Quinoa (pronounced KeenWah) has been enjoying a rebirth from its origin as a sacred grain to the early Incas, thanks to its high protein and calcium content and sweet and nutty flavor. Most quinoa is white in color before you cook it and then becomes almost semi-transparent with a little "tag" (which is actually the germ) curled up against the grain. Red, yellow, and black quinoa can also be found in specialty grocers.
It is likely that you will want to store quinoa in an airtight container and keep it refrigerated, because of its higher fat content. You will want to rinse Quinoa out very well in a fine meshed sieve or cheese cloth or rinse it at least three times in a bowl because it comes with a coating of a natural substance called saponin that can taste quite bitter if not removed by rinsing.
Quinoa cooks more quickly than most other whole grains and is ready to eat in roughly fifteen to twenty minutes. Quinoa prepared on its own makes a great side dish or it can be cooked with a little olive oil or butter and onion to make a pilaf. It's also great in salads or as dressed up as a warm breakfast cereal. We like to add them to veggie wraps to boost the protein intake from a low fat source of whole grains.