Quinoa is an ancient high protein grain. It looks a little like barley, and has a very subtle nutty flavor. It can be used as a substitute for barley, bulgur, or rice in many recipes. It is a staple in our gluten-free house. When preparing quinoa it is best to be prepared. Soaking it for 4-8 hours before cooking makes it easier to digest. In a pinch you can skip or shorten this step. Quinoa grains are covered with bitter tasting powder called saponin so they need a quick rinse in a strainer. Place the quinoa in a sauce pan with 2 cups water for every one cup quinoa. Add a pinch of salt. Bring the water to a boil. Then cover it and bring the heat down to a simmer. Let it simmer for 15-20 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave the cover on letting it steam for 5 minutes. The water should be fully absorbed.
Quinoa is huge online right now. Its high protein makes it a great alternative to less nutrient dense carb choices. You can use this in many recipes, such as my Italian Chicken Quinoa.