Grab your War Balls

Quinoa is one of the most versatile foods around. It is simple and easy, good for you, goes along with just about everything and is very satisfying. (Frankly, I would like a man like that.) You can have it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. You can use it in soups, casseroles, salads, in place of rice, in tacos and burritos, stuffed in vegtables, in your crab cakes, in veggie wraps, in puddings (think rice pudding), in baking and what ever else you can think of. Someone will probably even find a way to make compostable, eco-friendly toilet paper out of Quinoa to wipe your ass with.

Quinoa is, along with the sweet potato, also from South America. The Incas valued it as much as gold and, like the legend of Prometheus and fire, it was said to be stolen from heaven. Here is a  little mythology and history of it from

“The legend goes that a fox went to heaven and stole the Quinoa from the Gods. Upon returning, the sacred bird named “Kullku”, wanted to take it away from him and give it to the people. In due course of a fight all the Quinoa was scattered over the earth. The Gods were not mad and left it then for their children. The Incas called Quinoa the “mother grain” and revered it as sacred. Each year at planting time it was traditional for the Inca emperor to plant the first Quinoa seeds using a solid gold shovel called “taquiza”!

Quinoa was used to sustain Incan armies, which marched for many days eating a mixture of Quinoa and fat, known as “war balls.” Beginning with the Spanish conquest in the 1500s, there was a 400-year decline in the production of Quinoa. It was actively suppressed, due to its status within indigenous non-Christian ceremonies. In fact, the conquistadors forbade Quinoa cultivation for a time and the Incas were forced to grow wheat instead.”
Unlike other grains, it is not a member of the grass family. It is more closely related to beets, spinach and tumbleweeds. It is not only fun to say, it looks quite beautiful and comes in pretty colors. It is high in protein, fiber, magnesium, iron, essential amino acids and low in carbohydrates.  Here are some more nutritional facts about Quinoa:

Scott’s Quinoa Tabouli look-alike

1/2 Quinoa


Veggie Bullion

1 Tomato


Shitaki Mushrooms

Chili Lime Cashews

This really isn’t Tabouli, it just looks like it. There is a recipe for cooking basic Quinoa on the Love and Chili-Lime Cashew Eggplant Stirfry post. Just substitute Ginger for the Jalapenos. For this I used Incan Gold Quinoa. Put your Quinoa on the stove and in the mean time start sauteing your Mushrooms in a little butter. When your quinoa is done and has cooled just a bit, add Mushrooms, chopped Tomatoes, chopped Basil and Chili Lime Cashews.  I drizzled mine with a little Olive Oil before adding the cashews.

This is a really hearty meal all by itself. It is filling without being heavy. I taste-tested this recipe on my tenant and he gave it the thumbs up. So, grab your war balls and give it a try.

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