Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Another Adventure in the Health Food Store

Some of you may remember previous posts I made a while back about my adventures with couscous.  I had stopped into my local health store, Natural Food and Garden and purchased a container of couscous, not knowing what it was, but feeling that I would surely be more healthy if I would eat it.  If you missed it you can read about my fumbling efforts to make couscous and the family and friend reactions here, and couscous revisited here.

Cooking couscous made me just feel so ignorant healthy, that I decided to go back and take another stab at finding something:

1.  Healthy
2.  That I didn't know what it was.
3.  Having a name as equally interesting as couscous.
4.  Having a name that I couldn't pronounce.

Recently I had picked up a free flyer at my grocery store that listed various "Grains and Greens" that we should be including in our diets, and on the list was quinoa.  The brochure says quinoa has a "light and fluffy texture with a mild flavor."  Hmmmm.  That's pretty vague.

The paper also says "originating from a cousin of spinach, this seed is packed with fiber, iron and protein."  Sounds very healthy to me.  I should buy that.

So I became a foodie and went on a shopping mission to the Natural Food and Garden health food store.  This is such a fun place, and if you are ever in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania look it up and go there. The owners have a good sense of humor and help you by answering any questions you may have and ordering what you need if they don't have it at the moment.

This sign greets the customers at the entrance to the parking area.
Entering the shop, you almost miss this plaque.
At the doorway, the daily specials are listed.
It wasn't long until I located it.  I found quinoa (pronounced keen-wa), and according to the box it is so healthy that it is called "The Supergrain of the Future."  I am looking at the back of the box and feeling healthier and healthier as I read:

1.  Quinoa contains more high quality protein than any other grain.
2.  Quinoa stands alone as a complete protein grain.
3.  Quinoa contains no gluten.
4.  Quinoa is light, tasty and easy to digest.
5.  Quinoa is quick and easy to prepare.      (Good,  I need quick and easy.  Sold.)

This went home with me.
Heading toward the counter to pay, I came across this sign and I had to chuckle, especially after my camping episode this past weekend.  (Read yesterday's post if you don't know what I am referring to.)

So here's where I need your help, my blogging friends.  My brochure says you should "serve quinoa in place of traditional hot cereal."  Ew.  "Or dress it up for a side dish or chilled salad."  It's that dressing it up part that baffles me.  Do you know how to make and use quinoa?  Please share your thoughts and recipes.  I'm truly on my way to impressing Martha fruitcake Stewart.  And getting healthy.


  1. 1 cup uncooked quinoa
    2 cups water
    Pinch of salt

    1 large ripe mango, diced small
    1 avocado, diced small
    1 pint of grape tomatoes, halved
    4 green onions, sliced
    1/2 cup chopped cilantro
    1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
    1/3 cup fresh lime juice
    1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
    3/4 teaspoon cumin
    Salt and pepper, to taste
    1. Soak quinoa for 5 minutes, drain. Rinse the quinoa under cold water in a strainer. Add quinoa, water, and salt to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Turn the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until water is absorbed. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork. Allow quinoa to cool until room temperature.
    2. Combine quinoa, mango, avocado, tomatoes, green onions, cilantro, and black beans. In a small bowl, whisk together lime juice, olive oil, and cumin. Pour the dressing over the quinoa salad and gently stir until well combined. Season with salt and pepper. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

    1. Thank you! I will try this.

    2. If you don't like avocado. Skip the diced. Make some guacamole and put a dollop of that on top. Delish!!

  2. I have never cooked with quinoa, but knowing what I know now it is on my grocery list. And Anon's recipe is the first one I will try [sans avocado. yick]

    Go to allrecipes.com - type in "quinoa" in the search and read the reviews of several recipes until you find the one you like. :) Good luck and don't forget to share!

  3. Thanks, SkippyMom, I will go on that website.

  4. Also check out www.cooks.com and search quinoa. Personally I've never heard of quinoa. I could eat it tho as a hot cereal.

  5. Sorry I can help you on this one. I don't cook and I don't eat quinoa.