Quinoa? Queen Noah? A Great Food for IBS.

How to Cook Quinoa (and pronounce it.)

When I first saw the word “quinoa”, I thought it was pronounced “Queen-Noah.” (Hey, don’t laugh. I’ve heard weirder ways of saying it.) Then I found out you say, “Keen-wah.”

Quinoa contains soluble fiber—a good choice when you have IBS. It also contains nine essential amino acids so it offers complete protein, which is very unusual for a grain. Maybe that’s why the Incas, who originally grew it, called it their “gold”. It gave strength to their warriors….


And it’s not even a real grain. It’s the seed of a plant that’s related to spinach and chard, so it’s very low in gluten and great choice for anyone who prefers wheat-free foods. But don’t worry—it doesn’t taste like spinach at all.

In fact, it has a rich, delicate flavour that can go either way: sweet or savoury, depending on what meal you’re making. You can eat quinoa as a hot cereal, or use it as a side dish like rice. It’s easy to digest and has plenty of minerals, especially magnesium, which makes it an excellent high nutrient food for IBS sufferers. It really is the Queen of grains.

Quinoa is available as a whole grain, or in flakes you can use as a substitute for oatmeal.

I used to boil quinoa, but I didn’t really like the texture when it was done. A couple of years ago, I finally figured out a way to cook quinoa that is super-easy and makes it taste great. Here it is:

Note: some people rinse their whole quinoa before cooking. I don’t, but if you want to, just put the amount you’re going to cook into a bowl, run water into the bowl to about an inch above the quinoa, and swish the quinoa around with your hand to clean it. Dump it through a fine-mesh strainer, and cook.


  • One cup of dry whole quinoa (not flakes)
  • 2 cups of water (preferably filtered)
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • One strip of wakame seaweed, cut into small pieces with scissors (optional)

Boil the water in a pot, with a pinch of salt. If you like seaweed (remember sushi?), you can toss the cut-up wakame into the water to add extra minerals to your quinoa.

When the water is boiling, add the quinoa. Stir to make sure the grain is well mixed with the water. Bring the water back to a rolling boil.

Once it’s boiling again, turn off the heat and put the lid on the pot.

Leave it alone and do something else for 20-25 minutes. When you come back, the water will be absorbed and the quinoa will be light and fluffy.


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