Cooking With Quinoa
Faux Pho With Quinoa
Microwave Quinoa Cooking Instructions
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water or other liquid, room temperature
- Place quinoa in mesh strainer and rinse grains in cool water.
- Place drained quinoa in 2 quart microwave safe glass bowl with lid.
- Stir in liquid
- Cover and microwave on high for 6 minutes. (If liquid is refrigerated, microwave on high for 7 minutes.)
- Reduce power to 60 percent, microwave an additional 8 minutes. At this point, the quinoa may appear soupy. Let stand for 5 minutes. Check quinoa. If grains are not translucent or have not spiraled, or if there is still liquid in the bowl, indicating that quinoa is not done, continue microwaving on 60 percent at 2 minute intervals until grains are translucent, have spiraled out, and there is no liquid in the bowl.
This method works even if you add additional ingredients, like chopped vegetables. Just microwave on high for an additional minute to bring the liquid to a high simmer.
If you halve the ingredients, the cooking time remains the same.
Cooking with quinoa is easy and nutritious, with lots of ways to bring flavor to the table. If you've never cooked with quinoa before, I offer some tips and recipes to help introduce you and your family to this versatile grain.
- Always rinse quinoa before cooking. Some brands leave the natural coating on the grain, which can cause a certain bitterness when cooked. Rinse the grains in a mesh strainer under cool running water, and allow to drain well.
- Replace cooking water with broth to add flavor. You can cook quinoa plain, like rice, and serve it as a side dish. Or replace cooking water with chicken or vegetable broth to add flavor. You can even cook it with carrot juice to add subtle flavor. Try my carrot quinoa recipe - it makes a great side dish.
- Most rice cookers don't do a very good job of cooking quinoa. I've found that cooking quinoa in the microwave does the best job. (See the basic microwave recipe in the sidebar.)
- Cooked quinoa can be used to replace noodles in many noodle-based recipes. Cook quinoa following the basic microwave recipe and replace noodles with cooked quinoa in your favorite lasagna or mac-and-cheese recipe, or cover with spaghetti sauce and cheese and serve as a side dish. Don't forget to try my quinoa pho recipe below!
- Cooked quinoa can be used in place of rice in many rice-based recipes. Instead of white rice, try using quinoa in its place. It's great with stir-fry dishes, coconut curries, spicey curries, or sweetened as a dessert.
Quinoa With Carrot Juice
Kid-friendly Carrot Quinoa
Carrot juice adds an appealing color and light, sweet flavor to quinoa. Most kids who eat rice will try this recipe, so it's an easy way to introduce quinoa to kids.
Use fresh carrot juice (I use the Naked Juice brand or Odwalla) or frozen.
Make Carrot Quinoa
Carrot Quinoa Rating
Cook Time for Carrot Quinoa
Ingredients for Carrot Quinoa
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 cups fresh carrot juice
- 1/2 cup celery, chopped
Instructions for Carrot Quinoa
- Rinse quinoa in mesh strainer under cool running water and drain well.
- In a 2 quart microwave safe glass bowl with lid, combine rinsed quinoa, carrot juice and chopped celery.
- Place covered bowl into microwave, and microwave on high power for 6 minutes. (If carrot juice was refrigerated, microwave on high an additional minute.) Reduce power to 60 percent and continue microwaving for another 8 minutes.
- Allow to stand for 5 minutes and check quinoa. If grains are not translucent and have not spiraled out, microwave on 60 percent power for 2 minute intervals, checking in between, until grains are translucent and spiraled in appearance.
Pho With Quinoa
Love pho but not the rice noodles? Try pho with quinoa! This recipe for pho broth is not authentic because it uses canned beef broth as a shortcut. The taste is great and it's a good recipe to try when you don't have all day to cook beef knuckles to make your own broth.
As another alternative to making pho broth from scratch, look for canned or boxed pho broth on your supermarket shelves. It's an even faster shortcut on a busy day, just heat and serve.
Some Faux Pho Ingredients
Ingredients for Pho Quinoa
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 small onion
2 1/2 cups beef broth
1 green onion, sliced
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1 cup sliced mushrooms
3" piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
1/2 lb raw sirloin, slice paper-thin
Pho Spice pack containing:
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon fennel seed
1 whole clove
1/2 teaspoon peppercorns
1/2 stick cinnamon
1 whole anise
2-3 cups cooked quinoa
1-2 cups torn Thai basil leaves
1-2 cups bean sprouts
1-2 cups chopped cilantro
1-2 sliced limes
Sliced chili peppers (optional)
Hot chili sauce (optional)
Instructions for Pho Quinoa
- Prepare a spice bag with pho spices (coriander, fennel seed, clove, peppercorn, cinnamon stick, anise,, and fresh sliced ginger root.) Set aside.
- In large pot, cook chopped onion in oil until translucent
- Add beef broth, fish sauce, sugar and pho spice bag. Bring to a boil and cook for 5-10 minutes. Taste broth after 5 minutes and either remove spice bag or leave it in and continue to boil for an additional 5 minutes.
- While broth is cooking, arrange torn Thai basil leaves, bean sprouts, cilantro and lime wedges onto a serving plate.
- Remove spice bag from broth and discard, and add green onion and mushrooms. Boil for about 2-3 minutes.
- While mushrooms cook, prepare serving bowls. Place about 1/2 cup hot, freshly cooked quinoa into bowls. At this point, you need to be prepared to move and serve, as things progress rather quickly.
- Turn off heat to broth and immediately add paper-thin slices of sirloin to broth.The raw meat should cook nearly immediately, so watch carefully. Ladle broth into bowls, dividing up meat between them.
- Serve immediately, allow guests to garnish with basil, bean sprouts, chopped cilantro, chilies, chili sauce and lime wedges to their taste.