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Cooked Herbed Quinoa

Cooked Herbed Quinoa

Here is a simple, “back-to-basics” recipe.  Herbed quinoa is one of my staple items that I always have in my extra freezer.

I eat this about once a week.  I like eating it cold in a salad, soaked in a tangy dressing of fresh squeezed lemon juice and Villa Cappelli olive oil.  So refreshing!

Note:  I cook up a double batch every time I cook quinoa.  I use 1 medium saucepan for each batch, but you could probably just double the recipe using a large saucepan.


Rinse your measured quinoa in a fine mesh strainer.  Use 1 cup for a single batch and 2 cups for a double batch.

Quinoa is technically a seed, but cooks up like a grain.  It's often called a "pseudo-grain."

Quinoa is technically a seed, but it cooks up like a grain. It’s called a “pseudo-grain.”

Two sizes of fine mesh strainers

Two sizes of fine mesh strainers


For every cup of quinoa seed, add 2 cups of water to your saucepan(s).  Set the stove to medium heat while you get out your herbs…


Unload your spice rack!  Sprinkle anything and everything into the water:

Veggie broth powder (I like Vegebase)
Dried onion flakes
Garlic powder
Celery salt/sea salt
Black pepper/lemon pepper
Smoked paprika
Turmeric (makes it a pretty yellow)
Nutritional yeast

Herbed quinoa simmering

Herbed quinoa simmering


Simmer (covered) on medium-low heat for 20 minutes.  Turn off the heat and let sit for a few minutes to evaporate any excess moisture.

Double batch of Herbed Quinoa

Double batch of Herbed Quinoa


Portion in 1/2 cup glass freezer jam jars.  Makes about 6 1/2 servings for a single batch and 13 servings for a double batch.  Freeze.

Herbed Quinoa portioned in 1/2 cup jars.

Herbed Quinoa portioned in 1/2 cup jars.

(NSNG = No Sugar No Grains)


Interesting facts about QUINOA:
(all were taken directly from Wikipedia)

  • As a chenopod, quinoa is closely related to species such as beetroots, spinach, and tumbleweeds.
  • The name is derived from the Spanish spelling of the Quechua name kinwa or occasionally “Qin-wah.”
  • It originated in the Andean region of Ecuador, Bolivia, Colombia, and Peru.
  • It was domesticated 3,000 to 4,000 years ago, though archeological evidence shows a non-domesticated association with pastoral herding 5,200 to 7,000 years ago.
  • The Incas, who held the crop to be sacred, referred to quinoa as chisaya mama or “mother of all grains”, and it was the Inca emperor who would traditionally sow the first seeds of the season using “golden implements”.
  • Protein content is very high for a pseudo-cereal (14% by mass), yet not as high as most beans and legumes. Quinoa’s protein content per 100 calories is higher than brown rice, potatoes, barley and millet, but is less than wild rice and oats.
  • Nutritional evaluations of quinoa indicate that it is a source of complete protein.  Furthermore, it is a good source of dietary fiber and phosphorus and is high in magnesium and iron.  Quinoa is also a source of calcium.
  • Quinoa is gluten-free and considered easy to digest. Because of all these characteristics, quinoa is being considered a possible crop in NASA’s Controlled Ecological Life Support System for long-duration human occupied spaceflights.
  • Quinoa may be germinated in its raw form to boost its nutritional value.  Germination activates its natural enzymes and multiplies its vitamin content.  In fact, quinoa has a notably short germination period:  Only 2–4 hours resting in a glass of clean water is enough to make it sprout.  This process, besides its nutritional enhancements, softens the seeds, making them suitable to be added to salads and other cold foods.
  • Quinoa leaves are also eaten as a leaf vegetable, but the commercial availability of quinoa greens is limited.  High levels of oxalic acid in the leaves and stems are found in all species of the Chenopodium genus.
  • Due to quinoa’s natural coating of bitter-tasting saponins, the plant is unpopular with birds and therefore requires minimal protection during cultivation.  After harvest, the seeds are typically processed to remove this coating.
  • The toxicity category rating of quinoa saponins treats them as mild eye and respiratory irritants and as a low gastrointestinal irritant.  The saponin is a toxic glycoside, a main contributor to its hemolytic effects when combined directly with blood cells.  The risks associated with quinoa are minimal, provided it is properly prepared and leaves are not eaten to excess.
  • In South America, quinoa saponin has many uses outside of consumption, which includes detergent for clothing and washing, and as an antiseptic for skin injuries.
  • Quinoa is grown from coastal regions (Chile) to over 4,000 m (13,120 ft) in the Andes near the equator.  Most of the cultivars are grown between 2,500 m and 4,000 m.
  • Depending on the variety, quinoa’s optimal growing conditions are in cool climates with temperatures that range from 25°F/−3°C during the night, to near 95°F/35°C during the day.  Rainfall conditions are highly variable between the different cultivars, ranging from 300 to 1,000 mm during growing season.
  • Quinoa does best in sandy, well-drained soils with a low nutrient content, moderate salinity, and a soil pH of 6 to 8.5.
  • Quinoa is usually harvested by hand and rarely by machine, because the extremely variable maturity periods of native quinoas complicates mechanization. Harvest needs to be precisely timed to avoid high seed losses from shattering, and different panicles on the same plant mature at different times. Handling involves threshing the seedheads and winnowing the seed to remove the husk. Before storage, the seeds need to be dried in order to avoid germination.
  • Quinoa has become increasingly popular in the United States, Europe, China and Japan where the crop is not typically grown, increasing crop value.  Between 2006 and early 2013 quinoa crop prices have tripled.
  • The popularity of quinoa in non-indigenous regions has raised concerns over food security.  Due to continued widespread poverty in regions where quinoa is produced, and because few other crops are compatible with the soil and climate in these regions, it is suggested that the inflated price of quinoa disrupts local access to food supplies.  However, anthropologist Pablo Laguna has noted that farmers tend to save quinoa for personal consumption, and consumption of the grain in nearby cities has been traditionally lower. According to Laguna, the net benefit of increased revenue for farmers outweighs the costs, saying that it is “very good news for small, indigenous farmers”.
  • The United Nations General Assembly declared 2013 as the “International Year of Quinoa” in recognition of ancestral practices of the Andean people, who have preserved quinoa as food for present and future generations, through knowledge and practices of living in harmony with nature. The objective is to draw the world’s attention on the role that quinoa plays in providing food security, nutrition and poverty eradication, in support of achieving Millennium Development Goals.
Quinoa, uncooked
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 1,539 kJ (368 kcal)
Carbohydrates 64 g
– Starch
52 g
– Dietary Fiber
7 g
Fat 6 g
– polyunsaturated 
3.3 g
Protein 14 g
– Tryptophan 0.167 g
– Threonine 0.421 g
– Isoleucine 0.504 g
– Leucine 0.840 g
– Lysine 0.766 g
– Methionine 0.309 g
– Cystine 0.203 g
– Phenylalanine 0.593 g
– Tyrosine 0.267 g
– Valine 0.594 g
– Arginine 1.091 g
– Histidine 0.407 g
– Alanine
0.588 g
– Aspartic acid 1.134 g
– Glutamic acid 1.865 g
– Glycine 0.694 g
– Proline 0.773 g
– Serine 0.567 g
Water 13 g
Thiamine (Vit B1) 0.36 mg (31%)
Riboflavin (Vit B2)
0.32 mg (27%)
Vitamin B6
0.5 mg (38%)
Folate (Vit B9) 184 μg (46%)
Calcium 36 mg (4%)
Iron 4.6 mg (35%)
Magnesium 197 mg (55%)
Phosphorus 457 mg (65%)
Potassium 563 mg (12%)
Zinc 3.1 mg (33%)
Percentages are roughly approximated
from US recommendations for adults.
Source:  USDA Nutrient Database

Tatonka in his standing frame – July 31, 2013

Tatonka - July 31, 2013

I was afraid this day would come, and it has.  Tatonka was tenderly laid to rest today, Friday, August 2nd.

When I visited Tatonka on July 19th, it was actually with a mixture of joy and dread.  On that day, it had become abundantly clear to me that Tatonka’s legs were never going to become supportive of his body.

When released from his “standing frame,” Tatonka could really do nothing but lie prone in the grass, all four limbs outstretched.  Well, okay…he could scoot himself a tiny bit with a great deal of effort, in search of the best greens.  (I think he liked the clover!)  I’m happy that he did seem perfectly content to simply munch and munch.

Along with eating grass under the shade of trees, Tatonka’s true joy in his short life was being snuggled in loving human arms.  There was certainly no shortage of people offering affection.  He was loved by many.

On the morning of July 30th, I woke up to discover an e-mail from Ellen, at New Moon Farm Goat Rescue & Sanctuary.  My heart sunk because I knew what it was going to say before I finished reading the subject line.

(At the bottom of this page, you can read what Ellen posted about Tatonka on the New Moon Farm Goat Rescue & Sanctuary Facebook page).  The content is similar to the e-mail I received.

I needed to say goodbye before Friday.

About 1 PM on Wednesday July 31st, I had my last visit with Tatonka.  I heard him cry as I approached, and he was happily chewing grass.

Toby the dog and Viggo the barn cat came over to me as well.  It’s kind of like they knew.

Toby and Viggo

Toby and Viggo

I unhooked Tatonka from his sling for a bit and he seemed excited to eat a different patch of grass.  He was going to take every opportunity that he was given to search for the best fodder, and he seemed “on a mission”!  It actually made me laugh– I didn’t want to get in the way of his meal!

Tatonka on a mission!

Tatonka on a mission!

I picked him up, and supported him under his belly for a bit.  Maybe I wanted to confirm one last time that his legs were, in fact, useless.


And so, it’s goodbye.

Tatonka - July 31, 2013

Tatonka - July 31, 2013

Tatonka - July 31, 2013

Goodbye Tatonka

Goodbye Tatonka

Yesterday I realized that I also said goodbye to a friend last year at this time.

This is the 2nd time that my vegan anniversary (August 1st) has become a bittersweet occasion.

On my 4th vegan anniversary, I said goodbye to Bubba.

On my 5th, I say goodbye to Tatonka.

If you read the post from last year, you’ll know how I am feeling once again, now.  If I hadn’t gone vegan, I wouldn’t have known Bubba.  If I hadn’t gone vegan, I wouldn’t have been touched by Tatonka.

As I write this, I’m here with my niece.  She’s nine.  I told her about my last visit with Tatonka, and I showed her all of my pictures of him.  She asked lots of questions, and I gave honest answers.

My niece never met Tatonka, but she, too, has been touched by him.  She asked me to mail her a picture of him.  She asked for some paper so that she could memorialize him in her own special way.  Here is her drawing.  She drew him at 2 weeks old…

Drawing of Tatonka, by my niece (age 9)

Drawing of Tatonka, by my niece (age 9)

The following quote is from the New Moon Farm Goat Rescue & Sanctuary Facebook page:

August 1, 2013-

“Posting with a broken heart. Tonight will be the last night that sweet Tatonka sleeps beside my bed. As hard as it is, I have decided (with the help and full support of my veterinarian and volunteer crew) that it is time to let go. To let Tonka’s perfect spirit leave his damaged body, so that he can try again in a body that is whole.

When this little goat came into my life on May 17th, he was just two days old. Born with severe leg deformities, he needed special care that his breeder was not willing to provide. For the past 11 weeks, he has been the center of my world. He has received the best possible care – traditional and alternative therapies, corrective surgeries, pharmaceutical and natural remedies. We have consulted with many vets, from our own Dr. Roger and Dr. Hannah, to doctors at Cornell University and WSU. We have talked with many experienced goat breeders and people who have worked with dogs and horses with similar problems. Tonka has surely been given every chance. He has also been completely surrounded by love and healing energy, from those who saw him daily, and from those who only know him through this page. This little goat never knew anything but love.

The problem is, he has stopped trying. He is very content to be held in a lap, to lie on his belly and scoot around to eat, to nap in the sunshine. He no longer makes an effort to stand, no longer tries to walk forward towards his favorite people or treats, no longer kicks to swim in the pool. Though content, he is not making any progress towards being able to walk without help. His quality of life is just not improving. He has developed pressure sores on his chest and belly, and the scoliosis in his spine has gotten more pronounced. As he gains weight, he will begin to feel pain in his damaged bones and joints. I can’t let that happen.

And so tomorrow, Tonka will cross the bridge of light to join Bin Bin and all of the other goats who have touched our lives and passed on. I will miss him more than I can say. I know that we did the right thing in trying to help him live a good life. I know that he has known only happiness and love in his short time here. And I know that he will return to us, in a perfect little goat body that will be able to run and play and leap through the air like a little goat should.

To all who sent love, healing energy, donations for medical expenses and kind words as we worked to help this goat, thank you, from the bottom of my heart.”


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"There are those who are appalled because I am so vocal about injustice, yet I am equally appalled by their silence." Lujene Clark

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