Quinoa in everything now

I’ll be honest and say that I have not always been that open minded about all foods — I’d like to say I’m a work in progress with how I see the world, including food, since I’m always learning new things. For example, I wasn’t always a fan of the concept of “Asian fusion.” Initially, it seemed, in my mind, to be a way to white-wash traditional and delicious Asian dishes, and if it’s not broken, why try to “fix” it? Then, as time passed, I started realizing that “fusion” is not necessarily a “bad” thing, that a lot of our favorite and most beloved dishes, without us realizing it, actually are, by definition, “fusion.” Dishes like banh mi (French married with Vietnamese), hu tieu noodle soup (Vietnamese + Chinese + Cambodian), or ramen (while people like to say it’s Japanese, “ramen” in the Japanese language actually comes from the Chinese words “la mian,” which mean “pulled noodles”) are all things that are actually fusions of different cultures’ foods. Things that are more in-your-face fusion, like Korean bulgogi tacos or Vietnamese burritos, are also just delicious, so why not eat delicious food?

But there is one thing that has really been driving me crazy lately, and that’s seeing quinoa included in everything… like literally everything. I was ready to embrace it when it started becoming popular years ago as a rice/carb replacement, especially since it has a high protein, low carb profile overall. I started making it over the stove initially with broth, then now, in my Instant Pot (in just one minute!). I’ve used it in sweet, breakfast porridges (it’s delicious), and have tried using it even in a higher protein version of masala dosa. Even Chris begrudgingly admitted it was tasty (“but the regular version is better,” he said. Well, he *is* right; when you replace the rice with quinoa, the dosa actually ends up less crispy and more soft).

I was strolling through Whole Foods this late afternoon and noticed it being used as a replacement in “chocolate crispy” treats. For some reason, this really set me off. WHY DOES IT NEED TO BE IN EVERYTHING? WHY? Why don’t we just eradicate bread and rice and just eat all quinoa then??? I’m sure the South American countries who have been eating quinoa for decades or centuries are probably looking at us like we are not only stealing foods from their cultures, but also wondering why we are so insane about what we eat.

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