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I’ve read about it, seen it at parties (after already filling up on bread) and read thousands of blog posts on it. Quinoa: It’s a pretty word to write. It’s pronounced “keen-wah” (approximation), although you can call it “key-noah” and people will figure out what you mean. I am always a bit self-conscious when it comes to pronouncing words that don’t quite match how they look, even when I’m sure I’m right: I don’t want to sound like I’m up myself or correcting anybody. But, dammit, keenwah is how it is pronounced, and so evermore shall be.

We had a bagful in the pantry, so on an otherwise uneventful and empty-bellied Sunday afternoon, we had a bash at it. It’s easy as anything — definitely easier than rice. Rinse first, then pop it in a saucepan, one part quinoa grains to two parts water. Boil for a bit — we had about half a cup of quinoa on the boil for about ten to fifteen minutes, basically until all the water was absorbed. Serve right away, and toss whatever you like through it.

Compelling footage.

The texture is awesome: lots of tiny little pearls, slightly firm and individually distinct. The flavour is mostly neutral, with a nutty, wholesome taste that I really like — but you’d find it bland on its own, I’m sure.

Teeny grainy pearls!

We had it tossed with some kale that M stir-fried with soy sauce, garlic, ginger: all quick and experimental and pretty damn tasty (if a trifle hard to photograph).

texture! we have it.

Also: quinoa is a complete protein, which is something to get excited about if you’re vegetarian. Which I am. So I’m excited about that.

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