In just over 30 years, quinoa has gone from being virtually unknown to the darling of the health food world.
Pronounced "KEEN-wah," the tiny grainlike seeds from the Andes are related to Swiss chard and spinach, and contain all the essential amino acids, trace elements and vitamins to be a complete protein, according to the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization. Plus, they have no gluten. The FAO has declared 2013 the International Year of Quinoa.
-- Rinsing quinoa removes a layer of saponins that can be bitter. Some brands are better at removing this coating than others, but it's best to take a few minutes for this extra step. Place quinoa in a fine sieve; rinse under cold running water until water is clear; drain.
-- Snow peas may be substituted for the sugar-snap peas; use whichever looks freshest.
-- Save the radish greens, which are mild-tasting and delicious, to use in your favorite recipe. Or chop and stir into the finished dish.
Quinoa with peas, radishes
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 26 minutes
1 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon low-sodium vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups quinoa, rinsed, well-drained
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 1/2 cups sugar-snap peas, about 3/4 pound
8 radishes, halved, thinly sliced
3 green onions, chopped
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
Freshly ground pepper
1. Pour 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth and the water into a saucepan; heat to a boil over high heat. Add the quinoa and salt; cover. Turn heat to low; simmer until all the liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Turn off the heat; let sit, covered, for at least 10 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.
2. Loosen the strings on each pea at the most prominent end with a paring knife; peel off. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the peas; stir-fry, 4 minutes. Add the radishes and onions; cook, 2 minutes. Add remaining 1 tablespoon vegetable broth; simmer until it's absorbed, about 1 minute.
3. Whisk together the orange juice, remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, soy sauce, mustard, ginger and pepper in a small bowl. Pour over the quinoa; mix in. Top with the vegetables.
Per serving: 348 calories, 11 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 51 g carbohydrates, 12 g protein, 707 mg sodium, 7 g fiber.
Kay Stepkin is a vegetarian cooking instructor and former owner of a vegetarian restaurant/whole-grain bakery. Email her at email@example.com.