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Recipes for Quinoa?

Well, my husband wants to lose 20 pounds and the nutritionist at Kaiser says he should eat quinoa - I guess for a carb it is very nutritious. Neither of us has eaten it before and I have no idea what to do with it. Looks like millet - only a little larger.

Do you have any good recipes for making it into something delicious? Actually, I am starting at square one. With an unknown grain my tendency is to just boil it in a lot of water until it's tender and then drain it in a colander. Just looking at this in the raw state without having tasted it I'm assuming I would use quinoa in any recipe as if it was cooked rice. Perhaps chopped stir fried veg. and chicken over it, or mix it with chopped cooked broccoli and melted cheese? Do you think I could use my rice cooker to cook it? It's a basic model with no fancy settings - just on & off.


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  1. My favorite salad involves cleaning a lot of pots, but it is super easy. Add equal amounts quinoa, lentils, brown rice, then add steamed broccoli, red bell pepper, red onion, corn, mint, basil, and cilantro, salt and pepper. My family, who doesn't really accept such overtly healthy food into their meals has really added this salad to their meals happily. I think it is tastey on it's own but my family likes to add salad dressing like a balsamic vinagrette.
    A box of quinoa usually has cooking directions on it. It is extremely simple to prepare.

    1 Reply
    1. re: LLLLL

      This was purchased from a bulk bin - so there was no packaging or instructions. I like your idea for a salad. It would work for short grain brown rice too I suppose.

    2. I usually simmer quinoa one-to-one with water for about 20 minutes. Toward the end you can just turn the heat off and keep it covered to let it absorb the last of the water and get nice and fluffy.

      Once it's cooked there's lots you can do with it. Try tossing it with fresh tomatoes, basil, and olive oil.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Ed4

        Oooh nice idea about the tomatoes and basil - of course I would want to add some butter and parmesan, maybe that is why he needs to lose 20 pounds! But your saying it cooks in 20 minutes leads me to think my rice cooker could do it because 20 minutes is the standard time it takes rice to cook too.

      2. I have been experimenting with quinoa recently as well. I love it's texture. The first time I had it was at Border Grill in Santa Monica, where it's served like a couscous salad. It had lots of lemon/lime juice, some roasted corn kernels and chopped tomatoes in it. Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone has a few recipes, one of which is similar to the above with the addition of scallions.
        Here's what I had recently at Wilson in Culver City - a curried quinoa timbale served along side a tomatoey mushroom stew. I've tried to recreate it home thus using the above cookbook as a guide:
        Mushroom Stew - Heat some olive oil in a wide pot, add a little chopped onion and saute until just beginning to color. Add some chopped marjoram and parsley or cilantro and finely diced (peeled would be nice) sweet heirloom tomatoes, minced garlic. Saute until tomatoes break down and reduce. Add sliced mushrooms - I used cremini - restaurant had used fancier wild ones. Saute those until they color a little. Add a little water/broth/mushroom soaking liquid and salt and pepper and cook until mushrooms soften. Garnish with additional chopped cilantro/parsley. If tomatoes are not sweet, add a little pinch of sugar or a dribble of honey to balance flavors. The stew should have enough sauce to need a spoon to eat.

        Quinoa - I use Trader Joe's and the packet says to rinse a few times and then add twice as much water and bring to a boil in a saucepan, with a little salt to taste. Then cover and simmer for about 10-15 minutes until the water is absorbed. One time I accidentally added thrice as much water and by the time I prepped other things, the quinoa had absorbed it all and the texture was very mushy. So if you're going to boil it in lots of water, remember to drain as soon as desired doneness is reached. BTW, I am not sure if you lose any nutrients when you use that method. You might want to check with your nutritionist. Here is how I curried the cooked quinoa - finely chop a small mild onion for a cup of raw quinoa. Heat oil in a non-stick skillet. Add onions, soften and then add chopped coriander/parsley, corriander powder, cumin powder, garam masala and paprika or cayenne to taste and saute for a minute or two until spices are fragrant. Add the cooked quinoa, check for salt and adjust.

        2 Replies
        1. re: sweetTooth

          Your recipes are lovely. Very subtle flavors. I'm going to try making the quinoa with my rice cooker as it sounds like the instructions being the same as for rice with the cooker, that it would come out the same.

          1. re: niki rothman

            Thanks! Yup, rice cooker would work I think. With 2 cups of water for a cup of quinoa, it didn't stick to the pan much or scorch at all, if that's what you're worried about.

