Thread: Quinoa
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Old 20-12-2003, 01:55 AM
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Default Quinoa

owza (Jarkat2002) wrote in message ...
I have found a recipe for Peruvian Chicken Ragout that calls for Quinoa. I
have never heard of this grain before (I had to google it) and don't have it in
my pantry (yet). I'm not even sure it's considered a grain, some sites say
yes, some say no.
The recipe calls for 1/2 cup ... can I substitute barley instead? Or rice?
Would it still be 1/2 cup and would I cook it before adding it to the soup?
The recipe does not call for the quinoa to be precooked.


Some things to consider:

1. Quinoa has a very distinctive taste and very strong taste for a
grain. You can substitute all you want, but it will taste different.
Not bad or good, but different. The taste of quinoa can actually
overpower other tastes. If I was to guess what to substitute, it
would be wild rice. Maybe brown rice. (See #2 below.)

2. Quinoa cooks fairly quickly and barley cooks slowly. Keep this in
mind when trying to substitute an uncooked grain.

3. I don't believe Quinoa expands as much as barley or even rice when
cooked. This is hard to estimate because quinoa is a very small,
round seed. So even if it expanded 100%, it would be hard to see.
(The grain to water ratio is the standard 2:1, so it has to expand
when it soaks up the water.)

If you really want to follow the original recipe, I'd try to locate
quinoa at health food type stores or on line.

Hope this helps,