Keen about quinoa

CHERRYBROOK’S Rena Patten is ‘‘tickled pink’’ about the release of her fourth recipe book.

Everyday Quinoa, which has more than 100 recipes, was released in September and has already been translated into French.

‘‘I’m so thrilled,’’ she said.

‘‘The the last 10 months before the book release were hard work because you don’t cook a cookbook, you eat a cookbook.

‘‘You create it then you have to cook it many times and eat it all.’’

Patten — who is half-Greek, half-Italian, born in Egypt and married to an Australian — spent months cooking with quinoa every day in preparation for the book, creating and testing all the recipes.

The book has salads, soups, desserts, a breakfast section and several vegetarian recipes.

‘‘All the recipes are gluten and wheat free and  some people are allergic to rice, so quinoa is perfect for them, too,’’ she said.

‘‘The book has a lot of old family favourites which have been adapted using quinoa.’’

The self-confessed nurturer said her family members were her tasting panel.

‘‘My family have really supported me and they took to quinoa like nothing else, which is just as well because I’m always giving them food,’’ she said.

Her first book, Cooking with Quinoa, is now translated into Dutch.

Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is a South American grain rich in protein, calcium and iron and has essential amino acids which are important for tissue repair and growth. It’s gluten, wheat and cholesterol free.

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