Quinoa comes from the Quechua word for Kinwa, (Mother of all grains) believed to be their most powerful food regarded as more valuable than gold and containing spiritually enhancing properties.  It is used a lot like rice, but is more closely related to species such as beets, spinach and tumbleweeds.

It’s ridiculously healthy, and is very high in all the good stuff, like amino acids, calcium, phosphorus and iron and has more protein content than a slab of steak.

Its light fluffy and a little like a larger nuttier version of cous cous but is gluten-free.  And according to my latest book acquisition “Quinoa The  everyday super-food”  there are over 365 ways to use it..

Here is one of my favourite recipes:

Salmon and Red Quinoa on Asparagus with Lime Coriander Sauce

1/2 cup red quinoa

1 cup water

½ cup light sour cream

3 Tbsp light mayo

1tsp grated lime zest

2 Tbsp fresh lime juice

1 tsp grated fresh ginger

1 Tbsp minced fresh Coriander

pinch salt

100g fresh wild salmon fillet

500g asparagus

1 Tbsp butter

Bring the quinoa and water to a boil in a small saucepan. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 10 minutes. Turn the heat off but keep the covered saucepan on the burner for an additional 6 minutes. Remove the lid and fluff with a fork. Set aside.

Combine the sour cream, mayonnaise, lime zest and 1 tbsp of the lime juice, ginger, coriander and salt in a small bowl. Mixing well. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 190° C. Place the fillets on a foil-lined baking sheet and brush with oil. Place in the oven and bake uncovered on the center rack for about 11 – 14 minutes ( the salmon will be pink and flake easily with a fork).

While the salmon is cooking, prepare the asparagus. Trim off the tough portion of each spear by grasping it and bending it near the bottom third. The asparagus will snap where it begins to get tough. Place the asparagus in a large pot of boiling water and cook for about 3 to 5 minutes, until tender but crisp. Toss the asparagus in the butter and the remaining 1 tbsp of lime juice. Season with additional salt to taste.

Arrange the asparagus on the individual serving plates. Place a portion of the quinoa over the asparagus and top with a piece of salmon. Drizzle the lime dressing over the salmon and serve immediately.

Serves 4

Gluten Free

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