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 38 great recipes for cooking with this ancient grain here.
Quinoa with Roasted Garlic, Tomatoes, and Spinach
A whole head of roasted garlic gives this quinoa side a rich, savory flavor that makes it truly memorable. While roasting your own garlic is certainly not difficult, it does require some time (the garlic cooks for an hour, in which time it turns soft and its flavor mellows). If you don’t have that time to invest, you can look for roasted garlic on the olive bar at your local gourmet market; it likely won’t have as rich a flavor as what you’d roast yourself, but it will come close. This side goes with pretty much any main dish—or you can have a double portion and enjoy it as a main.