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Quinoa

What do you do with it? What is your preferred way to cook it? I bought some today to try but now I'm scared.

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  1. Don't be scared!
    The two most common things I do with it are to make it plain (and serve with fish or veggies as the grain), or make it into a pilaf (warm) or salad (cold). It's very versatile. It's great because it is high in protein and fiber, and it cooks really quickly.

    Things I like to mix in include some form of bean (chickpeas, white beans, soy beans), herbs (basil, mint, marjoram, thyme are all good), sauteed or raw onions, sauteed zucchini, cherry tomatoes cut in half, pomegranate seeds, roasted red peppers, capers, lemon juice and zest, olive oil, garlic, sauteed mushrooms, etc. I just choose a few items that go well together and mix it in. There are lots of recipes available on the internet if you need more specifics.

    1. It's really delicious! You do need to rinse it first, unless you bought it in a box that says it was prerinsed. Just use it the way you'd use rice. It's more flavorful than rice, though.

      I like it as a breakfast cereal, with a little butter and sugar. My daughter makes a salad with quinoa, black beans, a few veggies, and a vinaigrette.

      I promise you won't mess it up!

      1. Be sure to use a fine mesh strainer and rinse under running water for at least 45 seconds. Shake to remove excess water. Use twice the amount in liquid - water or low sodium chicken broth. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat, simmer about 20 min. The seeds will start to sprout. Turn off heat. Fluff with a fork, replace lid and let steam for about 10 mins. You can eat it warm or cold.

        I like to make it with black beans and season with cumin and garlic. Simple and delicious and so very very good for you.

        3 Replies
        1. re: janetms383

          gonna try that now since i have some leftover black beans; i made quinoa once (for a sweet dish) many years ago so it feels like the time again...

          1. re: janetms383

            that was awesome; reminds me of couscous. I made it in 20 min and sauteed it in olive oil, onion, garlic and had it with black beans. I made a side of sweet plantain to go with it. There are still leftover beans, but no leftover quinoa in this house. I will cook more than a cup next time :)

            1. re: crowmuncher

              had it w/ lentils and avocado earlier in the week; it turned out really good, especially with the garlic and red onion

          2. First, rinse it well and then cook it like rice.

            As for uses, you can use it like you would Bulgar wheat or similar grains. I use it as a base for a vegetable salad. Adding Lima beans, corn, green pepper etc. and dressing it with a vinaigrette works really well for a light healthy salad

            1 Reply
            1. I toss with chunks of citrus (orange & grapefruit), onion, sesame oil, pistachios, salt and pepper. Makes a great lunch.

              I've never rinsed quinoa, why would you? It's not gritty.

              2 Replies
              1. re: odkaty

                Unless the quinoa has been prerinsed, the label will advise doing so. The grains are coated in saponins, which are plant glucosides that are used in soap-making and alter the taste of the quinoa. Some saponins have varying levels of toxicity, such as the saponin digitalis, which is used in heart medicines and also as a poison.

                1. re: greygarious

                  Interesting. I've never heard of that, though I've never bought it in a box. Reading up on the saponins, it sounds like most (if not all) quinoa sold commercially in the US is pre-rinsed.

              2. had a quinoa-based tabbouleh recently (one guest had gluten issues) that was terrific.

                2 Replies
                1. re: wonderwoman

                  Found a recipe for Quinoa Tabbouleh from Bon Appetit on Epicurious. Made it tonight and added some snow peas from the garden. I agree, delish and reportedly healthy too. Should be a hit for hot summer day meals. Thanks for the idea, WonderWoman!

                  http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                  1. re: DonShirer

                    Here's another quinoa tabbouleh recipe from Cooking Light that I've recently tried and found good: http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/quino...

                    I think the Bon Appetit recipe may be better in using 1 1/4 cup water per cup quinoa (rather than 1 3/4 cup water per cup quinoa in the recipe from Cooking Light) because I think it's better to have the quinoa rather "al dente" in a salad.

                  1. I was pleasantly surprised by an experiment last week making kale risotto with quinoa instead of rice.

                      1. You can use it like pasta as in pasta salads. I love this one and have made it with quinoa...comes out great.

                        http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/in...

                        1. I usually cook it as I do rice, though I made quinoa stuffed peppers the other day. I cooked the quinoa per the package instructions and added to sauteed farmers market vegetables and stuffed peppers, topped with feta. I also love any leftover quinoa cold on a salad to make it more substantial.

                          1. I recently made this quinoa salad from 101 cookbooks, and it was delicious. I topped it with an egg like Heidi suggests for a main meal, then brought it for lunch the next day with no egg. She also has some other quinoa recipes that I bet are just as good:

                            http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/...

                            http://www.101cookbooks.com/ingredien...

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: chocolatemalt

                              The quinoa/dill/zuke/currants recipe looks good. Thanks for posting the link.

                              Will try it out tonight ;-)

                            2. I put whatever I have/like in the quinoa salad. Try one of those recipes that have curry in it. Tasted really good.

                              1. I buy Ancient Harvest which is labeled as prewashed but I rinse it twice anyway.

                                One of my favorite things to make is a quinoa/veggie stir-fry including eggplant, zucchini and/or summer squash, thin-sliced green beans, diced tomato, and shiitake mushrooms. I stir-fry them separately, then put the entire combination back into the pan, add a generous splash of balsamic vinegar (either regular or golden balsamic), add in the quinoa which you prepare in a separate pan and just let sit on the turned-off burner until needed, mix well, season with pepper and sea salt as desired, and voila.

                                This cookbook has some great ideas that use not only "regular" quinoa but quinoa flakes as well. They also include baking recipes using quinoa flour but strangely, even though we love regular quinoa and like the flakes as well, the taste of quinoa flour is a total non-starter for both of us.

                                http://www.amazon.com/Quinoa-365-Supe...

                                Your public library system may well have it if you want to check out a few recipes before actually buying the book itself. That's what I did.