Ingredient of the Month // Quinoa

It’s Independence Day this month, and no, I’m not talking about the 4th. The 28th July is Peru’s Independence Day, or Fiestas Patrias, as it is known here.

This celebration of Peru has inspired me to show appreciation for one of the things that this country does exceptionally well.

The food.

I am going to choose a specific Peruvian ingredient, or group, every month and make a number of dishes based around it. This will be mostly traditional dishes, to showcase what Peru can do, but occasionally something a little different might jump in there!

I have picked an indigenous and extremely traditional ingredient for my first month, and a staple of the Peruvian diet, especially in the Andes where it originated.

Quinoa.

At first look, this may seem like a boring ingredient, but boy would you be wrong. This baby is super versatile. From soups and salads to sushi or dessert. It can be either fluffy or crispy, and cooked as a side or as the main star. You can do a lot with these seeds. The Incas saw it as a sacred food and we now see it as a superfood.

Quinoa is a complete protein, containing all eight of the essential amino acids. It’s packed with dietary fibre, phosphorus, magnesium and iron, is gluten-free and easy to digest. (BBC Good Food)

This little seed has a big reputation and a long history here, therefore an ideal choice to start exploring Peru’s culinary superstars.

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And to finish.....

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