Wednesday, 20 January 2021

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#SDGKitchen: Quinoa

sdg kitchen quinoa

Week 2 of our #SDGKitchen series and this week we’re looking at another ingredient, Quinoa.

Along with potatoes, Quinoa was one of the main foods of the Andean peoples. Because of its high nutritional value, indigenous peoples and researchers often refer to it as "the golden 'grain' of the Andes."

Quinoa is recognized not only for its nutritional and dietary properties but also for its genetic diversity, adaptability to different agro-environmental conditions as well as the cultural and socio-economic benefits it has on the local environment.

It can be found natively in all countries of the Andean region, from Colombia to Argentina to the south of Chile. Though its cultivation has spread and now occurs in more than 70 countries, including parts of Europe.

Faced with the challenge of increasing the production of quality food to feed the world's population in the context of climate change, quinoa offers an alternative for those countries suffering from food insecurity.

In 2013 the FAO declared 2013 as the 'International Year of Quinoa’, promoting Quinoa’s potential role in helping eradicate hunger, malnutrition and poverty.

Traditionally, the quinoa grain is roasted and then made to flour to make different types of bread. But it can also be added to salads, soups, as an accompaniment, used as a cereal, made into pasta and even fermented to beer or chicha. When cooked it takes on a nut-like flavour.

Here’s our recipe for a quinoa salad with asparagus and tomatoes.


  • 1 cup red-white quinoa mix
  • 2 tbsp chives, finely chopped
  • 120g cherry tomatoes halved
  • 150g asparagus
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 good handfuls rocket salad
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • (50g feta cheese)


  • Cook the quinoa in three cups of water for 20 minutes
  • Roast off the asparagus
  • When ready, let cool and mix in the chives, tomatoes, minced garlic and finely chopped red onions (optional: add crumbled feta cheese)
  • Salt and pepper, serve decorated with the salad, a few halved tomatoes and sprinkle of remaining chives
  • Add a dressing or just some olive oil


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