The Route of Quinua

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By María Clara de Greiff

Quinua, also known as quinoa, is the quintessential Andean seed grown in the Andes of Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Chile. For more than 5,000 years, it has been consumed by the Andean people almost as much as potato. Currently, Bolivia stands out as one of the largest producers of this nutritious seed; which has become a favorite of vegetarians for its protein, high fiber, Omega 3 and Omega 6 content. It is consumed as a cereal, but its protein and fat content are higher than cereals. In addition to the amounts of vitamins B and E, it is rich in potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, calcium and zinc.
The United Nations General Assembly declared 2013, the International Year of the Quinua, as a way of recognition and appreciation for the Andean people who like their ancestors, have preserved the consumption of such a rich seed.
Quinua can be found in a variety of colors: red, black and white, which is also a visual delight.

Quinua salad with olives and cherry tomatoes
1 cup quinua (red, black or white)
2 cups cherry tomatoes
1 cup pitted black olives (they can also be green)
2 cups diced Feta cheese
3 tbsp. lime juice
1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
¼ tsp. black ground pepper
¼ tsp. salt
The zest of one lemon
Olive oil to taste
Fresh red basil to taste (it can be green or mint)

Wash the quinua and cook in boiling water using 1 1/2 cups of water per one cup of grain, just as you do it with rice. Wait for it to cool, dice the feta cheese, chop the olives and set them aside along with the tomatoes.
For the dressing, mix the freshly squeezed lime juice, the Dijon mustard, the pepper, the salt, the olive oil and the lemon zest. Once the quinua has cooled, add the ingredients and at the end mix the dressing and the basil or mint leaves.
This salad is a feast of colors, of freshness and vitamin contents. What better choice for summer days? You can eat it alone or with crackers or pita chips.
Routes and delights is dedicated to your health as well as each of your senses, because culinary art is an art of transformation, that allows our senses to experience ancient routes, cultures and diversity.

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