(photo by Fran-cis-camore photos of quinoa)

We’ll get back to your regularly scheduled movie posts soon (and there’s quite a backlog), but since this blog’s official mission statement includes all things I like, here’s an entry about a food I’d never eaten — something that, at my ridiculously advanced age, you don’t get to do every day. While everybody else was chowing down on black eyed peas to ring in the new year, we tried quinoa, and it was delicious.

Advertised on the box as “the superfood of the future” and known to the Incas as “the mother of all grains,” quinoa is a “pseudocereal” that comes in sand-like grains which fluff up when you boil them. Quinoa cooks quickly, and it’s a complete protein, which makes it mad healthy. A so-called “tail” that pops out after it’s cooked gives it a crunchy texture. You can use it to replace just about any grain.

I was first introduced to quinoa by David Lynch, who gives his own recipe (along with a story about colored sugar water on a night train from Yugoslavia) in a special feature on the INLAND EMPIRE DVD. Apparently, I’m prone to trying anything Lynch recommends, but it took a second mention in a book by About.com’s Guide to Alternative Medicine Cathy Wong to give it a try. Lynch’s recipe adds organic broccoli; we made it with wild mushrooms. Speaking of Cathy Wong‘s book: it’s the time of year for detox, and if you want to give your liver a rest, it’s a splendid way to go.