Eat Drink Better

Published on November 8th, 2010 | by Rachel Shulman


#1 Grain According to Readers is Quinoa! Check Out These Recipes.

The results are in! An overwhelming majority of readers voted that quinoa was their favorite grain. In fact, so many people voted for quinoa that I can’t even publish a top five list!

Since everyone seems to love quinoa so much, here’s some more information on this ancient grain and some of my favorite quinoa recipes.

Originally from the Andes, quinoa (pronounced “KEEN-wah”) was considered sacred by the Incas. Technically speaking, quinoa is not a true grain even though it’s used like one. It’s actually related to green, leafy vegetables, which is what makes it so healthful. Unlike wheat, rice, or other grains, quinoa is a complete protein source, which is why it’s often referred to as “the supergrain.”

Because quinoa is higher in protein than any other grain and gluten-free, it’s the perfect grain for people on vegan, low-carb, or wheat-free diets. It’s also quick-cooking, making it a convenient option for weeknight meals.

Quinoa has a mild nutty flavor with a slightly crunchy, delicate, and fluffy texture. The small, round size of the individual grains makes it a great textural substitute for ground meat in dishes like chili and casseroles.

You can find quinoa in larger grocery chains and health food stores, or you can order it on the web. It comes in white, red, and black varieties. Although quinoa is most commonly sold as whole grains, you can also find quinoa flakes, which can be treated like rolled oats. Quinoa flakes are perfect for gluten-free “oatmeal” and granola.

It’s best to rinse quinoa in a fine-mesh sieve or cheese cloth before cooking it. Rinsing helps remove the bitter coating on the outside of the grain known as saponin. Although most varieties of packaged quinoa have been pre-rinsed, I always rinse quinoa anyway, especially when I purchase it from a bulk bin.

You can cook quinoa just like rice, using a two-to-one ratio of water to grain. Bring the water and the grain to a boil, cover, and simmer for 14-18 minutes. You can also use a rice cooker to prepare quinoa. Just use the same cooking cycle and amount of water that you would use for white rice.

Although quinoa is delicious enough to eat plain, it’s even better dressed up a bit. Here are some of favorite vegetarian and vegan recipes:

Do you have a favorite quinoa recipe? Share it as a comment.

Image courtesy of Autumn Sweater via a Creative Commons license.

Keep up with the latest sustainable food news by signing up for our free newsletter. CLICK HERE to sign up!

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

About the Author

I'm an ecologist turned journalist turned farmer-in-training. I'm currently working on an organic farm and creamery in Illinois. Follow me on twitter (, friend me on Facebook (!/profile.php?id=3105709), or follow me on StumbleUpon (

8 Responses to #1 Grain According to Readers is Quinoa! Check Out These Recipes.

  1. Wendy Polisi says:

    Thanks for the great article on quinoa – and so glad to see it is your readers favorite “grain”. Its nice to actually see an article that recognizes that quinoa is a seed and not a true grain. I am definitely going to give the kale and avocado salad a try!

  2. Pingback: Eating Vegan: Fruit and Vegetable Stir Fry – Eat Drink Better

  3. Pingback: Quinoa Stuffed Poblano Peppers – Eat Drink Better

  4. Pingback: Power Acai Berry Breakfast Bowl – Eat Drink Better

  5. Pingback: Study: Thinking You’re Fat Makes You Fat – Eat Drink Better

  6. Pingback: Vegan Cashew Basil Pesto – Eat Drink Better

  7. Pingback: Austin, Texas to Get New Zero Waste Grocery Store – Eat Drink Better

Back to Top ↑
  • Support our Site!

  • Advertisement

  • Let’s Connect!

  • Advertisement

  • Popular Posts & Pages

    Whether you are looking to completely give up animal products or just want to try eating vegan some of the time, we want to support you! Below, you’ll find articles answering some common questions about vegan cooking and nutrition. If you don’t see your question answered below, please get in touch with us! We are happy to investigate for you!

    Find out what's in season now, plus get plenty of recipe inspiration to help you make the most of every season's beautiful, local fare.

    I love infographics. When I came across this one about what, how, and when to plant vegetables, I thought I’d share. Keep reading after the pic for a few of my own lessons learned.

    Top Sustainable Food Jobs of the Week.

    Looking for an all vegan grocery store? Even if you’re not lucky enough to have one in your town, there are lots of online options for vegan grocery shopping.

  • Advertisement

  • Search the IM Network

  • The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by, and do not necessarily represent the views of Sustainable Enterprises Media, Inc., its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.