Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Ancient Grain Quinoa

Since I discovered I'm allergic to gluten and wheat, I've been having a terrible time finding foods I can eat. I've always prided myself on eating foods which are good for me, like whole wheat, so finding nutritious foods without gluten is proving to be a challenge. But you know me I like a challenge. I recently discovered this ancient grain called quinoa and decided to try the red variety since it says gluten free on the package. The Incas held this crop to be sacred and called quinoa the "mother of all grains".

When I read the nutrition facts, I definitely had to try it. Red quinoa boasts the best amino acid profile of all grains. Look at this line up: Iron 10%, Vitamin E 6%, Thiamine B1 10%, Riboflavin B2 15%, Folate B9 25%, Phosphorus 10%, Magnesium 20%, Zinc 8%. Wow, I hope I like this grain.

I also read a lack of folate can lead to depression. Hey, it can be a bit depressing not eating foods you're used to, like cereal, whole grain breads, pie crust, crackers, cake, an occasional cookie (honest, only occasionally), and so much more, even pasta. But I've now found a rice pasta I can eat. And I'm learning to substitute other food items and developing tasty, nutritional recipes along the way.

Guess what I had for breakfast today? Red quinoa and it does taste good. One cup cooked actually fluffed up to quite a bit of volume. Try it you might like it and it's good for you. Please visit again, as I discover, cook, and taste more gluten free foods in the future. Oh, there'll be more clay and painting and who knows what else. Variety is the spice of life they say.


  1. I love Quinoa -- never had it for breakfast tho -- sorry to hear you're dealing with a gluten free diet -- can be challenging, but I have lots of friends who eat that way. Good luck and be well.

  2. Quinoa is awesome!! I also work on a gluten minimal diet. Check out this site:

    she has amazing recipes and info. !

  3. This is a very interesting post, Linda! As I have not eaten Quinoa before, I'm very curious about it.
    What doest it taste like? I'd like to buy some if I can find it.

  4. We use Quinoa in a lot of recipes and just love it. We are not on gluten free diets, we just eat it because it's good and good for you. I'll look up some recipes to send to you but I'll bet you're going to come up with some great stuff yourself.

  5. I actually went on a gluten, sugar, dairy, and citrus fruit free diet for about a year and I've never felt better. I lost all of the access weight, ate VERY healthy and had SO MUCH energy! I am hoping this will happen to you as well :) Although I have to admit that it would be pretty hard to commit to another year of this... Once you get into it it will be easy and so worth it though! Good luck!!

  6. we were having a friend over for dinner and he is allergic to wheat... i never realized how much of what i cook involves wheat! i final settled on a simple chicken and rice casserole.
    i have never had quinoa and i am curious as to it's flavor now.
    btw- i like your new font :-)

  7. I am sorry you have had to go gluten free, that has to be a pain.
    That Quinoa looks interesting and I will try it. Thanks.
    Mighty dog is gluten intolerant, it caused his seizures. Since I took him off of it over a year ago, not one seizure.

  8. I've never prepared this for breakfast. I'll have to give this a try. Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  9. I'm so glad they figured out what was causing your problems. It will be a challenge, but I've heard from a lot of people who go gluten free that they feel so much better. I love quinoa, and use it a lot. I really like it for breakfast too. I haven't tried red quinoa, but will look for it. Good luck, I'll try some of the recipes you come up with!

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  11. Oh my, I thought I was alone in the world; never realizing so many folks have to deal with friends or themselves trying to be gluten free. In our culture it truly is a mountain for me to climb trying to be gluten free in life with so much of our food products revolving around wheat. I've climbed so many mountains in the past few years, but I'm finally finding so many wonderful paths along the way. Weathering of the devastaing and severe storms have been testing my stamina and fortitude, but it isn't so bad. One of my aunts used to call me "her banty rooster" and I am forging noisely ahead. Thanks every so much for weighing in here, it means a world of difference to me.

