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Topic: Quinoa

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Subject: Quinoa
Date Posted: 3/12/2009 8:54 PM ET
Member Since: 12/20/2008
Posts: 1,417
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I'm also posting this in the health & fitness, cooking forum, and CMT.

I made quinoa tonight, and I had 2 problems. The directions said to rinse one cup of quinoa in cold water, then add it to 1.25 cups boiling water.

The grains are slightly bigger than grains of sand. How do you rinse them? I did the best I could, but in the draining process, I lost about close to 1/4 cup!

Then, it said to boil, covered, for 12 min.

The end product is about 1/2 cup of edible quinoa and a lot of burned on grains! The interior of the pot looks like it is a cast-iron pot, but it actually is stainless steel. The house now reeks of the scent of burned hair! (Eww.)

Any quinoa cookers who can give me advice for my take 2?

 

Date Posted: 3/13/2009 2:30 PM ET
Member Since: 10/19/2007
Posts: 1,028
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I've used a screen type strainer rather than a colander with large holes when draining the rinsed quinoa.  As for the burned part, you need to stir it a little while it's coming up to a boil, just like you would rice.  Then you reduce the heat to simmer and cover 8-10 minutes.  I also don't measure the exact amount of water.  You can add a little more and that might save you from burning.  Did you season it?

Date Posted: 3/13/2009 3:43 PM ET
Member Since: 12/20/2008
Posts: 1,417
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Thanks for the tip!

I did not season it, per se. But, I put Trader Joe's Mandarin Chicken (mixed w/steamed broccoli) over it. The Mandarin Chicken is fairly saucy, so it blended with the quinoa very nicely.

Although a lot of it burned to the bottom of the pot, half of it was edible and very tastey. I can't wait for my second attempt at quinoa, and armed with the suggestions I've gotten, I have high hopes.

Monica, do you have any suggestions on seasonings? The package has a recipe for minty quinoa on it, and whenever I google quinoa recipes, I always find curried quinoa, but I'm not a huge fan of curry, so I haven't tried that.

Thank you!

 

Date Posted: 3/15/2009 10:18 AM ET
Member Since: 10/19/2007
Posts: 1,028
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You can treat it just like you would rice.  I just saute garlic in a seperate pan in a little coconut oil and then add the cooked quinoa.  You could also make it into a fried rice type dish by scrambling egg & garlic and adding cooked quinoa and some soy sauce.  It holds up pretty well.  Plus, the fact that it's a protein makes it friendly to low carb maintenance.

Date Posted: 3/26/2009 1:40 PM ET
Member Since: 12/7/2007
Posts: 6,435
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Yeah, I used quinoa in any dish where I'd use rice--with beans, tofu, etc.  Don't boil it too hard, and stir it occasionally and it shouldn't stick like that. 

I love this stuff--it cooks so much quicker than rice so it is really convenient on days when I'm busy and don't have a lot of time to get dinner ready.

Date Posted: 4/2/2009 4:45 AM ET
Member Since: 12/20/2008
Posts: 1,417
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Since my original post, I have tried the quinoa several more times, using all of your suggestions.  It has come out brilliantly! I couldn't be more pleased! Apparently, some people don't care for the "rolly-polly" texture, but I love it!  Rinsing the quinoa in a fine wire mesh strainer is working perfectly, and I'm looking for more recipes to make.

Thanks all!

 ETA: I checked the website for the brand of quinoa that I buy, and their recipes all recommend cooking one cup of quinoa in one and a quarter cups of boiling water. I emailed the company asking why this is, since all the other recipes that I have found (and your suggestions) were to use 1 cup quinoa in 2 cups of water.  

Their response, from the corporate chef, was that the less water makes a firmer product, the chef just didn't like the texture in 2 cups of water, felt it was too mushy.  But, when you cook in the less water, you must keep the heat to a slow simmer! Enjoy!

 ETA2: typos

 



Last Edited on: 4/2/09 12:38 PM ET - Total times edited: 2