Saturday, March 12, 2011

Bacon and Herb Quinoa

Quinoa, pronounced "keen-wah", is commonly considered a grain, but is actually the seed of the plant and is closely related to spinach and swiss chard- wild huh?!  It is thought to be one of the most "ancient" of all foods, "the gold of the Incas" which provided stamina to the warriors.  This "grain" is incredibly high in protein and is actually considered a "perfect protein" because it includes all 9 of the amino acids.  Making it great for people who suffer from migraines and diabetes.  Since the birth of my oldest son I am a Chronic-Daily-Headache (CDH) sufferer.  Meaning I have gotten a headache every single day for the past 4 years.  I also get a whopping migraine every now and then.  Not fun.  I take beta-blockers which help considerably, but do not rid me of them completely.   I am always looking for other ways to help ease the pain and make them more manageable.  So when I read about eating quinoa to help I thought well why on earth not!  Plus, who isn't looking for something other then rice or potatoes to have with your dinner....  I have only started adding it to my diet so I don't yet know how it will effect my headaches- I will report back in the future with my findings.  Hopefully this little guy will do some magic!

Quinoa has a wonderful nutty flavor, and can be eaten either cold or warm.  I tasted it for the first time over the summer at a wedding shower and really enjoyed it.  This was my first time making it at home.  I found it super simple and was a big hit all around.  Jackson, my four year old even loved it!  Score!

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Bacon and Herb Quinoa
1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained (don't skip this step unless your Quinoa states that it has been pre-rinsed)
1 1/2 cups Chicken Stock (water my be used instead, but the stock gives a much richer flavor)
1 bunch flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons fresh oregano
2 tablespoons fresh thyme
4 scallions, chopped into 1/4-inch lengths
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
4 strips of bacon, chopped
a few dashes of extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

In a medium saucepan, combine quinoa and stock; bring to a boil. Cover, and reduce heat to low. Simmer until all liquid is absorbed and the grains are translucent, about 12 minutes. Remove from heat.

Meanwhile, pick parsley, oregano and thyme leaves from stems, chop leaves coarsely, and set aside.

Chop bacon into bite sided pieces and saute over medium heat until browned. Remove from pan and drain on a paper towel-lined plate. In the same saute pan that you cooked the bacon, remove all but 1 tablespoon of grease and add your onions. Saute until translucent and just beginning to caramelize.

Toss the quinoa with the olive oil, chopped green onions, butter, and chopped herbs and mix until combined. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, top with cooked bacon. Garnish with a sprig of fresh parsley and serve.


  1. I get headaches a lot. Fotunately for me it's not daily anymore, although sometimes I can go weeks at a time with a headache, but often. And the occassional migraine. When I was younger, starting around 11, I had daily headaches and they lasted until late in my twenties. When my oldest daughter was born, I was introduced to my first migraine. They were frequent and bad those first few years, then finally started to become less frequent. These days I only one every couple of months or so.
    I feel for you. I hope the quinoa helps bring you some relief. It is exhausting living that way.
    May you be blessed today!
    ~shari (aka fruitloopgirl)

  2. this is the second recipe i've seen for Quinoa today, i think it's a sign.

  3. Shari, I am so sorry you are a headache sufferer too! Thank goodness yours have tapered off a bit. I hope I am as lucky as you!

    Alexa, yes, it is a sign!!! Jump on the bandwagon already ;)



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