        2. I like the flavor of quinoa when you toast it a little first, pilau style, but you may not reap all of the nutritional benefits if you do that. Anyone know for sure?

            1. re: DiveFan

              Ooh, thanks for those links! As someone mentioned in the first thread, Vegetarian Times has carried quinoa recepies in the last few months. I think I even remember some crunchy quinoa muffins that might be worth a shot.

            2. As sweetTooth noted, you need to clean quinoa before you cook it. The kernels are coated with a waxy something that needs to be rinsed off. I put the grain in the saucepan I want to use to cook it, and fill with cold water. Rub the grains together with your fingers for a bit and then drain into a wire mesh colander. Repeat 2 more times.

              As for recipes, I like it as a rice substitute and use it where ever I would normally use white rice -- pilaf, bed for stir-fry, etc.

              1. We made this in class and it was very good. Richie

                Vegetable Quinoa Bake With Red Kuri Squash

                white wine or veggie stock or 2 tbl of olive oil (we used canola in class)
                1 medium onion, chopped
                8-10 mushrooms, sliced
                1 large bell pepper, diced
                1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced (optional)
                1 small zucchini, diced
                2 cloves garlic, minced (I used 3-4)
                3 cups water (or chicken stock)
                1 1/2 cups quinoa, rinsed well 2 cups peeled and diced butternut, or other winter squash
                1 cup chopped kale or escarole
                1 /2 tsp. salt
                1/2 tsp. pepper

                Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Sauté with wine, broth, or olive oil the onion, mushrooms, peppers, zucchini, and garlic for about 5 minutes. Stir in rest of ingredients and bring to a boil. Transfer mixture to a 9x13 casserole dish and cover. Bake until liquid is absorbed, about 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from oven and fluff with a fork. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

                Makes 6-8 servings

                1. We eat this at Thanksgiving as a special soup (it's poured over a quinoa salad). It's wonderful (and I'm sure I've posted before) but the quinoa salad itself is great on it's own, too. Enjoy!

                  Roasted Pepper Soup

                  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 quinoa

                  Roast peppers at 425* until skin on outside begins to char. 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. 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. Put in bowl and pour soup over the salad just before serving(if refrigerated, set out to room temp before adding to soup).

                  It's work, but worth every minute. ENJOY!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: krissywats

                    how many leeks and scallions are in a "bunch". Maybe you can give the recipe in terms of how many cups chopped leeks and cups chopped scallions?

                    Thank you!

                  2. I just made this last night:

                    Saute some chopped garlic, scallions and onion in a pan with olive oil. After a few minutes add the quinoa (rinse first) and toast it until light brown. Add chicken stock (ratio 2:1 liquid to quinoa), thyme and a bay leaf and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Fluff the quinoa and remove the bay leaf. Add lemon zest and chopped black olives. YUM.

                    1. I improvised the quinoa salad that is served at Border Grill by using sushi vinegar recipe for the acid then adding every fresh herb I could get hands on, with red onion, tomatoes, corn, chick peas... you name it, and then I add a copious amounts for Olive oil to keep it moist, not crumbly.

                      Turns out great!

                      1. Thanks to each and every one of you for the wonderful ideas! I really appreciate everyone's help.

                        1. My mother always told me never to cook quinoa with salt or it won't "pop". I have always followed this advice and don't know if its true but thought I would pass it on. She also told me to never open the rice pot before the timer went off.
                          I make a recipe called Pastel de Quinoa which is basically a picadillo recipe put in between two layers of quinoa. You mix the cooked quinoa with an egg and press half in the bottom of a baking dish add in picadillo and then put the second layer of quinoa on. Brush the top of the quinoa with an egg wash and bake until hot and with a nice crispy top.

                          1. I made quinoa tonight, partly inspired by above quinoa bake by javandjazz (thank you javaandjazz) and it was good enough to pass along. Preheat oven to 400. Sautee some chopped onion and whatever fresh veggies you have (I was using up broccoli and fresh corn I removed from the cobb). Add chopped garlic, cumin, salt & pepper. Add two cups rinsed quinoa and continue to sautee, then add 2 1/2 cups chicken (or vegetable) broth and a cup of crumbled feta cheese and transfer the mixture to a buttered baking dish. Bake for about 15-20 minutes and then sprinkle the top with a mixture of bread crumbs (1/4 - 1/2 cup) and grated parmesean and (if you like) some pepitas and chopped scallion. Came out very tastey.

                            1. I like to cook up the quinoa and make a grain salad (sometimes also with wild rice, bulgur, etc) and add some sort of small fruit (halved grapes or dried cranberries), parsley and some sort of nut/seed. My favourite combo is cranberries and pumpkin seeds.

