It’s pronounced “Keen-Wa”, but if this tongue twister proves to be too much of a challenge, you can simply say “Andean millet” or “Inca gold”, as the seeds are cultivated in the Andes. They’re packed full of dietary fibre and amino acids, and regardless of whether you use them as a grain or a flour, they’re the ideal cooking and baking solution for people with gluten intolerance.
Quinoa has a nutty but also slightly bittersweet flavour. You can buy yellow-gold, red or black varieties in shops. They all taste similar, although darker-coloured quinoa tastes somewhat more tart. The black variety also needs more cooking time – but is nonetheless still quick to cook.
Rinse the quinoa briefly in a fine sieve then bring to the boil either in water, stock or vegetable juice. Remove from the hob and leave to soak for 10 minutes until all the liquid has been absorbed. You need around 60g of quinoa per person, cooked in double the amount of liquid. Once soaked, loosen with a fork and your power grain is ready.
Serve with a poached egg, a few cucumber slices, spinach and grated carrot, and you’ve made the perfect athlete’s breakfast in no time at all. If you prefer something sweeter in the morning then try quinoa porridge. All you need do is add some almond milk (or cow’s milk) to the quinoa you’ve cooked, season with some ground cardamom, cinnamon and vanilla, top with pear and almond slices, and you’ve made your power breakfast.
If you add some finely grated carrot to the pan and allow it soak with the quinoa, you create a delicious garnish for fish and vegetable dishes. You can also make a lavish, warm salad as a main course. Boil 300g of quinoa in 400ml of water with a pinch of salt, then leave to soak until all the water has been absorbed. Transfer to a bowl and loosen with a fork. Heat some olive oil in a pan and fry a finely sliced courgette (or aubergine or carrot) on both sides. Season with salt and pepper and add to the bowl. Finally, add three finely chopped spring onions, the juice and grated peel of one lemon and a large handful of peppermint leaves, and mix carefully. If there’s any left over, you can take it to work the next day and eat it as a fresh salad for lunch.