I didn’t discover quinoa until some time last year, but it didn’t take me long to become on of my go-to vegetarian ingredients. I love that it’s a complete protein and is low in carbs though it makes a great stand-in for grains like rice, oats and barley. It also tastes wonderful.
It took me a little bit of trial and error to learn to cook quinoa well, so I thought I’d share with you a great post on cooking quinoa from TheKitchn.com.
They’ve got a great little tutorial, complete with pictures.
The blog authors at TheKitchn mention that they like to cook up a big pot of quinoa on the weekends and eat it throughout the week with curry and other toppings. I’m going to have to give that a try, as opposed to cooking it fresh every few days.
You’ll have to check out the full tutorial for great step-by-step instructions on cooking quinoa that comes out fluffy every time and never has that slightly bitter taste that quinoa can have. It took some research for me to find out that rinsing the quinoa before cooking it is the key to getting rid of that acidic taste. It comes from a natural coating of the seed and rinses off easily, leaving no bitterness behind.
You should rinse the quinoa, even if you buy the boxed variety.
Although boxed quinoa is often pre-rinsed, it doesn’t hurt to give the seeds an additional rinse at home. Some cookbooks suggest soaking the quinoa but, in our experience, this is unnecessary,” the experts at TheKitchn say.
They also mention that quinoa cooks beautifully in a rice cooker, which is something I never thought of trying.
If you’re new to quinoa, you might not know that quinoa is great for breakfasts and desserts and not just as a savory dish. We love it cooked as a porridge. I’ll usually cook it the night before while I’m making dinner, then heat it up in the microwave with some almond milk, brown sugar, raisins and cinnamon. It’s absolutely delicious.
I also use quinoa (cooked with just a bit of sugar added to the water or almond milk) as a grain in dessert parfaits. I’ll usually layer them with berries and either vanilla soy yogurt or a vanilla pudding. It’s become a real favorite around here, even with visiting kids.
Check out the tutorial if you want to tweak your quinoa skills and definitely try some quinoa recipes if you’re not using this delicious and versatile food yet. It’s got far more protein than pasta or rice and it tastes great.