How to cook Quinoa

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Quinoa (said keen-wah) is a gluten free, protein packed grain that belongs to the amaranth family. It comes in a few different colors and cooks just like rice but with a deeper, nutty flavor. I was introduced to quinoa by our wonderful neighbor. I don’t remember what she made with quinoa but I recall her telling me some health benefits of quinoa and how it was so versatile to use in many different forms. As is with most my recipes I looked up at some trusted sources, some books and read up more on it. I found that that it is full of antioxidants, is higher in fiber than most other grains, it helps in improving your metabolic health, and works great in controlling blood sugar. Given all these health benefits, I thought we have to give it a try.

If it’s your first time trying quinoa, I urge you to approach it with an open mind and palate and I promise quinoa will love you right back. Start with the white quinoa which has milder flavor as compared to the red and black varieties. And slowly you can venture out. There is not going to be any looking back. If you have quinoa cooked and ready to use during the week, you can use it many different ways. It works great in salads, as a side dish, as your whole grain part of the meal, mix it with vegetables/chicken to make patties for sandwiches, among others. So this simple recipe of quinoa can be starting point of many others. The picture I share here shows a mix of white and red quinoa.

Ingredients:

Quinoa – 1 cup (white/red/black or a combination)

Water – 1 cup

Chicken or vegetable broth – 1 cup

Salted butter – 1/2 tablespoon

Salt to taste

Method:

Take quinoa in a fine mesh steel strainer and rinse it under cold water 2-3 times. After rinsing it well, add it to a saucepan with water and broth and put it on high heat. Feel free to use just water or just broth or a combination..whatever makes your heart sing. Broth definitely gives it a richer flavor. Add salt and butter and cover the pan. Once the water starts boiling, lower the heat to simmer. Let quinoa cook for about 40 minutes and check for doneness. To check it, take a grain and press it between your thumb and pointer finger. Be careful..its hot!! If you are able to squish the grain, its done. Let it sit covered in the pan for a few minutes and then fluff it with a fork. Quinoa is ready to be enjoyed!!

Love – Vaishali.

Tools used:

Steel mesh strainer

Sauce pan with lid

Fork

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