Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Keen for Quinoa?

This weekend we popped into an old favourite, QEleven, and found ourselves wondering why it had been so long between lattes.

The coffee (a rotating seasonal blend) was fantastic, and the food tastier than ever!

While relieved to see the menu still contained some old favourites (like the bruschetta - it's heavy on the avocado and Yarra Valley Persian fetta, and goes down especially well with a quinoa and potato roesti) it was a couple of the new plates on the block that got the vote this time round:

(Quinoa salad with grilled corn, asparagus, mint & lime | QEleven Cafe
photo by Tomas & Jones)
(Roasted sweet potato sandwich | QEleven Cafe
photo by Tomas & Jones)

Speaking of Quinoa
We're a bit mad for quinoa round here, and it was actually QEleven (with the aforementioned quinoa and potato roestis) that introduced it to us back in the day.

If you haven't tried it here's a few reasons we think you should:

(Quinoa Pudding | Recipe & image by The Pastry Affair)
(Broccoli & Quinoa Casserole | Recipe & image by Eating Well Living Thin)
(Quinoa Burger | Recipe & image by Eating Well Living Thin)

Need we say more?!

I've made the broccoli & quinoa casserole (delicious), and have yet to try the others, but they are on my list!

We love quinoa so much we've even devoted a board to it on Pinterest.

Now, what is Quinoa you ask...
Quinoa is a grain-like seed, closely related to beets, spinach and tumbleweeds (!).  It's particularly high in protein, especially for a grain-like seed.  It is also high in fibre, iron and vitamins, and is gluten and cholesterol free.

So, fabulous for the gluten intolerant, vegetarians, iron deficient, and the like, plus anyone else who just likes yummy things!

Don't be scared, you cook it a bit like you would rice, but you can find out more about how to store, prepare and cook quinoa over at  Or check out the above recipes to get started.

To find it here in Australia you may have to look in the foreign food aisles of smaller supermarkets (IGA Hawthorn have it), health food stores, or surprisingly Costco!!

...& how do you say it?
Don't get all fancy.  You simply say "keen-wah".

Got any quinoa recipes you think we should try!  We'd love to hear them :)

Oh, and next time you pop down to South Melbourne Markets we'd highly recommend you save the time to drop in to QEleven!

Tomas & Jones

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