Introducing my best friend, Quinoa.

I’m getting increasingly mad at my vegetarian and vegan friends, because I made ANOTHER discover that they never told me about.

Quinoa.

I have discovered quinoa, and am forever changed.

I type before you as a different woman than who I ever was before I met that round, crunch grain.

I did some research, and wouldn’t you know, Weight Watchers describes quinoa as a “Most Valuable Ingredient.” This pleased me. I discovered that one cup of quinoa is 5PP, which is a lot (to me, with only 29 PP a day), but if paired with low-point ingredients may well make things worthwhile. I further investigated, and word on the street is that quinoa is filling, tasty, and can be paired with, like, anything. My life flashed before my eyes.

Quinoa instead of barley in soup.

Quinoa in oatmeal.

Quinoa and fruit.

Quinoa and vegetables.

Quinoa in smoothies?

Quinoa by itself.

Quinoa with chicken broth.

Quinoa with beef broth.

Quinoa with NUTRITIONAL YEAST (a match made in heaven).

Quinoa forever, always and all ways.

There are so many possibilities and I, apparently a latent Pokemon believer, feel like I’ve “gotta catch ’em all.” I’ve made the grain twice so far — both times totally winging it, recipe-wise.

Attempt One:

1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 cups chicken broth
A bunch of parsley, salt and pepper
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 can of spinach, drained
1 can of artichoke hearts, drained

Makes two bowlfuls.
Each bowlful: 13 PP

(Kind of a lot, but if it’s dinner, then it’s a full dinner.)

Attempt Two:

1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 cups beef broth
3 teaspoons garlic
1 tablespoon oregano
1/4 cup nutritional yeast (yeaaaaah baby, Austin Powers-style)
1 can of spinach, drained
1 can of low-sodium tomatoes and okra

Makes two bowlfuls.
Each bowlful: 10PP.

(Not bad, PPwise)

Obviously, I just kinda wing it with the spices. I put in whatever “smells right” to me, and so far, I’ve not been led astray. I can tell you though in all honesty that both dishes were tasty, filling, full of protein and iron and nutrients, and very satisfying. There’s definitely a powerful spinach taste, when one uses the full can of spinach, but I don’t mind and neither did Chelsea.

I’m particularly interested in quinoa and in making dishes with it where all the ingredients are nonperishables. Yes, Chelsea and I eat incredibly clean most of the time and usually opt for fresh produce, but there is A LOT to be said for knowing how to quickly prepare a satisfying, healthy, and nutritious meal using things that can exist in the cupboards whether or not I get to the grocery store that week, whether or not I have time to chop and prepare, whether or not there’s room in the fridge for the veggies. You know? That’s not nothing.

And so, friends, I have come to deeply love quinoa. It’s delicious, gives me a lot of bang for my buck, can serve as a rice or barley substitute, and is easy to cook.

Welcome to my life, dear sweet little crunchyful grain.

PS: Check out this HILARIOUS blog, whose namesake is the topic of this blog post.

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