Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Quinoa and beans

A reader recently told me that she likes it when I say "this is how it should be," and to that I say, this is how it is. This is how it is all over the world. All over the 3rd world, excuse me, all over the developing world this is how the people eat. This is quinoa and beans, a grain and a legume, cheap and nutritious. If you're lucky, there may be an egg or some dairy, maybe even some nice goat meat. In Cameroon they eat beignets (savory donuts) and beans. In Italy you might get some pasta e fagioli. On the subcontinent, I imagine whole basmati rice and perhaps some lentils, in England, dear dear England, beans on toast (the sleaziest grain and legume combo of all). What is a bean taco in a corn tortilla? Uh huh, that's right, a grain and a bean. The list goes on and on. This is how it is, and some would say that this is how it should be.

Quinoa is easy to prepare. Hailing from the Andes and an important foodstuff for more than 6,000 years, quiona is sometimes referred to as the mother grain, though technically, it is not like the other major grains because it is not a member of the grass family. In any case, if you can prepare rice, you can prepare quinoa. However, there is one caveat: you should thoroughly rinse your quinoa before cooking it because there is some chemical on the seed coat that is very bitter.

I prepared this simple quinoa dish by rinsing my quinoa, putting it into a pot, one part quinoa, two parts water, bringing it to a boil, reducing it to a simmer, and then simmering it with the lid on for approximately twenty minutes, but hey Einstein, you just cook it until it's done. So, meanwhile I had some corn getting somewhat blackened in a hot and oily pan with some spices. Toss it all together with some cilantro and lime juice, and as always, salt and pepper, then dump some beans on it, and booya! you've got yourself a first-class, third world lunch. That is, a meal fit for graduate students who would rather blow their dough on pool and pabst blue ribbon. Beer, by the way, used to be a source of nutrition, but it's become so purified over the last 8,000 years, it's now just a wonderful way to make a Friday night that much more interesting. Peace, belly rumblers. Check your buckets!

1 comment:

Ernest said...

We're heading for the market to buy some quinoa . sounds good - we are great bean lovers , so we want to try the quinoa and red beans. Thanks for the advice !