I bought some quinoa the other day as I passed it in the supermarket, thought back to all the times I had heard it referred to as being a healthy alternative to pasta, couscous, rice etc, so bought some and decided to give it a go.
Anyway, got it home and out of curiosity compared it to the pack of couscous we had. There doesn't actually seem to be much difference between the two in terms of nutritional value:
Typical value per 100g for quinoa is:
Energy - 387kcal
Protein - 11.7g
Carbs - 72.2g of which sugars is 36.7g
Fat - 5.7g of which 0.7 is saturated, 1.8g mono-unsaturates, of which oleic acid is 1.7g, 3.2g of polyunsaturates of which 2.6g is linoleic acid and 0.5g id alpha linolenic acid
Fibre - 8.9g
Typical value per 100g for couscous is:
Energy - 365kcal
Protein - 15.1g
Carbs - 73.1g of which sugars is 2.8g
Fat - 1.1g of which saturates is 0.2g
Fibre - 0.8g
Sodium - 0.1g
So why is quinoa raved about as being so much better for you? The only real difference I can see is the fibre content, and couscous seems to have less fat (which I was surprised at).