Quinoa is a superfood that is so high in protein and nutrients, it’s a wonderful addition to any pantry! Here are a few tips on how to cook perfect quinoa every time.
1. Rinse, Rinse, Rinse!
Quinoa has a bitter coating that always needs to be rinsed away prior to cooking, so decide how much you’d like to make according to package directions and then measure it out into a medium-sized bowl. Pour enough cold water over the quinoa to cover it by a few inches, then get a fork or a whisk and stir it vigorously for a few minutes. Drain it by either pouring into a fine mesh sieve or by covering with a pot lid and straining carefully. Repeat this process once or twice more, drain very well and then proceed to step #2.
2. Time for a Toast, then Cool it!
Toast well-drained Quinoa in a large, dry frying pan over medium-low heat (do this in a few batches if you can, to avoid over-crowding the pan). Toast, stirring frequently, until it begins to brown slightly and develops a mildly nutty aroma (it will pop a bit during this process; just a heads up!). Transfer toasted quinoa to a baking sheet, spread out to cool, then proceed using your favourite recipe or the package directions... BUT, be sure to cook with salt added to the water with a bit of butter/olive oil if you can OR a bouillon cube adds wonderful flavour as well!
***PSSST! ...Now that you’ve got the ‘recipe for success’, so to speak, here’s what to do with all that wonderful quinoa you’ve just made!
~use in place of rice as a side dish or in any of your favourite recipes
~add cooked, cooled quinoa to salads; it’s amazing topped with vinaigrette and is wonderful with tuna, veggies, shredded cheese/nuts for a main course salad
~add cooked quinoa to soups for a protein boost! Tomato, minestrone, vegetable and beef barley with quinoa are fabulous!