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Quinoa recipes/uses

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just read about this grain(?) the other day. supposedly is a superb carbohydrate substitute. coincidentally i happened to stumble across it the other day while shopping in the bulk section of WF. so i bought some. now my dilemna is how/what do i do with it?

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  1. This recipe is from a friend of mine and was my first introduction to quinoa. You can also just make the quinoa by itself and eat it as a salad instead of ladling the soup over it - I enjoy it both ways:

    Roasted Pepper Soup with quinoa

    Shopping list:
    3 of each: yellow and orange peppers
    2 red peppers
    1 bunch leeks
    1 bunch scallions
    1-2 English/seedless cucumber
    1-2 cups white corn
    3-4 cloves garlic
    fresh tarragon
    3 cups vegetable broth
    6-8 cups chicken broth
    3-4 cups cooked quinoa

    Roast peppers at 425* until skin on outside begins to char (you will
    need to rotate them to char the skin evenly). Once roasted, place
    in a bowl covered with plastic wrap. Leave them alone to sweat.

    Chop leeks and garlic and cook in olive oil until translucent. Add
    tarragon, salt and pepper to taste. Pour in vegetable broth and
    simmer.

    Return to peppers. Peel off skin (it should come off easily after
    roasting and sweating). Natural oils and juice will drain out.
    SAVE THIS and add to the broth mixture. Dice the peeled and
    de-seeded peppers. Add them to the broth and simmer for 5 minutes.
    Transfer peppers to a food processor or blender and puree.
    Gradually add the liquid. Once desired consistency is reached,
    return soup to pan.

    For quinoa salad:
    It is best to prepare this in advance so it can marinate.
    Cook quinoa in chicken broth according to directions. Cook corn and
    dice the cucumber(s) and scallions. Add these to the cooked quinoa
    and toss in balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Add to soup just
    before serving (if refrigerated, set out to room temp before adding
    to soup).

    1. The basic recipe for quinoa is very easy, very similar to the process for cooking rice or any other grain... Take one part quinoa and two parts water, a bit of salt (I put a bit of olive oil, you can add a bit of herbs also), bring to a boil, lower the fire, cover, and simmer for about 15 min, until liquid is absorbed.

      The texture is nice, hard to describe, almost crunchy, but not really so. And the flavor is also good, can go with almost anything, sweet or savory.

      Epicurious.com has a few quinoa recipes. I haven't tried any of those though.

      1. The one thing about quinoa that you need to remember is that you MUST rinse it before cooking, otherwise it will be very bitter and possibly inedible.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Chorus Girl

          hmmm, i don't remember rinsing it. but thanks for all the suggestions. made it last night with sauteed celery and onion. it was very tasty, not bitter at all. since it's so nutty tasting, i'm thinking of experimenting with tossing in some almonds.

        2. Here is a delicious breakfast cereal using quinoa and couscous ... from Miraval Spa in Arizona.

          3 c unsweetened apple juice
          2 c water
          1 c quinoa
          1/4 c. dried cranberries*
          1/4 c dried blueberries*
          1/4 c chopped dried appricots*
          1 tsp. groupd cinnamon
          1/2 tsp ground allspice
          optional:
          1/2 c milk (soy, rice, fat free, etc.)

          * I often use the freeze dried fruit and use any combination I have in the house or am in the mood for.

          Rinse and drain quinoa a number of times. Place the quinoa on a baking sheet and toast in the oven, under the broiler. Keep stirring so it toasts evenly.

          Heat apple juice and water and simmer. Add quinoa, dried fruits and spices. Stir occassionally until the quinoa is cooked (about 15 minutes, but watch it). Add the couscous, remove from heat and cover with a lid until the water is absorbed (7 - 10 minutes).

          Add milk if you like.

          Also great reheated.

          1. p
            peppermint pate

            Hi. I've been cooking with quinoa for years and I love it. I've never rinsed it but I do dry-roast it in a pan first. It really enhances the flavour. Then you basically add it to a pot of cold liquid (2:1 liquid:grain ratio), bring to a boil and then cover and let simmer for about 12 minutes.

            Quinoa is really versatile and you can do pretty much anything with it as you would rice. You're right about the nutty flavour - I like adding toasted pine nuts, almonds or pecans with fresh parsley and currants. I sometimes add chilies, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaf and ginger to the pot, boil it all up and then stir through a bit of coconut milk and fish sauce before serving. In response to a post I had re: salt-free dinner below, susan suggested I stir in caramelized onions with a bit of flambeed cognac, lemon zest and lemon juice. I made that last night with a bit of parsley and it was lovely. Enjoy!