                              Also, in the Moosewood cookbook with the orange cover (helpful, i know) there are two great recipes for curried quinoa and quinoa stuffed peppers. yum.

                              1. This is by far my favorite Quinoa recipe -- the sweet corn and mint/scallion make for a delicious contrast. We serve it often alongside grilled mixed vegetables for a vegetarian feast! Last summer we had this dish almost every week, when corn was overflowing at our local farmers market.


                                1 Reply
                                1. re: melissalf04

                                  I've made this recipe before too, and agree that it is has a wonderful combination of flavors.

                                2. I eat quinoa all the time, especially in one-pot meals. I actually recently posted a hearty but healthy mexican quinoa dish on my blog. You can add some meat to it to make a a complete meal, or it's just good on its own:


                                  Clare K.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: Clare K

                                    Quinoa is such good stuff!

                                    The waxy substance on them is saponin, which can give it a bitter taste if not washed off. The package I have recommends washing the quinoa before using it.

                                    This recipe for Lemon-Scented Qunoa is quick and delicious beyond words: tahini, garlic, lemon juice, and lemon zest.


                                  2. We cook quinoa all the time. I have found that some kinds need rinsing, some do not (maybe some is pre-rinsed?). When I get it from a new source, I cook it without rinsing and see if it's bitter (it's very obvious!). If it is, rinse it after it's cooked (it'll still be edible), and you'll know to rinse next time. The stuff I get from the Whole Foods bulk bin doesn't need rinsing.

                                    The main way we cook it is in the rice cooker. We usually mix it half-and-half with white rice (a compromise in our house), and cook and serve it just as if it's rice.

                                    My favorite recipe is: cooked quinoa, raw onion, fresh sweet red pepper, sun-dried tomatoes, cilantro or parsley, toasted pine nuts, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, cumin, red pepper flakes, and garbanzo beans. It is delicious, nutritious, keeps well, good warm cold or in-between, and almost anyone will eat it. (vegan, wheat-free, high fiber, and pretty!)

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: Tartinet

                                      Tartinet, I made quinoa for the first time last night using your half-and-half white rice method, and it was sooo good! I loved the crunchiness while still being enough like rice to not make me feel like I was eating too healthy. ;) Thanks!

                                      I have a plastic strainer that I bought at a Japanese grocery store made for cleaning rice. It was perfect and didn't let any quinoa drain out of the bottom.

                                    2. Will have to try some of the baked quinoa recipes above. They look great! I use quinoa flour that I grind from the whole grain at home. (I buy mine from Purcell Farms in Idaho and they sell in bulk bags - It's organic too) I put the flour in bread and it is great, it gives it a hearty bite. Also, I use the flour to make breakfast cereal instead of oatmeal on some mornings. I just boil the flour in water with a dash of salt. It is a lot like African uji. It is good to drink on the run.

                                      1. I had quinoa last night with a green tomato sauce over it--really really easy, quick, and tasty! I try to sneak quinoa in everything when I'm cooking at my parents' house, and so far the most successful has been zucchini stuffed with quinoa, sausage, tomatoes, corn, chilis, and then topped with crushed tortilla chips.

                                        1. I use cooked quinoa and make fried rice with it. Usually use pork or beef for the protein, and I like 'shrooms in my fried rice. You can add celery if you like, and the usual fried egg in strips, plus oyster sauce to taste (or soy), and I toss in scallions toward the end. Really tasty.

                                          1. I made this salad for a picnic and was very pleased with the results:


                                            1. Quinoa has a lovely flavour and interesting texture. It is one of the grains highest in protein, and complete protein. Actually, it is not a grain per se (think it is related to spinach) and many authorities consider it kosher for Pessah.

                                              A bit of parmesan is fine, in calorie terms - it doesn't take a lot to give a full flavour - but hubby should probably pass on melted cheese.

                                              Quinoa was a staple for the Incas and other Andean Amerindian civilisations. Usually quinoa in boxes has been thoroughly rinced of the saponin that protected the grains from insects (and give it an unwelcome "soapy" flavour, but I re-rince it in any case.

                                              I'd make it as a pilaf, rather than boiling it in a lot of water.

