Title: Quinoa Revolution: Over 150 Healthy, Great-Tasting Recipes Under 500 Calories
Author: Patricia Green & Carolyn Hemming
Release Date: December 31, 2012
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
The first time I served quinoa at the dinner table, my husband was suspicious. “What is this?? It’s not pasta, but it’s not not rice,” he asked. But he quickly got over his hesitancy after taking the first bite. Now we’re big fans of quinoa in our house. It’s a great, lighter alternative to pasta, rice, and other grains (because it’s not a grain—it’s actually a seed), but it’s incredibly nutritious. It’s considered a superfood (whatever that means), which means if you aren’t serving it in your house, you should at least consider it. Quinoa Revolution is a great way to make that happen.
Quinoa Revolution starts out discussing quinoa. What is it, why is it awesome, and what are the benefits? It’s a great primer for those who aren’t familiar with the seed (pronounced Keen-WAH, if you’re curious). Then it moves on to how to use quinoa. Again, great for those not familiar with it, but since I’ve cooked with quinoa quite a bit before, I skimmed these sections because I wanted to get to the recipes.
The presentation of Quinoa Revolution is very nice. It’s a softcover book with jacket flaps. There aren’t pictures to accompany every recipe, but the ones that are there are gorgeous and enticing. The pages are clean and bright; this is a cookbook that’s a real pleasure to thumb through.
The book is divided into five recipe sections: breakfast, salads/sides/snacks, soups/stews, meals, and dessert. The recipe choices are varied and versatile; it really does live up to the name “revolution” because you wouldn’t think of putting quinoa in some of these dishes: Baked Roasted Red Pepper Dip, Quinoa Mushroom Omelet, Lemongrass, Sweet Potato, and Coconut Stew, and Chicken Masala, just to name a few. Even if you have a picky eater at your table, you’ll probably find something to satisfy them in this book.
But the thing that really struck me about Quinoa Revolution? The authors aren’t afraid of meat! We don’t eat a lot of meat in our house, so it would be okay if it were a vegetarian cookbook, but too often veggie cookbooks don’t appeal across eating spectrums. If you’re buying a cookbook where quinoa is supposed to substitute for meat, you’re probably not going to be able to entice a meat-eater to try these recipes. This cookbook is aimed at those who want to introduce quinoa into their diets, but aren’t trying to completely replace meat. (But yes, it has plenty of vegetarian recipes as well, which I love.)
The recipes in Quinoa Revolution are simple and don’t use complicated ingredients. The results? Delicious. I made Kung Pao Chicken Quinoa, and I was pleased at how quickly the dish came together, as well as the lightness of using quinoa instead of rice. It’s safe to say that I’ll be referring to this cookbook regularly and it’s going to go into the regular cookbook rotation in my kitchen.