Quinoa is known as "little rice" of Peru. The Incas believed it was sacred and referred to quinoa as "chisaya mama" ("the mother of all grains"). Quinoa is rich in protein and much easier to cook than rice. It is growing more popular, especially among vegetarians who appreciate its high protein levels. Balance of proteins in quinoa can fully compensate for the lack of meat in the diet.
1. Rinse the grains quinoa in water.
2. Brown quinoa in a saucepan (if desired). Pour a little olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Add quinoa and cook about 1 minute. This will reveal the nutty flavor of quinoa.
3. Cook the quinoa. Pour into the pan of 2 parts water or broth to one part of quinoa over medium heat and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat. Simmer the quinoa for about 15 minutes, or until the grains become translucent and the white germ forms a visible spiral on the exterior of the grain.
4. Remove the quinoa from the heat and leave for 5 minutes under the cover.
5. Open the cover and stir with a fork.
6. Serve on the table.