                                              1. Here is liquidwater. I just use whatever pan I'm going to cook it in and turn on the heat and give it a few shakes. I probably do this over 5 minutes or so. I also don't use water but cook with chicken or vegi broth. After it comes to a boil, I cook on low for about 15 minutes for 2 cups of quinoa and 4 cups broth/water. It is very forgiving. When the liqiud is absorbed, turn off the heat. I like to add grilled vegetables like red onion, peppers, and squash. I toss the vegis in olive and salt and pepper before I grill them. Last time I also threw in some grilled corn sliced off the cob. Then I top with finely chopped fresh basil. You can be really creative and add what you like but this is my current favorite. I grill some fish or meat or whatever while the vegis are cooking.

                                                1. Quinoa cooks faster than rice. In a pressure cooker brown rice takes 10 minutes at high pressure, then natural pressure release, quinoa takes only 1 minute at high pressure then natural pressure release.

                                                  Yes, it can be used in pretty much any recipe that calls for rice. Good with broccoli, zucchini, red bell pepper, and hummus or with black beans, sweet potato, greens and guacamole or salsa. We also sometimes top some with Shepherd's Salad or put some in with squash soup, etc.

                                                  It's got the highest protein of the carb(-like) foods. Can also used as a hot cereal for breakfast with some dried fruit and cinnamon.

                                                  1. http://food.yahoo.com/recipes/eatingw...

                                                    This is my favorite recipe for quinoa. I heat it up for breakfast and dot it with some sriracha sauce and some green chile sauce.

                                                    1. Tonight we had quinoa with broccoli, mushrooms, onion, garlic, habañero, zuke, and tomatoes.

                                                      1. I usually go tex-mex or greek style with quinoa - either add black beans, tomato, corn, cilantro, jalapeno, cumin, and lime juice OR cucumber, tomato, olive, red onion, mint/parsley, and lemon juice in whatever proportion you prefer.

                                                        A bit of queso fresco or feta can help out each respective dish, and I always put in some olive oil, but I think you can cut those ingredients while still maintaining a tasty dish.

                                                        Especially w/ the black beans, it's easy to make that a vegetarian main, but either can serve as a bed for some lighter proteins like chicken or various types of fish, as well as an excellent side to a smaller serving of flank steak.

                                                        3 Replies
                                                        1. re: nickblesch

                                                          My current obsession is curried quinoa with cauliflower and peas. Super easy, and quite haerty.

                                                          1. re: sourcherry

                                                            I never ever rinse quinoa. I dry fry with cardamom and black peppercorn, boil in salted water...toss lightly in lemon juice, tamari, olive oil, parsley or cilantro--and at christmas time: pomegranate seeds!

                                                            1. re: sourcherry

                                                              Thanks for sharing this recipe! Just made it tonight to try something healthier after indulging for a few days in NC. I love that I can cook the quinoa in my rice cooker - so easy. And the flavors are intense and delicious. The raita really helps balance it out.

                                                          2. Wow this is great - I've never actually eaten it warm. I always make it into a salad. My two favs:

                                                            1)black beans, red pepper, jalepeno, red onion, tomato, cilantro, lime juice, olive oil.

                                                            2)red pepper, red onion, cucumber, tomato, feta, red wine vinegar, garlic, olive oil, oregano (yup basically greek salad)

                                                            Both are great as a lunch on their own or as a dinner side dish.

                                                            1. I recently made this recipe for Quinoa Salad With Lime Ginger Dressing and Shrimp. It was excellent! I made the quinoa in the rice cooker, 1 part quinoa : 2 parts chicken broth. Did not have buttermilk so I used sour cream and it was tasty.

                                                              1. I love quinoa and eat it regulary. I make it plain just like rice or couscous and eat along side stews and such.

                                                                I also like adding lots of chopped herbs, parsley, mint, or dill, and some lemon juice and it's good with a grilled meat.


                                                                1. Our favorite is : http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/...
                                                                  The "Big Delicious Quinoa Bowl". I use sunflower seeds instead of toasted nuts, usually.

                                                                  1. Now that the weather is warmer, my lime-y quinoa salad with crunchy almonds is becoming a summer fave. In addition to lime, it also has red peppers, cilantro, red onion and currants. I can't get enough of this stuff!

                                                                    1. I make a mixed-grain pilaf that my kids call just Quinoa-Rice, and they LOVE it. So do I. I use 2 pats white rice to 1 part quinoa, and I usually mix the quinoa between white, red and black if I have them. Sometimes I add bulgur to the mix too. I saute some chopped onion or shallots in olive oil and a bit of butter, throw in some garlic and then toast the grains before adding the stock or water and fresh herbs. I use twice as much liquid as grains total. Cover, bring to a boil, simmer for about 15 minutes, then turn off the heat and let it sit for another 10 minutes - Be sure NOT to crack the lid until then.

