I love quinoa, I use it alot in my kitchen, I add it to rice, I use it instead of rice, I eat it in salads and I fry it and add cheese to it…. Think of any usual kitchen task, and I do it, with quinoa. My kids arent as enthralled with quinoa as I am, but thats fine, more for me! I cook up a batch and keep it in the fridge, it keeps amazingly well. So, whenever I rant about quinoa I get the following, all the time; ‘I tried it and I didn’t like it, it was bitter’ , ‘I cant figure out how to cook it’ , ‘it doesn’t taste of anything’.
I should be able to fix most of those in the rest if this post.
1. Quinoa needs to be rinsed. Even if it says it doesnt, still rinse it. Quinoa that hasn’t been rinsed can taste bitter and strange. Always rinse. No need for a funky culinder/siv with extra small holes, just pop it in a bowl and add water and swish with your fingers, quinoa sinks so its easy to pour the water out once you are done.
2. Double the water. 1 cup quinoa, 2 cups water, etc. Add your rinsed quinoa to boiling water and stir once.
3. Add Flavour! Quinoa doesn’t taste of much, thats the beauty of it. I boil mine in a stock cube, but you can try different things, a spoon of tomato puree for colour, some juice, herbs or your favourite spices.
4. Once the quinoa is back to a boil, lower the heat, then let it do its thing. It can take anything from 10-20 minutes to cook it depending on brand. You can stir once or twice if you need to. Once it ‘looks right’ and tastes right, take it off the heat, cover with a lid and let it rest for a while (a few minutes is enough, but longer is better – in my opinion).
5. Fluff with a fork (this actually just means stirring) and serve.
For quinoa beginners, try stuffing some quinoa in a roast paprika or just adding a couple of spoon fulls to a salad. If you like, eat it on its own with baby spinach sautéed in butter and garlic (see image). YUM.
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