    Quinoa tastes like a nutty spout and has a lot of bulk or volume to it. Yesterday I found some white quinoa and will try that too and let you know. But truly I can't believe quinoa is so very good for me and the nutritional value is so high.

  12. Hi Judy, thanks, at first it was daunting, but now I am taking it as a challege to myself. I'll probably be healthier for it.

    Hi Kathy, thanks, perhaps in the future I can be minimal but for now free is optimum. I will check the link, thanks ever so much.

    Hi Sapphire, thanks, I was intrigued by the link which tells of how the Spaniards tried to prevent the Incas from growing this grain, it is nutty and sprouty and crunchy and makes a lot of volume for it's tiny size, uch like a mustard seed only even smaller, try it you will like it. I hope you can get it in Japan.

    Hi Lori, thanks, yes please send along the recipes, I am trying to regain my stability of nutrition and gaining ground now. I also think age may have an influence on things now too and then there is the stress of everyday living and moving too, but I am rounding a milestone corner I think and am hoping for a downhill slope here on in out.

    Hi Mel, thanks, I am curious about the citrus free part of your diet? Why was that. It seems our bodies will tell us what to eat and not, but learning the message is the hardest part.

    Hi Michele, thanks, I never realized myself how much food has wheat in it, only one type fo soy sauce is wheat free and on and on and some foods say they are gluten free and I know they are not. Thanks about the font, I wanted it to look more like I was hand writing the words on paper.

    Hi Patti, thanks it really is a pain in the neck but I am adapting. How do you do it for Mighty Dog? I notice lately my cats don't like even the best foods and I have gone to the feed store to get them something else, I thing our food supplies are changing and are not as good as thye used to be even for the same products we have gotten for years, everyone is cutting costs, food growers, manufacturers, suppliers, etc.

    Hi Mary, thanks, I never thought I'd eat this for breakfast, but I got tired of a slice of cheese and wondered what it would be like for cereal since it is a grain. Necessity is the mother of invention I guess.

    Hi Barbara, thanks, actually I figured it out myself, "they" don't have much patience for folks like me with high deductibles, little money, and not wanting a "pain" pill. I just wanted to know what is wrong with me to move on. Hopefully this is the last of the problems for a good many years.

  13. Sorry to hear that you're allergic to gluten and wheat. Yes, quinoa is gluten free and it'll be perfect for you. It has all the nutrition that your body needs and it's also yummy too! There are a lot of quinoa recipes online that you'll surely love! Hope you can discover more recipes that you can try out for yourself. Good luck!

  14. Hi Quinoa, thanks for the info and well wishes.

  15. Hi Linda, I've just never been able to drink orange juice without throwing up... my parents used to think I was bulimic after throwing up my breakfast almost every morning, but we soon found out that the acid of the citrus does not go well with my stomach. I do eat/drink it now, but am careful that it is not the first thing in the morning and it is far less than what a normal person would take in :)

    I am thankful that I can control a lot of my health issues with diet restrictions and don't have to pop a pill to make me feel better!

  16. If you like the rice pasta try the corn. I found it at a health food store and it is amazing!!! I am not on a gluten free diet but tried it once at a friends and now eat it all the time.

  17. Linda, sorry you are dealing with this. I don't know if this is an issue but my local liquor store carries a great variety of beers and one of them is a gluten free beer. I think it's called Bard. Good luck.

  18. Hi Mel, thanks, strange about the oj, but good to know about it and no pill is a good thing especially nowadays with all the side effects most have.

    Hi Annie, thanks, I tried the white rice noodles last night and they were mushy, but the wheat ones are ok, but I will check out the corn pasta next, thanks for the tip.

    Hi Cindy, thanks, I might get some for Gary, but I don't drink beer, I prefer wine, although supposedly that isn't supposed to be good for me either, but I have to have one vice don't I, (well maybe I have a few other bad points too- Ha)


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