same sceniero.

My father-in-law loves pizza. My mother-in-law thinks it's disgusting. So any time any of my boys were headed for more than one night at Grandma and Grandpa "Honey's" house, they were thrilled with the knowledge that one of the nights they would be going down to the pizza place with grandpa. And even as they've gotten older, they've teased that sometimes grandpa wants them to come down and help him with something, simply because he has a hankerin for pizza. ;-p

There are different things that Brian buys for 'our boys' which I find completely unnecessary. But I have learned to keep quiet. All it does is put a damper on his fun. And what he's relly doing is using the things to build special memories - or create special times when they do "guy talking". He's done it their whole lifes. And his methodology has worked.

So my 'Mexico friend Jen' (:-D), I just wanted to add my two cents worth, that while the pop tarts might be far from nutritionally good for them, there are other, far more important ways, in which they might actually be very very good for the kids.

Mom2my9 @ 11th Heaven said...

Cheryl, you are awesome and you always give me lots to think about. Point well taken! :)

Martha said...

The poptarts looks delish and thanks for the quinoa recipes. Visiting from Sits.

Mary-Belle said...

Hi!~

I've been reading your blog, but haven't ever posted. I'm also a mom to 9.5 - no twins - and looks like we are due to deliver #10 at about the same time :) (And I had my 41st b'day last week)

As for Quinoa, we've been eating it for a couple of years. A little tip for you - it can be made in the rice cooker, if you own one - very easy...

Also, as to the Pop-Tarts - those nasty, chemically filled things have been a no-no in our home for several years - however, we recently found that Costco sells Organic Toaster Pastries - they are delicious, and the children do enjoy them as a treat now and then - not breakfast. Not sure if you have a Costco, but thought you might like to know.

Have a great day - hope you're back isn't feeling like mine :)

anavar said...

I know quinoa has lots of benefits, but I don't prepare it often. Usually I make a delicious summer salad - quiona, corn and tuna fish.