THE NIBBLE BLOG: Products, Recipes & Trends In Specialty Foods

Also visit our main website,

Beans & Grains Glossary – Learn Your Legumes (And Other Family Members)

Page 6: Beans & Grains Glossary Q To R

This is Page 6 of an 7-page article. Click on the red links below to visit other pages. This glossary is protected by copyright and cannot be reproduced in whole or part. You are welcome to link to it.


Here are terms including quinoa, red beans and rice. If you’d like to suggest additional words, use the Contact Us link on this page. See our many other delicious food glossaries.


Serve bean dip with pita, instead of hummus. Here’s a recipe. Photo by by Maria Bacarella | IST.

Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa), pronounced KEEN-wa or KEE-noo-ah, is the Quechua (Inca) word for “mother grain” or “super grain.” A broad-leafed, annual herb, quinoa grows wild in the Andes Mountains of South America; it was first cultivated more than 5,000 years ago by the Incas and was, along with corn and potatoes, the foundation of the Andean diet. When mature, this tall, handsome plant is topped with large plume-like seed heads that range in color from vivid red, orange or yellow to black or white. Quinoa contains more protein—a very high-quality protein—than any other grain. It is equivalent to milk as a protein source. Since quinoa also contains all eight essential amino acids (and particularly rich in lysine), it’s considered a complete protein. It also delivers calcium, fiber, iron, magnesium, vitamins A, B and E and zinc. Both the spinach-like leaves and the tiny seeds are highly nutritious. Before consuming, quinoa seeds must be processed to remove their bitter coating of saponin. After washing or dry polishing, the ready-to-cook seeds are white, red or beige in color. The leaves, which unfortunately seldom reach the consumer, may be eaten raw in salads or cooked like spinach.

Cooked quinoa is delicious and extremely versatile; it may be used in the place of almost any other grain, including rice, to make everything from appetizers to desserts (make quinoa pudding instead of rice pudding). It has a slight nutty flavor (red quinoa is the nuttiest), which makes it a good substitute for couscous or bulgur. It has a unique texture as well. When cooked, the thin germ circlet falls from the seed and remains crunchy while the pearly grain melts in the mouth.


Quinoa and red quinoa are available at

Red Quinoa

A reddish-brown bean which can easily be mistaken for the adzuki bean, except that it has a white eye instead of a white stripe. They are commonly used for Mexican refried beans.

The staple grain of two-thirds of the world’s population, rice is a grass that originated in southeast Asia and Africa. Domesticated rice comes from two species in the Poaceae (“true grass”) family, Oryza sativa and Oryza glaberrima. O. sativa appears to have been domesticated from wild Asian rice around the foothills of the Himalayas, yielding the short-grained “japonica” or “sinica” varieties (Japanese rice), the long-grained “indica” varieties (basmati rice) and the broad-grained “javonica” varieties. O. glaberrima comprises the native African rices, which are being replaced in Africa by the introduction of the preferred Asian species. See our complete Rice Glossary for more than 45 rice terms.

Continue To Next Page: Terms With S

Go To The Article Index Above

  Basmati Rice
Basmati rice available from
The Nibble Webzine Of Food Adventures

Last Updated  Apr 2018

© Copyright 2005-2023 Lifestyle Direct, Inc. All rights reserved. All images are copyrighted to their respective owners.