Quinoa–the sequel

Well, dear readers, once again, life gets the better of me, and I don’t quite get around to writing on this blog the way I’d like to. But here I am, and I’m looking for new topics regularly.

I’m back on the dieting thing, and have lost about 7 pounds so far. Ignoring sandwiches and a weird looking chocolate cake at the office this week helped. Well, it was not only chocolate cake, but had white icing and filling, as well as either mocha or milk chocolate filling in the center, too. Weird, and when it was cut open, the first words I thought of were “hot mess.” If you’ve ever seen a woman with way too much eye makeup on, you get the idea of what this cake looked like, despite its designer exterior. I didn’t even bother to take a picture. It was really easy to pass up, even for a chocolate lover like me. I wasn’t hungry enough to eat white bread either, so the whole lot sat right by my desk and I didn’t even look at it except in passing.

Seven pounds down, nine-hundred and twelve to go. Just kidding, it’s not that much. Just feels like it.

I also received part of an order today from Territorial Seed Company in Cottage Grove, Oregon. Two packets of what they call “City Lettuce,” some sage and Italian flat-leave parsley. The garlic bulbs will be shipped in a couple of weeks. Let’s see if I can get this stuff going again. The sage dried up earlier this year, and the parsley I had growing never really took off.

Neighbor K gave me 4 big white buckets that came from a restaurant, and they never returned to her office to retrieve them. One of them smells like garlic, so. . .guess what’s going in it? I’ll keep you posted.

Some time ago I wrote about one of my favorite foods, quinoa. It’s now called a “superfood,” although I’m not sure why. I’ve been buying it for 15 years. Sure it’s nutritious, but I just like it because it’s tasty. I’ve made it for a few people, including my two beloved neighbors K and R, who have been occasional taste-testers of new recipes (or the occasional excess), but mostly I make it for myself.  Two of the recipes in Giada de Laurentiis’ book Weeknights With Giada include quinoa, and both are pretty tasty. (R is the elderly neighbor lady who has also been the recipient of extra cupcakes from the office.)

I made a small amount of quinoa on Saturday, and it put me to sleep for an hour. So it does have enough carbohydrate to do that. That’s why I don’t eat it too often, and not as much of it, mostly as a side dish, always with other stuff.

I’ve discovered, though, that not everyone is as enthusiastic about quinoa as I am.  Granted, not everyone likes everything. Much as I think chocolate is the food of the gods, one of my grandmothers did not like chocolate, as did a project manager I used to work with at Boeing. In fact, when it was birthday cake time, you knew who brought the cake if it was either half chocolate/half vanilla, all vanilla, or something like Italian Cream Cake (which made me taste test it more than once, because it was that good.)

So, in my favorite newspaper, The Wall Street Journal, comes this article on the backlash from quinoa’s new popularity. See, it’s trendy and popular now, much like gluten free, (plus it IS gluten free) so there are folks have become somewhat anti-quinoa from the influx of new quinoa dishes. To me, this is like being anti-tea or anti-cupcake, so I think that many of these folks haven’t had quinoa prepared correctly. That’s just my guess, as well as someone who wrote a letter to the editor on the subject.  (Please, someone tell me what the heck “Quinoa Gelato” is.)  But I also know it’s a matter of taste, what one person likes, and the preparation at the same time.

No, gluten-free is not a fad--especially not if you have a problem with wheat.

The article also references a fun Bud Light commercial. A man, standing over his grill, is ready to start some heavy duty tailgating at a football game when he discovers that his lovely wife has packed. . .veggie burgers made from “queen-ah”. Personally, my foodie brain wants to know how the heck you make burgers with it, but I’m sure it’s stuck together with a glue like eggs or something. (Then again, I’m always trying to figure out that kind of thing.)  But he puts it on the grill anyway, despite it tasting like a “dirty old tree branch,” because his team won the last time he “accidentally” ate it. (Warning: the comments on YouTube underneath aren’t all polite. Read at your own risk.)

Lesson learned here is simple. Ladies—unless you *know* your man is a devoted vegan/vegetarian and enjoys quinoa, he wants MEAT, and he hates surprises. Don’t do that. Trust me on that one. I once brought home a six-pack of designer beer for a certain ex-boyfriend after he said, “surprise me.” He never said that again, and never trusted me with his beer.

Now, the original article is a good overview, but the comments are hilarious. All 127 of them, at this writing. OK, I get it, people get started on something and overboard with it, with soy being a good example. (I still hate soy.) I see drinks, foods and other stuff with something called acai berries, and I still don’t have any idea what they are. Will they grow in the backyard? Then there’s something called goji berries, and the gallons of juice sold by direct marketing (i.e., a neighbor down the street who’s “got a great new home business that’s gonna make me rich.”) I have tried neither of these items, but I’m told goji juice tastes like something rancid. But people who follow all the “healthy trends” consume it because it’s supposed to be “healthy.” Mold is *so* good for you. . . .

So back to the quinoa article comments. If you really need a funny, click on the link above and start reading, and read the oldest first. You’ll see comments like:

My introduction to quinoa occurred while living in the Andes of southern Peru in the 1960s. My dog loved it; I did not. Ever since, I’ve thought of quinoa as Andean kibble.


My wife is into all this superfood lunacy. She fed me a “kale smoothie” last week that tasted like it was scooped from the bottom of a swamp. To hell with kale, and I hope she never finds out about quinoa.

This is my award-winning quinoa recipe: add it to a mash and feed it to a pig. Take the pig to a butcher and have him smoke the whole thing. Mmmm …. good eating.

@Charleen: I’m feeding my cows organic quinoa and getting the best quinoa cheese…well, I was until they went on strike for better work conditions…the union negotiators are meeting with management representatives in Aspen this week. I say, “Let Them Eat Cud.”

I hate cilantro too! Tastes like dish soap.

Quinoa is the “Hula Hoop” of food FADS.

Y’all fightin’ over quinoa? Jeezus.

And so much more quality writing that the Journal is known for.

So if you’re interested in trying it for yourself, here’s my favorite quinoa recipe from Suzanne Somers’ book Slim & Sexy Forever. This recipe is in the prior post on quinoa, but I’ll include it here, and add that I toss in a cube of chicken bullion to the water when it boils. REALLY good, honest.

Sauteed Herb Quinoa

1 cup dry quinoa

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 shallots, finely diced

1 clove garlic, minced

2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh flat-leave parsley

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Prepare the quinoa according to package directions (or see directions above.)

While the quinoa is cooking, place a saute pan over medium heat. Add the olive oil and shallots; saute for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute longer. Add the cooked quinoa and the parsley and stir to combine. Season with sea salt and pepper and serve immediately.

Just because I like it doesn’t mean anyone and everyone who reads this blog is going to suddenly be completely devoted to quinoa. Sure, there are more recipes for it, now, and that’s a good thing. If you decide to try it, hey—no saying you have to eat it again, right?

However, this blog is about the funny. Quinoa optional.

So if there’s anything funny in food, it’s these comments on the WSJ’s website. Go take a look and see what some other anti-quinoa folks are saying.

WARNING: don’t drink anything while you’re reading them, or you’ll be bringing your keyboard or laptop to your local repair shop to be cleaned.


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