Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Quinoa-The Super Food

Quinoa is to overcome the food shoratge of tomorrow with its perfect balance of carbohydrate and complete protein

 Quinoa is a Super Grain historically consumed by Inca civilizations some 3-4 thousand years back as staple food.  Though referred to as grain, Quinoa is the seed part of the plant and one of the top protein rich staple one can have.  Contains all 9 amino acids making it complete source of low fat, no cholesterol protein. Owing to the high nutritional value and importance of this grain, the year 2013 is declared as the year of Quinoa by United Nations.

Nutrition Profile:

185gms of cooked quinoa contains;

229 Calories of which 32 Calories is from fat

8.0 gms of protein

3.5gms of fat

42gm carbohydrates

5 gms of fibre

31 mg calcium

2.76 mg iron

318 mg potassium

13 mg sodium

2.02 mg zinc

Because of this excellent balance of carbohydrate and protein Quinoa is also considered the number one food to overcome the food shortage in future. Given this nutrient dense profile, Quinoa makes a perfect choice for staple for health and wellness, including controlling obesity, diabetics and Cardio Vascular conditions.

Since 2008, the researches have been underway at Agricultural University of Faisalabad and later in in Chakwal and Bhawalpur experimenting growing this high nutrition value crop of quinoa in Pakistan . Some health food stores in major cities of Pakistan have imported quinoa available, though very expensive it is better to pay for healthy food then hospitals.

Quinoa can be creatively used to cook many dishes just like rice or pasta, in soups, salads, ground into flour. Its nutty, delicate and popping structure with a distinct ring of protein upon cooking gives way to endless culinary and create healthy and delicious main course or side dishes http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/collections/quinoa+recipes. Taste totally delicious with a crunch and when flavoured with herbs and spices, or eaten fruits, cream, milk or yogurt for breakfast.

 Here goes my favorite  of  quinoa dish, I serve it as a side to go with baked fish/poultry and vegetable.


1 cup wholegrain quinoa
¼ cup sliced skitake mushroom/any mushroom you get
2 cups vegetable broth
2 tsp sundried tomatoes
½ cups chopped green onions/chives
1 tsp chopped garlic
¼ cup chopped onions (the white part of green onions)
Salt n pepper to taste

1-    Saute the onion and garlic in 1 tbps olive oil, then add mushrooms and  continue sauting.
2-    Now add washed and drained quinoa, salt, and pour broth/liquid ( any would chicken/veg/fish/plain water).
3-    Let it cook like rice on medium flame until all water soaked and quinoa appear fluffy and soft. Now add sundried tomatoes. Before serving add chopped green onions/chives.
4-    Let it cook like rice on medium flame until all water soaked and quinoa appear fluffy and soft. Now add sundried tomatoes. Before serving add chopped green onions/chives.

Quinoa, can be a great nutrient packed cereal as well;

My favorite Quinoa breakfast:

-In a teaspoon of butter in a heated pot add ½ cup washed and drained quino and a cinnamon stick
- stir this for 3-4 minutes on medium flame
- Add 1 cup water and cooked until soft and fluffy
-divide in 2-3 bowls, add warm milk, sliced almond and apple/banana chunks, optional honey/maple syrup or brown sugar


  1. Please please please tell me where to get Quinoa in Karachi? I tried Necos last week but they did not have it.

    1. I bought quinoa yesterday from Necos. Check again.