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Jan 29, 2012 08:17 PM

Have you ever tried to cook quinoa? How do you cook and serve it? What recipe do you like the best?

Quinoa has been becoming more and more popular, it's high in protein, it's not a wheat but a kind of seed. Quinoa is very versatile, you can make salad with it, you can eat it like rice to serve with other main course. The best part is that it's so healthy and good for you.

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    1. Hoping you get some good responses. I bought a bag and cooked it once but it was kind of sticky and didn't come out that well.

      It is really good for you though so I'd like to learn more about how to cook it!

      1. We eat it every day—it's our go-to grain. I bring quinoa and 2x chicken stock (Better Than Bouillon) to a boil, lower heat, cover, simmer till done. SO EASY. I make tons and we use the leftovers all week: in my three-year-old's lunch, for breakfast stirred with a soft-cooked egg and soy sauce, or on the side of a protein and veg.

        15 Replies
        1. re: sweetpotater

          A little more details on how to do you use cooked quinoa will be much appreciated. You have given pointers but it doesn't click any recipe in my head.

          Due to my health issues, I am going Vegan (and gluten-free) so bought a bag of it. Only thing I find online is salad and I hate bland salads. I am trying to Indianize Quinoa but failed so far (I have embraced Indian cooking style as I found its most Vegan friendly).

          1. re: vegiefudie

            I personally REALLY like Quinoa Upma. Upma is a South Indian savory breakfast dish usually made with cream of wheat (rawa or sooji), is also excellent with bulgur wheat (daliya), and is great with quinoa.

            Rough recipe:
            1 C quinoa, cooked in water with salt. Don't overcook. Keep ready.

            In large pot or skillet, heat:
            1 T vegetable oil, sizzle 1/4 tsp hing, 1/2 t mustard seeds, 2 green chillies minced, 1 T ginger minced, 5-6 fresh curry leaves. Add a few halved cashew nuts and toast them.

            Add 1 small onion finely diced. Typical upma veggies include small diced potatoes that will cook quickly and green peas but I just throw in a handful of frozen mixed veg.

            Add 1/2 of a 15 oz can finely diced tomatos or equivalent fresh. You can add the whole can if you don't mind the soupier texture and predominance of tomato - I like it that way actually. Stir to mix.

            Once the veggies are cooked, add the quinoa, mix well, let it all heat up. Check the salt etc.

            Add a sprinkle of lemon juice, and garnish with cilantro.

            Serve hot with (optional) soy or coconut yogurt on the side (plain, not sweet) and masala chai or South Indian filter coffee (non dairy milks) whatever you like. Or just eat it as is. Stays well in the fridge and reheats well.

            If you do try this, tell me if you like it.

            1. re: Rasam


              Thanks for the recipe. I made this tonight ( with a few substitutions(--no hing, whatever that is--used frozen szechuan veggies--galangal instead of ginger) accompanied by roasted salmon and it turned out well.

            2. re: vegiefudie

              Quinoa actually works really well in Indian cooking, I've also made upma with it, and also used it to make a veggie Biriyani instead of using rice. We eat it in lieu of our usual rice too, like dal, chicken curry, etc. I just saw a recipe for quinoa tortillas, and it gave me the idea to integrate it into my rotis. Planning on trying it tomorrow night for dinner.

              1. re: boogiebaby

                I never thought of using it to replace basmati rice, but thats a great idea! I really should stick to low-GI so I'll be trying this soon. :)

                1. re: eviemichael

                  You can really use it to replace any type of rice. It also works in tabbouleh in place of bulgur, and the size & shape make it a great substitute for couscous as well.

                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                    I can see it as a great replacement for couscous, but does it work as well as a replacement for bulgur, which is such a hearty grain? Isn't bulgur healthy too?

                    After the crazy decadent food I've had these past few weeks, all grains sound so good to me now...

                    1. re: eviemichael

                      Bulgur is fine - I just thought I'd mention it as an alternative.

                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                        thanks :) I have PCOS and love carbs, so I'm trying to learn about all low-GI grains.

                        1. re: eviemichael

                          Gotcha. Technically quinoa is a seed/grass, not a grain, and it's not inflammatory like bulgur or other wheat products so it's a great choice for you.

                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                            Good to know, thanks. :-) I'm overwhelmed trying to re-structure my diet and regular weeknight meals to help my condition.

                            1. re: eviemichael

                              Just take it one day at a time, and please let me know if there's anything I can do to help - the focus of my nutrition practice is special diets for the management of health conditions.

              2. re: vegiefudie

                To make an indian quinoa pulao... For one cup quinoa take 1.75 cups of water. Bring it to a boil and when it starts to boil, bring the fire to sim and cover, leave for 20 mins and then switch off flame. Let it be covered for 5 more mins. Open and take a fork and feel the quinoa it will be fluffy.

                In a pan add olive oil, add full cummins 1 tsp,cut 2 small onions to tiny pieces, add and fry till onion is translucent, add 2 carrots cut small, peas or soya beans as much as you want and any other vegetable you like, add turmeric powder, chillie powder and salt, cover till it is cooked on a sim flame. Once cooked, open the cover and leave till the steam/ water disappears.

                Now add the cooked quinoa to the veggie mix and mix well. Your mix vegetable quinoa pulao is done

                1. re: vegiefudie

                  Then you need to try a different search engine because there are hundreds of Quinoa recipes on line. Everything from casseroles to breakfasts to side dishes to deserts.
                  There are even websites devoted to nothing but Quinoa.

              3. we just made quinoa tonight - we make it quite often. It's delicious if you rinse it and get the proportions right:

                rinse 1 cup quinoa in a strainer and put in pot with 1 3/4 cups of water, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a very low simmer, cover and let sit for 12-15 minutes. Remove from heat and let it sit for 5 minutes, fluff and you're ready to go.

                oh, also if your quinoa still has the coating on it you'll need to soak it. Also, red quinoa can be a bit gritty, so we stick with the yellow variety.

                3 Replies
                1. re: kazhound

                  I've never rinsed it. What does rinsing do?

                  1. re: sweetpotater

                    There's a natural outer layer of saponin on it. The saponin helps protect the quinoa, otherwise the birds eat it while it is growing. The saponin is responsible for the bitter taste. Rinsing gets rid of the saponin.

                    1. re: annabanana2000

                      I rinse my quinoa 2-3 times, until the water runs clear:-)

                2. 1 cup Quinoa
                  2 cups Chicken (or veggie) Stock
                  2 tbsp Olive Oil
                  1 tbsp Fresh Lemon Juice
                  1/2 cup nuts (pine, almonds, hazel etc.), lightly toasted
                  1/4 cup Finely Chopped Red Onion
                  1/2 cup Chopped Fresh Basil

                  Place quinoa in strainer. Rinse under cold running water until water is clear. Transfer quinoa to a medium saucepan; add stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until liquid is absorbed and quinoa is tender, about 20 minutes.

                  Transfer quinoa to large bowl; fluff with fork. Whisk together oil and lemon juice with some salt and pepper and stir in. Cool to room temperature. Mix in pine nuts, red onion and basil. Season with salt and pepper.

                  Have also added spinach or chard that I sauteed with butter and garlic which is awesome.

                  You can really add or subtract lots of things with this. Versatile, easy and yummy.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Jzone

                    This (using toasted slivered almonds) + goat cheese and cranberries = delicious.

                    Actually, we cook the onions to soften, then add the quinoa and toast for a minute or 2 before adding stock.

                    We've done it with figs too instead of the cranberries, which was good but I prefer the cranberries.