What the heck is quinoa? It’s pronounced “keen-wah” and is a grain that nutty and full of protein! It contains all of the amino acids, making it a complete protein, so it is excellent for vegetarians. Quinoa is also gluten-free, so those who are not able to digest products with gluten may enjoy quinoa as well. If you’ve never eaten quinoa, it’s similar to couscous or brown rice and is slightly crunchy in texture. Pictured below is a red quinoa dish that I made:
For this dish, I did not have a recipe, but made it up as I went along. I cooked 1 cup of quinoa with the recommended amount of water, as well as 1/2 teaspoon of salt (I try not to use a lot of salt in my cooking) and 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika. I love the taste of smoked paprika and think it makes a great addition to many foods. While the quinoa was cooking, I sautéed 1 diced green pepper, 1 diced onion, and 1 package of mushrooms in 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil, 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika and 1/4 teaspoon of chipotle pepper powder.
After the vegetables were tender, I added some chardonnay (because I had some in the fridge) and allowed it evaporate a little bit. When the quinoa was cooked, I added it to the vegetables, mixed, added some smoked paprika on top, and it was ready to serve. It was pretty tasty for a quick meal, but probably could have used a little more chipotle pepper powder. I added some extra chipotle powder as well as some more smoked paprika on top of the dish pictured below:
A nice German Riesling: Pfalz, 2007 Burrweiler Altenforst. I’m not going to try to pronounce the name as I have no knowledge of the German language; however, I’ve been told that halbtrocken translates to half-dry or semi-dry. This wine is bright, crisp, and wonderful. It starts out slightly sweet and fruity and finishes with a nice citrus quality that makes your mouth water for more. I’m going to give this one 4.25 grapes, but I will say that I’m biased to this one as I’ve enjoyed it a couple of times before.