Derived from the Spanish spelling of the Quechua name “kinwa”, or occasionally “Qin-wah”, Quinoa originated in the Andean region of Ecuador, Bolivia, Colombia and Peru before they were colonized and became nation-states, where it was successfully domesticated 3,000 to 4,000 years ago for human consumption, though archeological evidence shows a non-domesticated association with pastoral herding some 5,200 to 7,000 years ago.
Similar species, such as pitseed goosefoot and fat hen, were grown and domesticated in North America as part of the Eastern Agricultural Complex before maize agriculture became popular. Fat hen, which has a widespread distribution in the Northern Hemisphere, produces edible seeds and greens much like quinoa, but in smaller quantities.
The nutrient composition is very good compared with common cereals. Quinoa grains contain essential amino acids like lysine and good quantities of calcium, phosphorus, and iron.
After harvest, the grains need to be processed to remove the coating containing the bitter-tasting saponins. Quinoa grains are in general cooked the same way as rice and can be used in a wide range of dishes. Quinoa leaves are also eaten as a leaf vegetable, much like amaranth, but the commercial availability of quinoa greens is limited. (from Wikipedia)
In our house we are always looking for new things to try. We want our kids to have a wide range of things they will eat, and the best way to do that is to introduce them to as many different tastes as possible. We are also on a very tight budget, so we need to find a way to try new things but keep it inexspensive. The best way we have found to do this is with the bulk section at Winco. I LOVE the bulk section at Winco, it has a little bit of everyting. Quinoa was our most recent “let’s give it a try” from the bulk section. The first recipe my hubby made with it was a little weird texture-wise for me (I was pretty sick at the time, so that could have been a large part of it) , but these Quinoa Veggie Burgers were delicious.
The simple fact that we’re talking veggie burgers is a big deal for me. I don’t do veggie burgers, I love meat. The fact that I made an entirely vegetarian meal (no bacon fat, or chicken stock, or anything meat product at all!) is a really big deal for me, especially since it wasn’t breakfast food. But I found this recipe on Pinterest, it’s originally from the blog Canyoustayfordinner, and we had the Quinoa in the pantry so I figured I’d give it a try. They turned out AWESOME! Next time though I think I may bump up the spice with a bit of cayenne. Now on to the recipe.
Quinoa Veggie Burgers
1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
1 carrot, diced
4 scallions, sliced
2 cloves garlic
15 ounces can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup Italian seasoned dried breadcrumbs
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 tbs ground cumin
¾ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
Cayenne to taste