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Passover 2011–GRAAAAAIIIIIIINS

So apparently I’m 2-for-2 on delicious gluten-free Passover dishes that might not actually be kosher for Passover.  But nevermind that.  Let’s talk about quinoa.

I’ve been vowing for years to get more quinoa in my diet.  If all those breathless news articles are to be believed, it’s a new superfood.  It’s exotic–all the way from Peru!  It’s ancient–the Inca ate it!  It’s full of protein and wholesome whole-grain goodness!  What’s not to like!

I’ve been making tentative progress.  In college, I would mix red quinoa and ranch dressing into a bowl of mashed potatoes.  Somehow I managed to convince myself that the little extra protein boost from those little scarlet orbs canceled out the giant gummy forkfuls of potato I was stuffing into my face.  As I got more, um…sophisticated, I started encountering quinoa salads, pleasant little pops of grain swarming around beans and green vegetables and even tofu, overwhelming me with texture and freshness and wholesome earnest appeal.

But on its own, as a stand-in for less virtuous starches, quinoa was…lacking.  I’ve never been much a fan of food that pretends to be something it’s not, and when I was faced with tiny hardy orbs, heaped sheepishly in a bowl, almost apologetic for not being rice or couscous, I was understandably nonplussed.

Stand alone, I silently implored the quinoa.  Make something of yourself.  Don’t be shy.

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