Monday, March 4, 2013

Black is Beautiful, Especially in the Quinoa Family

Black Quinoa, the Caviar of the Quinoa World

       You already know of my love for Quinoa, and I adore Black Quinoa. It is hard to find, but worth the effort. It really is the Caviar of not only the Quinoa world, but the grain world as well. It is truly a wonderful grain, easy to cook and oh so wonderful. I love it, the color is amazing. It is so wonderful to cook with. If you like color and style to your food, add Quinoa. It is delightful.

      Black Quinoa is the nuttiest of the Quinoa's, and has a great texture. It cooks just like white rice, making it easy to use and add to the foods you eat. I love how bold it looks in food. If you are trying to sneak foods into your families diet this might not be the one you would start with. It is hard to sneak Black Quinoa into anything. But if you are past the sneaking stage, this is one you should try.

     Black Quinoa is fairly new to America, but has been used in South America for years, in fact hundreds of years.

       Quinoa originated in the Andean region of South America. The ancient Incas considered this plant sacred and called it “chisaya mama” which means ‘Mother of All Grains’. It was an important plant. The Inca emperor would personally sow the first seeds of the planting season using golden implements. During times of war, the quinoa was a mainstay in the diet of their soldiers. They would march for days on a diet of quinoa and fat called “war balls”.
      When the Spanish conquered South America, the colonizers looked down on quinoa as ‘food for the Indians’. They banned the cultivation of quinoa in favor of wheat. For almost four centuries, quinoa was grown only on the outskirts by the poorest of the poor. Recently, with the rediscovery of the benefits of quinoa, interest in it has spurned production and cultivation in more and more farms

Quinoa Stack

      Black Quinoa is a fun grain to cook with.  This is a grain stack that I created  It has roasted red peppers, feta cheese, crab, green onions, nuts, and of course Black Quinoa. These are fun to make. Simply find a round container with both ends open, and press the foods in one at a time until it is filled to the top. Chill well and slice out of the container.  I serve with a dressing. It is a fun way to serve grains. 

Quinoa Omelet 

Stuffed Quinoa Peppers

Quinoa Salmon Cakes

Black Quinoa Salad
     Just like Red Quinoa it can be added to many things. Here are a few examples of using Black Quinoa. Stuffed peppers are great and the Salmon cakes are amazing. And of course salads are the best with any grain added.

     You can find recipes on my web site at Any salad you make can have grains added to it. I also love adding Black Quinoa to other things like breads and muffins.

      Remember the secret to adding grains is to first cook them up and make sure you have them on hand in the frig. If you don't use them quickly enough simply place them in a zip lock bag and place them in the freezer. It makes it a quick add in from the freezer to the pot or what ever you are making.

      Just a word of caution,  Black Quinoa is hard to find. When you do, buy a lot. You will love this amazing grain.  Enjoy Chef Brad ~ America's Grain Guy
Cooked Quinoa

Salmon Dill Cakes

3 cups cooked salmon
1 cup black quinoa
1 tablespoon dill
½ red onion chopped fine
Chopped fresh parsley
8 eggs well beaten
3 cups bread crumbs
¼ cup Xagave
1 cup finely chopped pistachios
2 tablespoons olive oil
Dash balsamic vinegar
¼ cup butter milk
Salt and pepper

Mix all ingredients well and form into small patties. Fry in small amount of oil and butter just long enough to brown each side.  These are amazing and go good with salads and soups.  I love making them into sliders.  Amazing.  

1 comment:

  1. Wow! that Stack looks amazing!!! I love the red quinoa.