Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) has risen to superstar fame in recent years. It’s a gluten-free, high-protein, high-fiber, quick-cooking whole grain with a nutty flavor and a fun pop between the teeth when cooked. You’ll find beige, red, black, or tricolor quinoa in stores; they all taste the same, so use whichever color you prefer. Because quinoa has a bitter-flavored natural coating, it’s always a good idea to rinse it before cooking. Quinoa is great for pilafs, salads, soups, casseroles, and more. Find 31 great recipes for cooking with this ancient grain here.
Quinoa with Dried Cherries and Pistachios
Think of quinoa as a blank canvas for flavors ranging from the simple (lemon and parsley) to the complex and exotic (warm spices; dried nuts and fruit). Here the protein-packed whole grain gets a Middle Eastern spin with tart dried cherries, chopped pistachios, and mint. Serve with braised lamb or spice-rubbed roasted chicken to complete the theme. Or, stir in shredded rotisserie chicken and another crunchy vegetable like cucumber or celery for a lunchtime salad. You can also make a larger batch of quinoa minus the stir-ins and refrigerate for a simple side or salad base during the week.