In my opinion, eating a gluten-free diet is getting easier and easier. Not only are there many more gluten-free breads and other goodies on the market, but I even stumbled upon another wheat-free side dish option to put into rotation – kaniwa.

Kaniwa is a gluten-free “grain”, that like quinoa is actually an extremely nutritious, small seed. Similar in fashion, when this reddish-brown seed is cooked it develops a light outer ring.


My experimenting with this grain has only just begun, but I think it will prove just as versatile as quinoa.  An easy way to try kaniwa is in my simple kaniwa, tomato, and basil salad.  After boiling the kaniwa in water for approximately 20 minutes, I stirred in some basil, grape tomatoes, and diced garlic.


I then gave it a light dressing of olive oil, lemon juice, and salt and served it warm. It was a welcome change of pace from our typical dinner starches and quickly won the approval of my family. Whoo hoo! Another successful gluten-free dinnertime companion!



Kaniwa, Tomato, and Basil Salad

1 cup kaniwa
3 cups water
4 cloves garlic, minced
0.25 ounces fresh basil leaves
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon salt

Place the kaniwa and the water in a large sauce pan and boil over medium heat for 20 minutes or until the kaniwa is tender and chewy. Remove from the stove, drain any remaining water, and stir in the garlic, basil, oil, lemon juice, and salt. Serve immediately.