Wednesday, January 5, 2011

There's a reason US Weekly is not known for their recipes

So, one of the things I'm attempting to do this fine 2011 is eat a little healthier and take a little step out of my comfort zone and try new things to eat*, HEALTHIER things.  I even tried beets!  How did I like them?  Um, let's just say that box is checked.  They were so Not Delicious.  Unless you like the taste of dirt.  Which I don't.  Not even when I was a kid.

Another food I have wanted to try is quinoa although I really want to know how they got "Keen Wah" out of "Kwin Oh Uh" but anyway, I've heard really good things about keen wah Quinoa and how it's supposed to be one of nature's most perfect foods and that lady on that show on the BBC, "You Are What You Eat" is always touting it and have you ever watched that show?  Oh. My. God.  Some grossly overweight person is nominated by their family/friends or they nominate themselves and they have to keep a food diary of everything they eat for one week and then the week's worth of food is put on a table for the person to see it all in its glory and I thought *I* had an unhealthy diet but the crap these people eat makes me look almost vegan as long as you don't count my Bacon & Egg Quesadilla from Del Taco (and I don't).  I love that show.

ANYWAY.  I bought a box of quinoa at Trader Joe's and it's been sitting in my pantry and I've been putting  off making it until I saw a recipe for quinoa in the latest issue of US Weekly magazine and it looked good so I thought I'd give it a try.

My first mistake was trying a recipe found in a celebrity gossip rag that is more known for, well, NOT cooking and recipes.

My second mistake was following the directions in the magazine instead of on the box of the quinoa.

The directions in the magazine said to take a cup, yes, one CUP of quinoa and cook it with 1/4 cup of skim milk, add in some chopped nuts and it's an even healthier alternative to oatmeal.

So what's wrong with this picture, you ask.  Well.  Had I read the directions on the actual box of quinoa instead of US Weekly's directions, I would have seen where it says to cook the quinoa using 1 part quinoa and 2 parts liquid.  And the reason for the 2:1 ratio is because quinoa is like a sponge and will just suck up that liquid and the stuff just expands and seems to triple in volume.  So when I poured in the 1/4 cup of milk into the full cup of quinoa, that milk disappeared faster than I could say, "Huh?"  And the cooking directions on the box said to bring it to a boil and then simmer for about 15 minutes until all liquid has been absorbed.

So I'm looking at the pan of quinoa and there is NO liquid to boil until it's absorbed so I pour in a little more milk which also disappears in the blink of an eye and I stir and cook and after about 5 minutes I think ok, it should be done because all the liquid has been absorbed so I scrape the now 7 cups of semi-cooked quinoa into a bowl and attempt to eat it.

I tried, really, I tried.  But have you ever tried to eat semi-cooked quinoa?  It's like eating wet sand.  My teeth hurt.  That was about the time I took a gander at the box to see how it's supposed to be cooked and saw the 2 parts liquid to 1 part quinoa thing.

Which explained SO MUCH.

But now that I know how to cook it properly (I think), I will definitely be eating Keen Wah on a regular basis.  And feel I'm But I think 1/2 cup of the stuff will be more than enough, seeing as it triples in volume.  Seriously, I have never seen a food expand THAT MUCH.

And from now on, maybe I'll be a little more skeptical when it comes to culinary advise from a celebrity gossip magazine.

Maybe the "healthy" fried chicken recipe I got from People Magazine comes out better.

*Still not gonna try tomatoes, though.  Not gonna happen.


  1. I love that show too! Jillian McKieff (or however you spell her name) scares the crap out of me because she's so determined to get these people healthy, but I love it.

    Good Luck with your healthy eating!

  2. I love that show so much! One day I was at my favorite little used book store and found the book! Yes! score for me.

    Quinoa is Spanish. That should help with the pronouncing it situation. : )

  3. Thank you so much for your kind words on my post about my sweet Jackson! Aren't Labs just the best? Oh, and I love, love quinoa. And beets and tomatoes too!