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19 Sep


Native to Peru, quinoa (pronounced KEEN-WAH) is a dietary staple for many South Americans, but is virtually unheard of in the United States. Though it is usually thought of as a grain quinoa is actually the seed of a plant that is most closely related to the spinach, beet and chard family. Quinoa is slightly nutty in flavor and when cooked retains a bit of crunch. Apart from being tasty, it is a good source of protein and contains an almost perfect balance of all eight essential amino acids.

This week we bring you a video featuring a savory quinoa recipe and one of Mark’s personal friends, Chef Oren. Enjoy!

Further Viewing:

Healthy Eats at a Gas Station?

How to Cook a Pork Roast

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  1. I truly enjoy quinoa!
    I don’t eat it much anymore. I read (and was told)
    that it is a heavily processed food. Without the processing it receives here, many people would not enjoy the taste. Any feedback would appreciated.


    tatsujin wrote on September 19th, 2007
  2. Quinoa is the best! I’m so glad you featured it so more people will know about it. – E

    Elizabeth wrote on September 19th, 2007
  3. Please understand that this is a sincere question — it looks like a handful of birdseed. What can they possibly be doing to it to be heavily processing it?

    I love quinoa tabouli and it would be interesting to find out what else it can be used for.

    Dancinghawk wrote on September 19th, 2007
  4. I did not understand what is all that fuss about “good sourse of protein”?

    I looked up: 4.5grams of protein per half a cup and a lot of carbs – 23.4grams. I’m not impressed at all.
    Garbanzo beans have 7.3grams of protein per same amount.

    IronOrchid wrote on September 19th, 2007
  5. IronO.- You’re right. It doesn’t have a lot of protein but it is a complete protein. Yes, it is a little carby.

    Crystal wrote on September 19th, 2007
  6. I love quinoa too. Not the kind of usual taste we’re used to here, but it’s a nice change, and anyway pasta gets old very fast. Now if only my colleagues could stop teasing me about it smelling and tasting like horse food… -_-

    Kery wrote on September 20th, 2007
  7. Dancinghawk,

    “In its natural state quinoa has a coating of bitter-tasting saponins, making it essentially unpalatable. Most quinoa sold commercially in North America has been processed to remove this coating.”

    Traditionally it was soaked in water, I believe now however, it’s a mechanical process which includes more ingredients then just water.
    Don’t be to discouraged, quinoa is most likely the top seed/grain you can consume. I just don’t do grains to much anymore.


    tatsujin wrote on September 20th, 2007
  8. Love the quinoa. Yes, it’s higher carb than something like garbanzo, but it is still the best “grain” option, especially being a complete protein. The lentil and quinoa salad (I believe Mark mentions it somewhere in here as well) is a great source of protein. I just make it in the rice cooker, so it’s especially easy to prepare.

    Derek wrote on September 20th, 2007
  9. Quinoa may also be used as an alternative to wheat (for those with wheat/gluten intolerances/celiac disease).

    Ruth wrote on September 21st, 2007
  10. I am allergic to wheat/gluten. Unfortunately, quinoa triggers a reaction for me.

    Steve wrote on September 26th, 2007
  11. VIDEO DOES NOT WORK! Was really looking forward to seeing the recipe… anyway to re-upload the video or list the recipe? Have been looking for a great quinoa recipe to make as I try it for the 1st time..

    Dilan wrote on January 20th, 2011
  12. My favorite Quinoa salad recipe that is

    steven vandevere wrote on February 8th, 2011
  13. can I sprout it?

    gif wrote on April 7th, 2011
    • yes, it sprouts, though I have found it changes the taste for the worse.
      I prefer red and black quinoa for taste and they seem to lack the chemical on the white that requires soaking or upsets the gut.

      doctorkira wrote on May 2nd, 2012
  14. quinoa has COMPLETE protein. it is a staple in my diet i even use it in meatloaf for added nutrition.
    i disagree with the above posts.

    NANCY TRUAX wrote on June 28th, 2012
  15. the big fuss about the protein is not actually about the protien – it is about the amino acids, which allows for the complete absorption of protein. many foods have lots of protein, but very very few (including beans) have enough amino acids for you to absorb the protein fully. that is why quinoa, millet, amaranth – these are considered “perfect proteins”.

    Janel wrote on November 10th, 2012
  16. i still see a problem with the whole”perfect protein” label, being as plant proteins seem to not be tilized as effectively in the human body as animal proteins. therefor requiring a much higher quantity to reach any acceptable level. so, for the carb load you would recieve by trying to get enough plant proteins, it makes them only desirable on heavy training or sprinting days. also, would cooking your quinoa with an acid further reduce the glycemic load like what happens in the case of white rice (sushi rice cooked in rice vinegar) or would there be any appreciable ammount of resistant starch formed in the cooking and cooling of quinoa? as a strength athlete, i appreciate my safe starches. and finding one with a bit more protein would of course be helpful. any insight is greatly appreciated. thank you,
    mark B

    mark B wrote on January 5th, 2015
    • Great question, I’d love to know how to make quinoa work the best for my stomach. Does soaking it over night help? Do different colors or varieties matter?

      Timothy wrote on February 2nd, 2016

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