                                                                      Then we add in whatever: chopped veggies, another pat of butter, parm, The kids devour it.

                                                                      I also like quinoa as a porridge for breakfast.

                                                                      Quinoa porridge with walnuts and apples (vegan, but you can sub in dairy and honey if you like)
                                                                      1/2 cup quinoa
                                                                      3/4 cup water
                                                                      1/2 cup vanilla soy milk
                                                                      1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
                                                                      1 apple, peeled, cored and diced
                                                                      chopped walnuts
                                                                      vanilla soy milk
                                                                      agave nectar

                                                                      Put the quinoa, water, 1/2 cup vanilla soy milk, chopped apple and cinnamon in a saucepan and bring to a boil then reduce heat to low. Simmer, covered, for 15 minutes.

                                                                      Remove from heat and stir well.

                                                                      Put into 2 serving bowls and add more soy milk until you get the consistency you like.

                                                                      Add a drizzle of agave nectar if you like and then and add more cinnamon to suit your taste.

                                                                      Top with chopped walnuts.

                                                                      1. Quinoa cooks 2:1 just like rice, so 1cup water/broth and 1 cup quinoa (any color). If you use your rice cooker, it works great, just remember that quinoa almost triples in volume when cooked (way more than rice!) so leave plenty of room for the quinoa to fluff up and grow. Many great quinoa recipes in the bestselling cookbook, Quinoa 365: The Everyday Superfood by Patricia Green and Carolyn Hemming. For instance a flour-less chocolate cake make from cooked quinoa seeds!!! Plus many of brekkie, appetizer, entree, salad, soup, baking and dessert recipes, the book is chock full of great ideas. www.quinoa365.com

                                                                        1. I've been doing some experimenting with quinoa lately - here are two that I think aren't represented in this thread -

                                                                          cook red or black quinoa (white is fine, but the dark looks better) according to package instruction - add a little salt towards the end of cooking - in fact make a double batch and you can make both of the following recipes:

                                                                          Breakfast or dessert -
                                                                          cool and layer with coconut milk or coconut yogurt and diced mango, pineapple, shredded mint, drizzle honey -

                                                                          Mix with chiffonade of kale and either mashed butternut squash or sweet potato, add salt, pepper, cumin, coriander, cayenne, chopped cilantro... form into cakes, coat in chick pea flour or rice flour or whatever is on hand an pan fry.

                                                                          1. It's not quite autumn yet, but our temperatures have finally "fallen" and I'm starting to crave seasonal foods. I'm kicking off the season with a delicious quinoa recipe, which would make a perfect Thanksgiving dish. The cayenne pepper nicely balances out the sweetness of the roasted butternut squash and carrots.

                                                                            "Quinoa with Roasted Butternut Squash, Parsnips, and Carrots" (recipe by “Oishii!”)

                                                                            1 1/2 cups carrots, cut into 3/4″ pieces
                                                                            1 1/2 cups parsnips, cut into 3/4″ pieces
                                                                            2 cups butternut squash, cut into 3/4″ pieces
                                                                            3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
                                                                            kosher salt
                                                                            freshly ground pepper
                                                                            1 1/2 cups quinoa
                                                                            1 medium onion, chopped
                                                                            2 large cloves garlic, minced
                                                                            1/2 teaspoon turmeric
                                                                            1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
                                                                            1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
                                                                            1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
                                                                            2 3/4 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock for a vegetarian dish)


                                                                            Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a heavy rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut parchment in half and fold into two pockets. Spread out the carrots and parsnips into a single layer on one half and the butternut squash on the other. Drizzle vegetables with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Sprinkle with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Roast about 30 minutes until tender. The butternut squash will be ready before the carrots and parsnips.

                                                                            Meanwhile, rinse the quinoa with water in a fine mesh strainer.

                                                                            Heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Sauté onion and garlic until the onion is soft. Add the quinoa. Cook for a few minutes. Add turmeric, cumin, coriander, cayenne pepper, and chicken or vegetable stock. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and cook covered until quinoa is done and liquid is absorbed. Add some water if necessary. Mix cooked quinoa and roasted vegetables in a large bowl. Add more kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Serve warm or at room temperature.

                                                                            1. I like the Quinoa-Spinach Bake recipe on Martha Stewart's website.

                                                                              1. Found this recipe for Quinoa Tabbouleh from Bon Appetit on Epicurious. Made it tonight and added some snow peas from the garden. Delish and reportedly healthy. A good choice for hot summer day meals.