Kañiwa (pronounced ka-nyi-wa), a relative to quinoa, is a super-seed native to the Andes in Peru. It’s an excellent source of protein and fiber, high in iron and of course, is gluten-free. Compared to quinoa, its much smaller in size, but still has the sweet nutty flavor with a delightful crunch. It can be use in soups, casseroles, salads, used as a breakfast cereal with fresh fruit and chopped nuts or ground into flour.
You can find kañiwa in most health food stores or online at Amazon or Nuts.com. It’s a little more expensive than quinoa, but only by a couple of dollars. It’s another great alternative to rice and potatoes. And very easy to make. Two parts water to one part kañiwa, bring to a boil, simmer for 15 minutes covered and remove from heat and let rest for 5 more minutes.
This Kañiwa Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette makes an excellent summer side dish. Crunchy garden vegetables, soft crumbles of feta cheese seasoned with a simple balsamic vinaigrette. It’s delicious slightly warm or cold. I actually used the french green beans from my balcony garden in this dish.
Oh…the garden. Well, I had to battle white flies — which won and took the peppers, powdery mildew — which attempted to take the cucumbers, I’m still not sure if I’m winning that war yet and last, but not least caterpillars — the cabbage lopper to be specific — which I broke down and got insecticide for those little buggers. They ate all the leaves on my Brussels sprouts. It looks like its making a come back, but only time will tell. I just never thought I’d have this many issues with a second-floor balcony garden, I can’t imagine what would happen if I was actually on ground level — rabbits, deers and who knows what else. Next year, I’ll be better prepared on what to expect here in Colorado.
- 1 tablespoon butter
- ½ cup onion, diced
- 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
- 1 cup french green beans, cut in half
- 1 cup zucchini, sliced and cut in half
- pinch of salt
- pinch of pepper
- 1½ cups kaniwa, cooked*
- ½ cup feta cheese, crumbled
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinaigrette**
- In a medium skillet, melt butter over medium heat.
- Add onion, garlic, zucchini and beans to skillet and season with salt and pepper.
- Sautée for about 3-5 minutes, or until onions become translucent. Vegetables will be crunchy.
- Pour sautéed mixture into a medium bowl. Cool for about 10 minutes.
- Add cooked kaniwa, feta and balsamic vinaigrette and stir until combine.
**Homemade Vinaigrette Recipe: In a small bowl, whisk together the ¼ cup balsamic vinegar, ½ cup olive oil, 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard and 1 tablespoon honey until combined. Store in refrigerator.