The Incas called quinoa ?the mother of grain? and fed it to their warriors before battle. Now people refer to it as a ?super grain? since it offers a healthy balance of essential amino acids. Each of these nicknames is slightly off. Quinoa is actually a seed ? not a grain ? from a plant related to spinach, beets, and Swiss chard. Call it what you will. We?ll just call it delicious. Fully cooked in about 10 minutes, it has a pleasant fluffy consistency and delicate, slightly nutty flavor.