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Topic: Quinoa

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Subject: Quinoa
Date Posted: 3/12/2009 8:55 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: 3/31/2009 1:55 PM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2005
Posts: 487
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I use my pressure cooker. Use 1/2 cup less water than the recipe calls for and cook at low pressure 5 minutes. It's perfect.

Date Posted: 4/4/2009 12:23 PM ET
Member Since: 11/26/2008
Posts: 1,302
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Melissa did you serve it hot or cold?   I've only had cold quinoa for salads and such.  You can rinse the grains using a mesh sieve, they are usually $7 or $8 bucks at Target. 

As far as cooking it goes, it sounds like you used too little water, the recipe below calls for 12 cups, then you drain like pasta to serve cold. 

I'm sure there are other ways to cook it, but you should also consider the pot you used.  If the pot has a really thin metal base it is virtually impossible to cook rice or similar grains since the heat is not evenly distributed.  A heavier weight may solve that problem, though it does cost more.  I have a flimsy pot that I only use to boil water or heat up soup b/c it really can get hot even on the lowest settings.

Here is a great recipe from the Food Network for Quinoa Salad.  This salad was a HUGE hit at BBQ's last summer!

Date Posted: 4/4/2009 5:12 PM ET
Member Since: 12/20/2008
Posts: 1,417
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Hi Sarah,

Since I posted this, I have made the quinoa several times, and I actually emailed the manufacturer (Eden Organics) to ask why they called for so little water. Their reply was that the chef there prefers the ratio of 1 cup quinoa to 1.25 cups water because more water makes the quinoa mushy.

In my subsequent attempts, I did use a heavier-bottomed pan. I followed Eden's directions, and after I added the rinsed quinoa to the boiling water, I turned the heat down to a low simmer. 

The final product was wonderful! And, I did get a fine mesh strainer (Wal-mart, $1.69--can't beat that with a stick!)

I have been using quinoa in place of rice, once with Mandarian Chicken (from Trader Joe's), once with chicken breast I lightly seasoned with Italian seasoning and baked, once in a stuffed pepper, and finally, in lieu of rice or shells when I made tacos.  So, everytime I've prepared it, it has been for a hot meal.

I found a few recipes for cold-prep of quinoa, and I will try your salad, too. Sounds yummy!

Thanks for the advice!


Subject: quinoa
Date Posted: 4/19/2009 7:27 AM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
Posts: 1
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I use a fine mesh strainer to rinse the quinoa.  When it comes to a boil, the heat should be reduced to a simmer for the 10-12 minutes.  Hope this helps.

Subject: Quinoa
Date Posted: 6/9/2009 6:44 PM ET
Member Since: 5/1/2009
Posts: 4
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I have been cooking with Quinoa for over two years now.  I switched from rice to Quinoa.  As a matterof fact I cook it in a rice cooker, and I don't rinse it..... as you found it washes away.  I put a cup of Quinoa in the cooker with a cup and a half of water and some spices and turn it on.  Cooks quickly and has never burned..

Date Posted: 6/11/2009 4:32 PM ET
Member Since: 10/31/2007
Posts: 157
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I got a electric steamer at a yard sale for a dollar (brand new) and downloaded the instruction book.   It has served us well in cooking grains and keeping them light and fluffy with all the nutrients!  I love it!