YEAH!!! Quinoa has made it onto the Orthodox Union approved Passover list this year. It is a crop grown for its edible seeds and is often used as a healthy substitute to wheat. It is extremely high in protein and lacks gluten, making it a very attractive food source. The plant comes from the Peruvian Andes.
Until this year, there was controversy among certification agencies about whether quinoa could be used for Passover. Several Sephardic sources approved it. This year, the Orthodox Union added quinoa to its approved Kosher for Passover list. If you do not follow the OU approved list, ask your rabbi.
Called a source of complete protein and superfood, it has a higher protein content than brown rice and barley. Quinoa is even a source of calcium, fiber magnesium and iron.
Essentially quinoa is cooked like rice. Boil two parts water or stock to one part quinoa, adding some oil and salt to the liquid. Then add the quinoa and cook it the way you would cook rice, allowing it to reboil, mix and cook on a medium heat until most of the water is absorbed. Then cover and cook for another 10 minutes. Turn off heat and let sit 15 minutes before serving.
The versatility of the quinoa means you can make it into a pilaf, or cold salad, or eat it plain. Usually if I make it plain, it is because I am using it as a base, as I would with a white rice. Maybe I make a stir fry of vegetables, with or without chicken or beef, and serve it on top of the quinoa. Since it’s a superfood, I might also add mix cooked quinoa into a toss salad, adding tons of protein to a simple lunch.
On another note, I want to mention rice noodles as an idea. As we search for dinner dishes, I think stir fries are great! If Sephardic and approved to eat rice, you can add rice noodles to your grocery list. Rice noodles, often found in Asian stores, are a good substitute for pasta. Literally par boil for a minute and serve with your stir fry. Delish!!!!
More to come this week!