Quinoa is classified with the rest of the grains but did you know it’s not actually a grain – it’s a seed. It’s been around for over 6,000 years, originating in the Andean region of South America. The Incas held the crop to be sacred and referred to it as chisaya mama, meaning mother of all grains.
Nutritionally speaking, this “grain” is the mother of all grains, in protein. It’s the highest grain-like crop in protein, ranging from 12% to 18%. Unlike wheat or rice, quinoa is a complete protein.
This Coconut Cashew Red Quinoa dish makes a wonderful main course or side dish, adding an exotic punch to an otherwise ordinary meal. If you prefer regular quinoa, feel free to substitute that for the red quinoa in the same amount.
- ½ cup coconut milk, unsweetened
- 2 shallots, sliced
- 1 small red onion, chopped
- 3 cups water
- 1½ cups red quinoa, uncooked
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup frozen or fresh pineapple chunks, unsweetened and chopped
- ¼ cup salted cashews, chopped
- Heat coconut milk in a large saucepan. Add shallots and red onion and cook over medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes. Add water; bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to medium low and add quinoa, sugar, salt and pepper; cover and cook for 20 minutes. Add pineapple and cashews and cook for additional 3 minutes, or until most liquid is absorbed. Garnish with fresh parsley or cilantro. Serve hot.