Plated + Served: 3,000 Years and Counting (That’s Quinoa!)


Yup, summer has begun… bathing suits on the porch rail, kids flying in and out of the door and Mama’s staring at all those farmer’s market veggies and herbs, hoping for inspiration.Summer Quinoa Salad

Dinner Dilemma solved: A fabulous Summer Quinoa Salad to go with something on the grill.

Quinoa is suddenly hip even though it has been around for a while… like for 3,000 years. Have you ever tried quinoa? It’s an edible seed, not a grain, but quinoa can be substituted for almost any grain in any recipe. It has a nutty flavor, fluffy, but crunchy texture, and is really unique looking.

I love it because next to animal protein, it’s one of the best sources of protein and amino acids you can consume. But, here’s the best part: Its gluten free, an excellent source of calcium, high in iron and fiber, and low in sodium, cholesterol and saturated fat. Wowie-kazowie! Talk about a lot of bang for your buck.

Alter Eco Black QuinoaBecause of quinoa’s surge in popularity, there are a lot of companies packaging it. I’ve tried quite a few, but I really like Alter Eco Fair Trade Quinoa for a couple of reasons: First, they package a variety of quinoas; pearl, black, red and rainbow, which make beautiful, plate presentations (I mixed pearl quinoa and black quinoa in my Summer Quinoa Salad… pretty, don’t you think?). Second, they’ve set up a fair and sustainable partnership with the South American quinoa farmers (hence the “Fair Trade” in their name).

Hey, quinoa’s been around for 3000 years—that alone demands some respect! Give it up for one of the oldest tastiest grains around… and get some in front of your family.

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4 thoughts on “Plated + Served: 3,000 Years and Counting (That’s Quinoa!)

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I’m Christina Chavez

I was a TV journalist for many years, but with a house full of kids I decided to come off the road, go to culinary school and follow my passion for cooking. Mama’s High Strung is all about food… everything from creative recipe ideas to some really cool kitchen gadgets and cooking tips. I live in Chicago, but I love to travel and write about my food discoveries! You can reach me by email: