Plantidote of the Day 2011-03-30
It's a protein-rich meat substitute, a gluten-free side dish or main course, and a delicious alternative to rice. It's quinoa (KEEN-wah), and if you haven't tried it, what are you waiting for?
[Q]uinoa is highly nutritious and can supply us with all of the body's requirements: carbohydrates, fats, protein, vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
Quinoa is gluten free and considered an ideal food for those prone to food allergies. Common allergens include grains from the grass family such as corn and wheat. Quinoa, a leafy grain, is not in the grass family, making it beneficial for people who cannot tolerate common grains like wheat, corn, rye, barley, and oats.
A staple food in South America for centuries, quinoa has a mildly nutty taste and cooks quickly. You can use it as a substitute for rice in dishes like stuffed peppers, pilaf and even pudding! And that short list barely scratches the surface of cooking possibilities. Plus, if you're a gardener, you can grow your own, provided you're in a spot where summers are on the cool side. Quinoa is easy to grow and harvest, and, once it's dried, can be stored for months.
Readers, please send twig (firstname.lastname@example.org) images and stories for the ongoing Plantidote of the Day series. In exchange, you'll win undying fame in the form of a hat tip! Plants growing in your garden, your house, or neighbor's yard, plants from the forest or farmers' market, plants you preserved, plants you prepared (wine; cider; tea; dried beans), plants you harvested (grains; chanterelles), plants you picked (flowers), plants you dried (herbs), plants you covet or hope to grow someday. Herbal remedies, propagation tips, new varieties, etc.. And if you can, include some solid detail about the plant, too -- a story, the genus and species, or where you got the seeds, or the recipe, or your grandmother gave it to you. Or challenge us with a "Name That Plant" mystery entry ... And please feel free to add corrections and additional information in the comments.
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