Pronounced keen wa, a tiny seed used as a cereal for over 5,000 years, and regarded as a sacred food by the Incas who called it ‘the mother seed’. The plant produces masses of small seeds, usually pink or white, but some varieties may be orange, red, purple or black. Quinoa provides one of the best sources of vegetable protein and provides an essential amino acid balance. Quinoa can be substituted for most cereals and is a good replacement for rice. It has a very delicate flavour, comdescriptionble to couscous. Cook it like rice or add to soups or stews. The seeds can be made into flour and the spinach–like leaves of the plant are also edible.