Cooking Quinoa

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Part of the reason I like quinoa is because it's so darn easy to cook. I can walk my dog or watch an episode of Teen Mom 3 (I know, I know) or really do anything I want while it essentially cooks itself. Oh and of course the nutritional value make it great blah blah blah- let's be real, I have a total of 20 minutes of free time on weekdays and I'm not trying to spend all of it cooking/burning things. I've heard of frying your quinoa in olive oil before adding the water to add more flavor, but since this clean eating thing makes that a no-no I've set out on a mission to make tastier quinoa without the no-nos. These are a few different ways I have tried (and succeeded at) cooking quinoa to make it tasty.

Important things to note:
  • The general rule is 2:1 (Water/broth/juice:Quinoa)
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa = 3 cups cooked quinoa. You can slash/increase using the same ratios. Remember this when you are picking the pot to cook it in- it needs to be big enough to hold 3 x what is in there before you start cooking
  • Quinoa doesn't have a whole lot of flavor but it really fills you up. These methods add some flavor. 
  • One time the BF felt he couldn't "taste" the quinoa so he kept adding more and more and more to his plate and ended up consuming about 2 cups of quinoa and was REAL uncomfy about 20 minutes later. This stays in your stomach and takes awhile to digest, and really helps make your stomach regular. If you eat too much of it in one sitting it can possibly make your stomach a little TOO regular if you get my drift. But that only happens if you consume tons of it.

Regular Ole Quinoa
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1.5 cup water
Bring the water to a boil. Once it's boiling, pour it over the quinoa and let it simmer for 20-30 mins or until the water is absorbed. This method maintains the nutty taste and I like using it when I'm making homemade granola/nutty snacks, in desserts, or in salads. This will be drier and less fluffy, if you want it less dry just boil 2 cups of water.

Chicken or Vegetable Broth Quinoa
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup water
Add all the stuff to one pan and bring it to a boil. Once it's boiling, turn it down to simmer (low on the stove) and cover for 20-30 minutes or until the quinoa has absorbed the broth and water (it may take longer than the regular methods). This method adds more of a savory/salty taste to the quinoa and covers up the nutty taste and makes it moist and fluffy. Sidenote: moist is top 5 grossest words in the dictionary but I really don't know how else to describe this one.

Tomato Juice Quinoa
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 cups tomato juice
  • 1/4 cup water
Combine all of it in a pan and bring to a boil. Once it's boiling turn it down to simmer (low on the stove) and cover for 20-30 minutes or until the quinoa has absorbed everything. I use this when I'm adding it to Italian flavored dishes.

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