“Cooking with quinoa at least once a week will elevate you to level 7 vegan in no time,” according to Isa Chandra Moskowitz in her must-have cookbook, Veganomicon (page 115).
There’s a reason that quinoa is so beloved by vegans and other health-conscious foodies, as well as by ancient Aztec warriors: it’s considered to be the only grain that is also a “complete protein.” What that means is that it contains all nine of the essential amino acids (building blocks of protein) in significant quantities. In other words, it’s vegan gold.
Quinoa is an excellent value for a couple of reasons:
1. The aforementioned protein, along with the good amount of fiber in quinoa make it a filling, satisfying food.
2. It actually TRIPLES in size when you cook it!
WARNING: do be careful when shopping for quinoa; it’s easy to get ripped off. You can easily spend $10-12 for a 26-oz. bag of Bob’s Red Mill-brand quinoa, while it’s only $3 a pound or so in the bulk bins a few aisles away. Not everything is cheaper in the bulk bins, but quinoa always is (in my experience).
Another great thing about quinoa is its fun texture. It’s actually a seed (hence the protein), and when you cook it, it pops open and forms a little spiral shape. This texture was a perfect addition to the chili I made on a recent quiet, rainy, Saturday night at home. It was the ultimate comfort food: hot and delicious, and very, very hearty:
You can (and should) get the recipe from Food.com:
Seriously…you know you want to…just look at this…
Really…you won’t miss the meat at all, thanks to good ol’ quinoa.
It cost about $10.44 to make, and it made enough for about 10 servings. The leftovers are delicious; I froze some of them for easy lunches in the future. …soooo in the end it came to about:
Let me know in the comments if you get around to trying it or if you have a favorite quinoa recipe. Some time soon I will share David Lynch’s quinoa recipe.