We all have seen movies where the protagonist, who is at the helm of his career, is unfairly brought down by influential opponents and gets lost into the oblivion. But towards the climax of the movie the protagonist overhauls himself and fights back to ultimately re-establish his supreme status.
Quinoa – the star feature of my today’s recipe has also lived the same story. Quinoa (pronounced as Keen – Wah) is a pseudo-grain native of South America. It was cultivated by Incas, the indigenous people of Andes for more than 5000 years. They referred to it as ‘mother grain’, suggesting the dominance of this grain as a nutrient source. Quinoa disappeared from cultivation when Spanish invaders forced the natives to grow corn and potato instead of their mother grain. Thanks to the efforts of a Bolivian priest, quinoa was reintroduced to the world in 1970’s. Owing to the nutritional values, it soon gained popularity in the New World. Today in addition to Chile, Peru, Bolivia and Equador quinoa is also grown in parts of US and Canadian prairies.
Quinoa is not only a very rich source of protein, but also provides certain essential amino acids that are hard to find in vegetarian diet. Besides, it is also high in fibers. Quinoa also forms a perfect wheat substitute for a gluten-free diet. Realizing the value of this grain United Nations has declared 2013 as the “International Year of Quinoa”.
I complemented the slightly sweet and nutty flavor of beet quinoa pancake with spicy cream cheese sauce. I mixed equal amount of cheese and plain yogurt to achieve the right consistency that could be absorbed by the pancake and flavored it with chives and freshly ground black pepper.