Oct 19 2012

Help! Quinoa? What?!

To make a pot of quinoa for breakfast, use a ratio of two parts water to every one part quinoa. For example, add one cup of cold water to ½ cup quinoa and cook for about 10-15 minutes. After it is done, keeping the burner at low temperature, mix in some soymilk (but you can use any type of regular milk or milk alternative if you prefer) to give it an oatmeal-like, moist texture. Then add in chopped nuts and dried fruits. Sometimes, add in a little natural sweetener like honey, maple syrup, or agave syrup. When in the mood for a little extra creaminess, add in a little coconut milk as well.

As a side dish, use quinoa like you would rice. You can either serve it plain or add some seasonings, vegetables, and/or nuts. Quinoa also makes a great base for cold grain salads. A favorite is making quinoa tabouli. To do so, add some chopped greens (like parsley, mint, and/or scallions) to chilled cooked quinoa. Then add some extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Oftentimes, you can add other ingredients for variety; for example, adding some chopped nuts and feta cheese is a favorite way to add extra zing to a cold quinoa salad.

Regardless of how you prepare your quinoa, remember to wash it well before cooking it. Raw quinoa is coated with naturally occurring saponins that can impart a soapy taste to your otherwise delicious quinoa if not removed. An easy way to wash the quinoa is to run cold water over quinoa that has been placed in a fine-meshed strainer, gently rubbing the seeds (quinoa is technically a seed, not a grain) together with your hands. To ensure that the saponins have been completely removed, taste a few seeds. If they still have a bitter taste, continue the rinsing process. For more information and recipes, please see: