Quinoa. I want to love it. It's good for you. It seems so exotic. It's on the upswing in the food world for its nutritional value and because it's a nice alternative to other side-dishes. But the truth is...I don't love it.
It's like that boyfriend you had in high school who you were really into, but who let you down. Alot. Even with other perfectly good guys around, you always thought that guy was the one for you. The one who on paper seemed like a great guy; handsome and funny, with a hint of mystery. But then he left you waiting for a phone call one Friday night too many, and you finally said "no more."
After the somewhat disappointing results I got after my first foray into the world of quinoa (see my post, "You Gotta Believe"), I promised myself that I would give quinoa another try. I figured, maybe it was my fault it didn't turn out right the last time. I believe in second chances. So yesterday I gave quinoa another shot at getting into my good graces. I bought a box of Inca Red quinoa and prepared it using a recipe from the Food Network's Robin Miller. She cooked the quinoa, then mixed in some roasted red peppers, roasted garlic, basil, salt and pepper. Sounds good, right? Heck I even saw her make it on her tv show; it looked great. Why couldn't I have that?, I asked myself.
I cooked the quinoa per the package instructions, and roasted some garlic as it cooked. I prepped the basil, the red peppers, and gathered up my salt and pepper. Once the quinoa and garlic were ready, I combined all the ingredients, served myself a bit, and sat down to give it a try. The results?
Meh. Not what I thought it would be. I was let down--again. It tasted flat to me, even with all the tasty things I put into it. And the quinoa itself had kind of an odd aftertaste. Don't get me wrong, there were several things about this attempt that were better than the last. For one, I now know that I prefer the flavor of Inca Red over the plain white quinoa. Also, the texture was much improved over the last go-around. But I'm left wondering if I should give it another try. My husband, ever the optimist, said I should press on and maybe do some research on how the indigenous cultures of South America prepared it and try it their way. I'm not sure. Remember the whole "Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me" thing? Maybe it's time for me to just let the quinoa go and stick with rice, the grain that reliable, delicious, and has always been good to me.