Quinoa is an ancient grain that originated in the Andean region of Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia thousands of years ago. It is gaining in popularity due to its high nutritional value. Quinoa is rich in proteins, calcium, phosphorus, and iron. The seeds are processed to remove the bitter coating surrounding the seeds. Quinoa can be used instead of rice in pilafs, etc.
The United Nations General Assembly declared 2013 as the International Year of the Quinoa to draw worldwide attention on the role that quinoa plays in providing food security and nutrition.
Stir together half a cup of cooked quinoa, half a cup of cooked split peas, a little diced onion, and a clove of minced garlic. Add salt and freshly ground black pepper, and a few sprigs of fresh cilantro (optional). Sprinkle freshly squeezed lemon juice and serve at room temperature.