Curried Quinoa Salad
In a world where rice and wheat reign supreme, sometimes you want something more. Maybe you have a food allergy, maybe you have special health needs that your regular diet just isn't meeting, or maybe you just wanting more exciting than the status quo. Regardless of your reasons for upgrading your grain options, you've got an entire rainbow of whole grains to choose from besides rice and wheat.
Take, for example, the humble millet. Often thought of as only bird seed, millet is actually very much edible by humans. Mentioned in the Bible, people have been eating millet for many thousands of years in countries such as China, India, and Africa. What's so great about millet? Well, first of all, it's not acid-forming and is known for being easy to digest, so those who deal with any number of digestive ailments can usually enjoy millet without aggravating their GI. Taste-wise, Millet is mildly sweet with a nutty flavor and contains many beneficial nutrients, such as protein, fiber, B-vitamins, iron, magnesium, potassium, and more.
Another alternative grain you might consider is quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah). Another old-world grain, quinoa has also been cultivated for thousands of years in South America. The Inca revered quinoa as a very important part of their culture, and used it to make breads, cereals, and other dishes. Not technically a grain, quinoa is actually a grass seed, much like buckwheat.
Quinoa has a nutty, hearty flavor that makes it ideal for both savory dishes and sweet breakfast recipes. It is high in protein, calcium, iron, vitamin B, and vitamin E. The protein in quinoa a "complete protein" due to the presence of all eight essential amino acids, something that's not often seen in cereals or grains. Note: Before being eaten, quinoa grains must be rinsed to remove its bitter coating, called saponin. When rinsing quinoa, be sure to keep the water flowing until there are so soap-like suds when you agitate the seeds with your hands. Once the water runs clear, the saponin is gone.