An ancient grainlike product that has recently been “rediscovered” in this country, quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) is not a true grain, but it looks like one and has similar uses.

Quinoa grains are about the same size as millet, but are flattened, with a pointed oval shape. As quinoa cooks, the external germ, which forms a band around each grain, spirals out, forming a tiny crescent-shaped “tail.” Quinoa—one of the best sources of plant protein—is available in health-food stores and in many large supermarkets.


1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes (not oil-packed)

1 cup boiling water

1 tablespoon vegetable oil, such as olive or canola oil

1 fennel bulb (12 ounces), trimmed and cut into ½-inch chunks

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 2/3 cups quinoa, rinsed and well drained

1 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup golden raisins

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese


1. In a small heatproof bowl, combine the sun-dried tomatoes and boiling water. Let stand until the tomatoes have softened, 15 to 20 minutes (depending on the dryness of the tomatoes). Drain, reserving the soaking liquid, and coarsely chop the tomatoes.

2. In a nonstick Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the fresh fennel and garlic, and cook, stirring frequently, until the fennel is tender, about 7 minutes.

3. Stir in the quinoa, fennel seeds, and salt, and cook, stirring frequently, until the quinoa is dry, about 5 minutes.

4. Add the reserved tomato soaking liquid and 1½ cups of water, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook, until the quinoa is tender, 12 to 15 minutes.

5. Stir in the chopped sun-dried tomatoes, raisins, and Parmesan. Makes 4 servings

Nutrition Facts

PER SERVING 419 calories, 9.8g total fat (2.1g saturated), 5mg cholesterol, 8g dietary fiber, 73g carbohydrate, 14g protein, 840mg sodium

Good source of: fiber, magnesium, potassium, riboflavin, vitamin E, zinc

If you are carefully watching your sodium, be sure to read this before preparing this recipe: Sodium Intake and Salt in Recipes

From The Johns Hopkins Cookbook Library: Recipes for a Healthy Heart, edited by Simeon Margolis, M.D., Ph.D. and Lora Brown Wilder, Sc.D., M.S., R.D.

Publication Review By: the Editorial Staff at

Published: 19 Oct 2011

Last Modified: 24 Mar 2015