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Aug 1, 2006 07:59 PM

Quinoa suggestions

I just picked some of this up for the first time and would appreciate some suggestions on how to prepare it. Thanks

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  1. I like to dry toast mine in a pan first, then bring to a boil with water or stock in a 2:1 (liquid:quinoa) ratio. Once boiled, cover and reduce heat - simmer for a bit (I think roughly 10-12 minutes or until liquid evaporates), then let sit off heat for 5 minutes.

    I cook quinoa a lot. My latest favourites:

    * finish with coconut cream, chopped coriander and chopped scallions
    * eat for breakfast, topped with sliced avocado, a bit of hummus, maybe an Israeli chopped salad and a drizzle of olive oil
    * toss with mixed greens, tuna (bottled in olive oil), lemon juice, fresh herbs, s&p (in fact, add to any salad)

    Enjoy - I love it!

    4 Replies
    1. re: peppermint pate

      I've heard toasting add a flavor depth, but when do you rinse it? Before or after toasting?

      1. re: Earl Grey

        I remember reading a whole thread on this board once about rinsing - honestly, I've never rinsed mine and I've made it many times and it always tastes great. I should try it once to see if there's a difference. If I were to rinse it, I guess I would do it first, then let drain and then toast?

        1. re: Earl Grey

          Most commercially available quinoa has been processed to clean out the chemical on the outside that can leave a bitter taste in the mouth. I buy Bob's Red Mill quinoa and the package clearly states that there is no need for rinsing.

          1. re: cooknKate

            Thanks for clarifying. Glad to hear I haven't been missing anything by not rinsing. And I love Bob's Red Mill quinoa (and other products) as well.

      2. My favorite treatment is to make it into a pilaf. Saute diced veggies (I usually use carrot, celery, onion, garlic, and bell peppers) until browned and slightly tender. Then add your quinoa, toast it a bit with the veggies until it smells fragrant, then add stock (2 parts liquid for 1 part quinoa) or salted water, bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for about 20 minutes until the liquid is absorbed. You can also add cooked chicken or shrimp at the very end of cooking process, and finish with some fresh herbs and salt/pepper to taste. It's delicious, fast, whole grain, high-protein, and only dirties one pan.

        1. I make mine almost the same as a couscous dish, with chopped tomatoes, onion, cucumbers, a little parsely and fresh mint then toss in a light oil/vinegar dressing. Cool, resfreshig, heatlhy, eat alone or accompany with ?

          3 Replies
          1. re: Kitchen Queen

            But do you rinse it? And do you toast it?

            1. re: Earl Grey

              I buy Quinoa in bulk and do nothing to it prior. Suppose you could toast it a little for a nuttier flavor. :) KQ

            2. re: Kitchen Queen

              Similar to this, I basically substitute quinoa for bulgur in a tabbouleh recipe. I like the quinoa crunch better. It's also brighter with veggies. I do rinse mine. I do find mine to be bitter if I don't rinse them. I also cook mine in a rice cooker for simplicity.

            3. I didn't make it myself. But at a dinner party on Saturday night, I was served a quinoa pilaf that had fresh corn kernels mixed in that was lovely and so seasonal.

              1. So is the rinsing thing a myth? I've always heard that you need to rinse it to get rid of the bitterness. I'm happy to miss a step if it's not critical!

                I tend to make a mirepoix and then add the rinsed quinoa and water. I've made it with stock but it's really not neccasary. There's enough flavor from the quinoa and the vegetables, although I guess you could say the mirepoix makes a sort of vegetable stock.

                The other secret is to not consider it a replacement for rice. It's not as robust. But it's its own thing, and wonderful at that!

                1 Reply
                1. re: Earl Grey

                  It's not a myth, and there are many ways to take care of this, although, as I stated in a post above, you can purchase quinoa that does not require rinsing. The outer shell of the grain has a natural coating called saponin that repels insects and birds. Bob's Red Mill processes out that coating to make use of the grain easier.

                  One thing I have found in making quinoa is that it is easy to overcook it and 'blow out' the grain which makes it mushy. The little visible curl inside the grain should still be spiraled, not unfurled. Follow the directions closely to avoid this, as blown out quinoa isn't real appetizing.