Quinoa and Canvas

Quni-who? No, Quinao (Keen-wha). This will be the one that puts me over the line. I will be certifiable crunchy now. The kids and I made quinoa last night. You've probably heard about quinoa as a superfood or the supergrain that isn't a grain. My muse Roni uses it. I've seen "healthy recipes" using it. I've heard all the hype. I just wasn't really sure what exactly it was or what to do with it. Basically it's a superfood from South America. It's actually a very small seed pod. But I told the kids it's like rice. And it's fun to say. Say it with me: KEEEENWAAAA!

I've slowly been overhauling our diet. The processed snacks are all but gone-- I have a few Annie's Bunny Snacks and organic fruit strips from Tar-jay. oh and graham crackers. Our staples. But I decided we needed to start ADDING things, not just getting rid of things. I needed to go to the actual grocery store, not superstore. I bought some Agave nectar, organic vanilla, Greek yogurt, organic chocolate syrup, etc. Then I went over to the bulk section. Quinoa. There it was. It called me. Come on Lisa... make the jump. Just buy me and put me in your kitchen for a bit. Get used to being an owner of quinoa. So I grabbed a few scoops. They also had decent canvas bags for $5, so I grabbed two. I will slowly build up our stash. Before checking out they had lighter weight bags for a buck a bag! grabbed a bunch. I was a little nervous. Dumb I know, but checking out "out of system" was a weird feeling for me. I didn't know if it would hold up the line, if the checker would secretly be cursing my granola-loving name. But the kids weren't with me and it wasn't really busy in the store. I had 4 bags total (1 nice one and 3 cheaper ones.) They were huge! I couldn't believe how much stuff fit in them! And the cashier remarked "It's great how much can fit in here!" Yes, it was great. And Ms. Cashier Lady, you just made my day. I broke out of my comfort zone. Quinoa and Canvas bags. I made the jump. And didn't feel like a dork in the process.

So back to the quinoa. It was fish night and we didn't have tilapia like I thought, so it was Salmon. So now what? Time to get something going for dinner. Quinoa. It would be quinoa. It had to be quinoa. Roni had a recipe she used, but it didn't thrill me and we didn't have all the ingredients. I found recipe for a quinoa salad at another favorite site of mine: 101 cookbooks. It looked fantastic. I had everything we needed. It was a lemon-cilantro base and I had some Newmans Own Light Lime Vinaigrette that I could use instead of the recipe dressing and then I could also throw it on the Salmon with more cilantro. Some broccoli added to the mix. Viola! The best part was everything would only take about 15 min.

The kids wanted to help and since everything was so easy, they were able to do most of the work. Sassy was running around yelling "I make quinoa! Me turn!" They both took turns and pretty much made the meal. The results? A beyond delicious and nutritious meal. The kid verdict? A beyond delicious and nutritious meal. Really. They ate everything!! BigBoy didn't want the quinoa salad (he doesn't do tomatoes or onions) but proclaimed the quinoa w/some butter one of his favorite things to eat, along with the salmon. The kid wouldn't eat fish past the mandatory "One Bite Rule." He claims to love salmon so much now, that he wants it everyday for dinner. They've helped with dinner before, so I'm not really sure what magically happened last night. The quinoa, it had to be the quinoa.


Unknown said...

Boy, now I'll have to try some. Wonder if they have any at the superstore ;) I've never gone completely crunchy, but I'm pretty far on that side of things...

Beege said...

How funny, I just bought quinoa last night at Gristede's (the grody grocery store.) It's pretty good, but sometimes I don't like the feeling like I'm eating a seed that hasn't been husked yet. Like the little shell is sometimes annoying. In other news, I rejoined WW!! Was really fun to see my past FOUR years on the weight tracker (online version) and I'm actually starting at the lowest weight I ever got to be. So how could I not make my goal weight now? I'm doing 15 pounds. Wish me luck!

Steve Hancock said...

Kind of off topic but kind of not. :) We love the steam bags that you throw food in and microwave. Seems to help us cook veggies a lot more since it is so easy. On slickdeals.net this morning they have a link for 10 free bags from FoodSaver in case you have a foodsaver. http://www.foodsaver.com/Offer.aspx They just came out with these bags I guess so they are promoting them.

Lisa Spector said...

Janell- not sure, but I'd be happy to pick you up some next time I hit Martins.

BG- Good for you! Keep me posted k?

marciamarcia said...

This is one food I just haven't mastered. Wait, let me rephrase. This is a food I haven't mastered (it's not the only one. I'm still befuddled by what exactly "slow food" is, but this isn't the time or place). The way you describe it *sounds* wonderful, far better than the last time I made it and thought, frankly, "ick." I have a cupboard full of it hoped something or someone would help me 'round the bend. If not though, I'll carry around a package for the next time I see Janell.


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