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Quinoa as a side dish, not a salad

Someone brought me some food and one of the dishes was quinoa, which needed to be heated and had all kinds of herbs in it, but I haven't gotten the recipe for it from her yet. I loved it and bought some organic quinoa to use as a side dish, but NOT a salad. Suggestions please,keeping in mind that my DH is super picky so it has to be pretty simple. Can I just use it like rice? And how do I rinse it, and then toast it? Thanks.

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  1. You cook it the same way for a side as for a salad. The salad just has crunchy vegies and some sort dressing added.

    Rinsing is to get ride of a soapy coating. The only trick is having a fine enough strainer.

    Toasting may enhance flavor, but is not required. I don't think I've ever done it.

    It cooks much like rice, and can be flavored in the same ways.

    1. My son mixes some into his stir fries.

      2 Replies
        1. re: c oliver

          I think you would want to cook it first.

      1. I've swapped out rice and pasta for quinoa in practically everything. I just like it with butter and salt sometimes. Somebody I know cooked it in veggie broth, with pignoli and sauteed shreds of scallion. That was yummy!

        I rinse it, never bother with toasting it, and cook it in my rice cooker.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Heatherb

          I will be having some tonight with roasted tomatoes and peppers and a little bit of feta:)

        2. I make a simple side dish with it. Rinse, and cook in some chicken broth. In a skillet, saute some chopped garlic cloves in some olive oil. Add a couple handfuls of baby spinach and sauté until wilted. Mix in your quinoa, some chopped green onions and some crumbled feta. Great as a main entree or as a side. I like serving it with grilled chicken. You can eat it warm or at room temp.

            1. I use it like I do rice. Sometimes I will sautee onions, carrots, celery and then add quinoa and stock or sometimes I will make coconut quinoa by subbing light coconut milk for water. I also love quinoa cakes made from a mixture of cooked quinoa, raw eggs, cheese, onion, garlic and panko which is then formed into patties and pan fried.

              1. I also use it as I would use rice. Reconstituted dried mushrooms are a nice addition and I use the filtered "mushroom" water as part of the quinoa cooking liquid.

                I have made quinoa pudding as a dessert.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Sinicle

                  Great minds! :)

                  I do exactly what you do with dried porcinis! It makes the quinoa so flavorful imo.

                  I usually add asparagus or other veggies to mine and top with a peppery tuscano cheese.

                  When I want a quick lunch, I mix some with Seabrook creamed spinach and top with the cheese again.

                2. Another vote for using/seasoning quinoa any way you'd use/season rice or couscous.