Unless you're a home-schooled jungle freak, you know what the fuck quinoa is. But do you, like, REALLY know. Don't fret, princess. Let's break it down.
Quinoa was like super important to the Incas. Ever heard of them? They're those bros who lived in the Andes Mountains of Peru around 4,000 years ago and sacrificed children by getting them fucked up then just leaving them in caves and shit where they transformed into horrifying mummies. They also built some like, pyramids in the jungle. Regardless of their extra-curricular mummifying activities, the Incas were like, really good at figuring out their protein and caloric intake for the day (probs for spring break). Enter quinoa. They treated this crop as sacred and grew it for thousands of years – even going so far as to have the emperor sow the first seeds of the season with a golden hoe. Then the Spaniards came in during that whole conquistador thing and were all “Lol, the fuck is this? Grow some wheat, plebs.” So, quinoa took a backseat for awhile.
Then, around 1980, the seeds of hipsterdom were sown and quinoa was deemed a “superfood” and parades and shit were thrown in its honor. Not really, but you get the idea. You can now buy quinoa pretty much anywhere, and there a few varieties:
Red: Red quinoa tends to hold its shape a little better after it's cooked, so use this variety if you're making a cold salad or need more texture.
White: The basic bitch of quinoa, you can use this variety in just about anything. It's also just called “quinoa” and sometimes “ivory quinoa”
Black: This variety is a bit harder to find. It stays black even after being cooked and also tends to be a little earthier and sweeter than the white variety.
- Quinoa is not a cereal crop like rye or rice or wheat or barley, but cooks similarly. Also, it's more closely related to beets, spinach, and chard than it is to grains.
- Quinoa is considered a “perfect protein” because it has all nine amino acids.
- Quinoa is high in protein but low in calories and carbs (thank fucking god). It's also really high in fiber and is magnesium which is like, good for your heart.
Got it? Good. Now, to make this betchy non-grain, you can check out a recipe we've already posted here for a delish quinoa and mango “salsa” dish . Not enough? Here's a bitchin recipe for a Greek-inspired quinoa that lasts awhile in your fridge and is like, really healthy.
- 1 cup cooked red quinoa
- 1/4 cup diced Kalamata olives(from the OLIVE BAR not from a jar/can)
- A handful of fresh (not fucking dried, please) herbs, chopped (I used basil, rosemary, oregano, thyme, and mint, but just use whatever you have)
- 1/2 cup fresh tomato, chopped (you can use Roma or cherry, either red or yellow)
- 1/2 cup cucumber, chopped
- 1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
Combine the above, betches. Like, this isn't hard. Also, you can make a “dressing” with a little olive oil, lemon juice, salt and cracked black pepper. This is best served cold or at room temperature and is a faaaabulous after-workout snack.
All hail quinoa, a certified betchy food.