Grown in our country for more than 3,000 years, quinoa originated around Lake Titicaca, a conservation center for the great biological diversity of this grain. During the Inca Empire, it became one of their main crops and the basic food in the diet of its inhabitants.
Our country is currently the world's leading producer and exporter of quinoa. This superfood, also known as the "golden grain of the Andes", has a nutrient-rich composition. It provides proteins, unsaturated fatty acids, minerals (calcium, iron and magnesium), vitamins (E, B1, B2 and niacin) and phosphorus. Its high content in total dietary fiber (7 grams per 100 grams of raw quinoa) produces a feeling of fullness. Being a cereal, it also has the property of absorbing water and remaining longer in the stomach.
Now that you know about quinoa’s great nutritional power, we have brought some recipes so that you can have a go at preparing them, and above all to enjoy them.
This preparation is not very different from what we all know; only the rice is replaced by cooked quinoa. Cook the beaten eggs in a frying pan, cut them into cubes and set them aside. Heat oil in a wok, add ginger, any meat of your choice and the sausage. Season with salt and pepper, and sauté for five minutes. Add the soy sauce and spring onion, then add the snow peas, cowpeas and quinoa, stir and remove from heat. Add the omelet cubes and mix well.
This Arequipa salad is a fresh and healthy dish. The first thing is to cook the quinoa and set it aside. In another container, mix the tomato, beans, onion, quinoa, beans, ají amarillo (chili pepper), cheese, cilantro and huacatay (Peruvian black mint). Season with salt and pepper, add white vinegar and olive oil and mix again.
There is no set recipe to prepare this dish, and you can accompany the cooked quinoa with the ingredients you like most such as corn, cheese, olives, broccoli, and tomato. Complete this recipe by accompanying your salad with dressing, olive oil or lemon.
Chicken quinoa chili
The use of quinoa in this famous dish from our gastronomy makes it a delicious and nutritious variant. To begin with, parboil and shred the chicken. Then, mix the cooked quinoa with the milk. Fry the onion and garlic in a pan, add ají amarilla paste, and salt and pepper to taste. Finally, add the liquefied quinoa, shredded chicken breast and parmesan cheese (optional). Serve with yellow potatoes and fried rice.
Quinoa a la huancaína
To prepare this recipe, the first thing to do is to parboil the quinoa. In another container prepare a dressing based on onions cut into squares, garlic and ají amarillo. Blend the dressing, quinoa, cheese and milk. Serve with potatoes and eggs.
Quinoa tacu tacu
This dish follows the traditional preparation for tacu tacu, which is rice mixed with beans, only that a little cooked quinoa is added when making the dressing, which gives it a special touch. Serve with a homemade hamburger.
Chupe de quinoa
This dish is ideal, not only to combat a cold afternoon, but because it provides all the nutrients our body needs. Prepare a dressing in a pan with onion, garlic and ají panca (Peruvian red pepper). Add seafood stock and add the corn when it boils and cook for ten minutes. Then add the quinoa, beans, yellow potato and cook again. After a few minutes, add the king prawn tails, fresh cheese, oregano and chopped huacatay. Finally, add milk, and adjust the seasoning. Serve hot.
- Before starting to use quinoa, it is recommended to wash the seeds by rubbing them gently with your hands under water; you will eliminate any remaining saponins that cover them, and with it, the bitter taste in the food you make.
Sources: FAO/ Minagri/ El Comercio/ RPP/ Diariamente Ali