Despite my status as the child of natural food loving hippies, I don't think I ate quinoa until about four years ago. I had a friend who was working on eliminating wheat and rice from her diet and so was looking for alternatives. Someone suggested she check out quinoa and so she started experimenting with it, creating some seriously delicious dishes in the process. I particularly remember some stuffed acorn squash that were ridiculously delicious.
Across the country, at about the same time, my sister started eating it regularly. One of her favorite ways to use it was as a base for quick meals, like her signature Bean-wa, Green-wa, Quinoa. That would be a can of beans (garbanzos mostly), some cooked greens (spinach, kale, chard, collards, whatever she had around), some sauce (typically Trader Joe's masala simmer sauce, but anything meant for pasta works well) and a couple of cups of cooked quinoa. Stir together, heat and eat.
photo by Marisa McClellan