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Sunday, May 18, 2014

quinoa, wtf?

Before we get started, I have to tell you a story. I may have told this story before or I may have thought about telling this story on here before. I don't remember. If you have read it in the past, mea culpa. Just do what my real-life friends do when I repeat one of my, uh, scintillating anecdotes: let your eyes glaze over, nod a bit, and mentally write out your grocery list. Or something.

Okay!  When I was a teenager, I had this mental block.  I knew there was a word pronounced "or derves" and I knew it meant appetizers. I also knew there was a word "hor d'oeuvres" one saw in the newspaper and cookbooks and such and that it meant appetizers. I was, however, mentally incapable of putting those two facts together and remembering how to pronounce hor d'oeuvres when I saw it in print. So I would say "whores dee overs", knowing it was wrong, but totally flummoxed on what was right.  (OBVIOUSLY I DIDN'T TAKE FRENCH IN HIGH SCHOOL, OKAY?) My mother thought this was hilarious and it became a family in-joke. For years and years after I finally figured out "or derves" and hor d'oeuvres were the same word, we continued to call them whores dee overs. As in, "hey, what kind of whores dee overs do you think we should make for Thanksgiving?"

Maybe you had to be there. Ahem.

Anyway, the reason I bring this up is that even though I *know* quinoa is pronounced KEEN-wah, every time I read the word, I pronounce it quin-NO-uh in my head. Then I chuckle to myself, because I am under the delusion that I'm funny.  In fact, sometimes I actually purposely call it quin-NO-uh in conversations with my friends. They don't laugh or think that's wicked amusing, because obviously none of them are as as weird as my family of origin was. Obviously and sadly. God.

So, KEEN-wah.  This one of those foods that all the healthy fucking fit people eat and I can't figure out why exactly. I mean, much like Ezekiel bread, I can't figure out why it's supposed to be *so* good for you. Everyone's all "high protein grain" blah blah when, according to the package label, a 160 calorie serving has 6g of protein. Well, a 150 calorie serving of my oatmeal has 5g of protein and nobody's telling me that's a high protein miracle grain. I don't get it.  The Quinoa Council's PR person deserves a raise. All I'm sayin'.

Nevertheless, when I was at Trader Joe's last night after work, I finally broke down and bought some.  I figured that as a Fitness Person, I better give in and try this shit before I was exposed as some kind of fraud. I've already publicly admitted I don't eat kale. I'm on shaky ground as it is.  If it weren't for my passionate relationship with Greek yogurt (plus that loaf of Ezekiel bread hidden in my freezer), my blogging privileges would have already been revoked.

Next...what the hell do I do with it?

Had a brilliant flash of inspiration. Since I already had ground turkey and red bell peppers in my refrigerator waiting for me to turn them into stuffed peppers, I would make quinoa stuffed peppers.  I didn't actually have a recipe for stuffed peppers in mind, so if I was gonna wing it, why not wing it with a totally new, unfamiliar, untested ingredient? Go big or go home.

Here are the results:

I know my food styling and food photography skillz could be improved upon, but trust me when I say they are delicious. And healthy! Each one is approximately 401 calories, 35.3g protein, 35.9g carbs, and 14.2g fat. Basically, all they are is quinoa cooked with chicken broth mixed into browned ground turkey seasoned with Montreal steak seasoning stuffed into a pepper and baked for half an hour, then topped with a little shredded cheddar till it melts. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

You could save 55 calories by omitting the cheese, BUT WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT?  

Quinoa, I might just be a believer.

Kale, I'm coming for you.

(No, I'm not.)



  1. That sounds like it would improve quinoa no end. As a cereal, it ranks way below oatmeal in tastiness. (My mother with the Thousand Food Allergies used to eat it a lot, so I've tasted it and been unimpressed.) However, I prefer my peppers diced and mixed into the meat/whatever.
    Mary Anne in Kentucky

    1. I think cooking it with chicken broth was probably the genius move. But then I started thinking, I bet if you cooked it with *milk*, it might make a tasty cereal. (Unless your mom already did that and it still was unimpressive, in which case I take it back.)

    2. I don't think she ever did (it would have been goat's milk, though) but she liked it the way she did cook it.

      Mary Anne in Kentucky

  2. Made me laugh out loud with your whores de overs - in our family, we went one ridiculous step further and pronounced them whores de ovaries. Yes, we are twisted as well. Glad you found a way to enjoy the Keen-o-ah. In my book, just about anything mixed with meat and stuffed in a pepper is an automatic win!

    1. I'm pretty sure reading that your family did this too made my day. Week. Possibly month. :-)

  3. I actually like the stuff and still mentally pronounce it the way it's spelled, though I've trained my mouth to say it the "right" way. But who the f--ck decided to spell it that way, it MAKES NO SENSE!!! It deserves to be mispronounced is all I'm saying.

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