- Food and Cooking
How To Cook Quinoa Properly
Quinoa ready to eat
Quinoa is all the rage right now for those of us who prefer to eat and live healthy, however, until recently I knew nothing about this amazing little seed from South America. I would be remiss if I did not credit my stepdaughter for educating me on quinoa and encouraging me to give it a try. Imagine my surprise when I discovered the existence of a food which is a great source of protein, fiber and carbohydrates. Quinoa is the perfect replacement for carb heavy foods like pasta and rice, neither of which do not provide much protein and fiber. Finally, this tiny seed is also high in iron and magnesium, both of which most of us are lacking in our diets.
I am always eager to try new foods so it was not long before I was cooking my first meal with quinoa. I was concerned at first it would be difficult food to cook, but I could not have been more incorrect. The most important step to remember with quinoa is actually part of the preparation. Quinoa must be thoroughly rinsed in cold water prior to cooking in order to remove the bitter tasting outer coating. If this is not done then the quinoa will not taste very good! Once rinsed and drained the quinoa is ready to be cooked. I should mention, I have learned quinoa is much like pasta, it seems to "grow" as it cooks. Most package directions suggest 1 cup of quinoa, but I ended up with way to much for two people. So, I cut the amount in half and use 1/2 cup of quinoa and this is plenty for two people. I prefer to cook my quinoa in chicken stock, but if you are vegetarian you can use vegetable stock. Finally, I add a dash of garlic powder, because I love garlic and for another layer of flavor. Once the quinoa is translucent it is done, there is no need to cook further, as this will result in overcooked mushy quinoa.
Quinoa is a very versatile food and can stand alone or be paired with fish or vegetables. I serve it most with fish. It absorbs the flavor of the food it is served with, but also adds it is own flavor to the dish. Needless to say, I have become a lover of quinoa and I was thrilled to call my stepdaughter to thank her for telling me all about this awesome food!
- 1/2 cup of quinoa
- garlic powder
- Cold water
- 1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
You will need the following tools for this recipe:
- 4 Quart saucepan
- Slotted spoon
- Fine mesh strainer
1. Rinse the quinoa in cold water using a fine mesh strainer. Continue rinsing the quinoa until the water becomes clear.
2. Keep a large mixing bowl underneath the strainer to allow you to see when the water has become clear. This will also catch any quinoa which may slip through the strainer
3. Allow the quinoa to drain for several minutes after you have finished rinsing it, in order to remove excess water. Once quinoa is rinsed, place into 4 quart sauce pan.
4. Add 1 cup of chicken or vegetable broth to the quinoa. If you prefer less calories then use 1 cup of water. However, if you use water you may want to add some salt or garlic powder at this point to give the quinoa some flavor.
5. Bring mixture to a boil and then reduce heat to low. Cover sauce pan with the lid
6. Allow quinoa to simmer on low heat for at least 15 mins. Most of the liquid should be absorbed into the quinoa. If you notice this is not happening then remove the lid from the saucepan.
7. The quinoa is ready when it appears translucent or clear. Do not overcook your quinoa! If you cook quinoa for to long it will have a mushy texture. Use a slotted spoon to place quinoa into serving dish or onto a plate. Quinoa absorbs lots of water and if it sits in liquid it will become mushy.
8. Ready to serve. Enjoy!!