I thought I’d better justify both aspects of my profile description on Twitter (my new Owen Pauline favourite waste of time) by a) doing some writing and b) doing some evangelising about quinoa.

Quinoa! The correct pronunciation is ‘keen-wa’, or ‘kee-no-uh’ but I quite like saying it as ‘kwin-ower’ as well, for giggles… it’s a bit of a running gag at work, with various different people correcting whoever is struggling to pronounce it, should it happen to be mentioned. Up to three people saying ‘KEEN-wa’ simultaneously and a startled colleague going ‘Alright..!’ [The spelling and pronunciation of lots of words in English, given their derivation from other languages and subsequent mangling, is hilarious, frankly – little comedy timebombs waiting to go ough – but that’s a whole nother post.]

So, quinoa! Quinoa! Quinoa. Quiiiiinoa. [Stephen Fry voice] Chenopodium quinoa… As well as sounding plausibly like the first name of a member of a Hollywood acting dynasty, Quinoa ‘s a not-technically-a-grain grain-like ‘pseudocereal’ superfood – oh yes! – and a super food.

It is all fibrous goodness – carbohydrate AND protein (12-18%, it says here,) and contains the eight ‘essential amino acids’ which is very handy if you’re vegetarian or just looking for alternative strong protein sources.

Sidebar: it is related to Pitseed Goosefoot and Fat Hen, both of which are superb names heavily redolent of dub reggae titles such as Bushweed Corntrash… so while writing I have been humming ‘Pitseed Goosefoot’ to the Upsetters tune Bushweed Corntrash, a search for which got me here:
… hands up who loves the interweb? Thanks.)

QUINOA, QUINOA, QUINOA! How do I love thee? It’s cooked like buckwheat, pasta or rice, about 12 minutes of simmering, and can be eaten in all the same ways: as a side, or in stuffing, veggie burgers etc… I tend to use it in salads, mainly as an alternative to couscous or bulgur wheat in tabbouleh, so cooked up, rinsed and then caressed with the addition of finely chopped red onion/spring onions, parsley, mint, lime/lemon juice, tomato, celery, cucumber… whatever you like, really.

It’s also very tasty on its own, lightly seasoned, or with one thing through it – so for example, if it’s going in a box for work, a handful of frozen peas mixed thru with a dash of oil will do nicely by lunchtime.

QuinoaQuinoaQuinoa is available in supermarkets as well as health food boutiques, etc, and hopefully will start to come in bigger bags than the pitifully small ones currently on general offer if the UK agriculturalists fiddling with it continue in the vein described on the Veggie Soc site linked to earlier. Meanwhile, you can buy in bulk from the (maybe a bit oxymoronic) Ethical Superstore, who have bigger bags as well. Sorry, postie.

There, I’m hungry just writing about it.
ALL PRAISE the miracle seed QUINOA.

So let it be written! So let it be done.

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