Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is an ancient food that is catching on like wildfire in North America. Quinoa was a staple of the Ancient Incas, who called it “the mother grain.”

Everybody’s doing it –– quinoa, that is. Go ahead and give it a try. Once you do, you just may develop a habit.

Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is an ancient food that is catching on like wildfire in North America. Quinoa was a staple of the Ancient Incas, who called it “the mother grain.” Technically, quinoa is not a true grain, but rather the seed of the Chenopodium or Goosefoot plant. It’s called a grain because it cooks and tastes like one.

Here’s the amazing thing about quinoa: It contains more protein than any other grain. It addition, it is considered a complete protein because it contains all eight essential amino acids. Also, it’s higher in unsaturated fats and lower in carbohydrates than most grains, plus it provides a rich and balanced source of key nutrients. Incidentally, about one-half cup will provide a child’s protein needs for one day. All this is why quinoa has earned the title of “super grain of the future.”

The tiny, beadlike grains cook like rice but in half the time. They expand to four times their original size. Taste-wise, it compares to couscous with a mild, slightly nutty flavor. Because it is somewhat bland, it pairs well with a multitude of foods, such as soups, stews, stir-fries or even cold in salads.

One cup of cooked quinoa has 222 calories, 4 grams of fat, 8 grams of protein, 39 grams of carbs, 5 grams of fiber and zero cholesterol. Look for it in the grain or rice section of your supermarket or at health food stores.

Campbell’s pairs the grain with chicken tenders, peas and marinara sauce for a hot and nutritious supper.

Chicken with Peas and Quinoa

1 tablespoon olive oil 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken tenders 1 teaspoon smoked paprika 1 cup uncooked quinoa 1 1⁄2 cups Swanson Chicken Stock 1 jar (24 ounces) Prego Veggie Smart Smooth & Simple Italian Sauce 1 package (10 ounces) frozen peas, thawed

Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook until well browned on both sides. Remove the chicken from the skillet and keep warm.

Add the paprika and quinoa to the skillet and stir to coat. Stir in the stock and sauce and heat over medium-high heat to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium. Cover and cook for 15 minutes or until the quinoa is tender. Stir in the peas.

Return the chicken to the skillet. Cook until the chicken is cooked through. Makes about 4 servings, about 1 1⁄2 cups each.

Nutrition Information: calories 485; total fat 11 grams; saturated fat 2 grams; cholesterol 67 milligrams; sodium 653 milligrams; total carbohydrate 60 grams; dietary fiber 10 grams; protein 37 grams; vitamin A 74 percent of daily value; vitamin C 27 percent of daily value; calcium 8 percent of daily value; iron 27 percent of daily value.

-- Campbell’s Chicken