A work friend asked me if I’d ever eaten quinoa the other day. I thought it was funny that she knew enough of my hippie leanings (and, okay, my love of food…) to pick me to ask about the latest weird wonder-food.
So, quinoa is one of those foods that’s supposed to be good for you. I could go on about protein percentages and omega-3s, but the real reasons you’d be willing to pay the high price they’re charging for it are simple:
- it’s easy to cook
- it tastes good.
Plus, as an added bonus, you get to feel good about eating something that you know is supposed to be healthy, even if you can’t remember exactly why!
So, how to cook quinoa? Basically like you’d cook rice (if you use the absorption method), but use less water. A ratio of 1 part quinoa to 2 parts water or stock works best. Bring it to the boil, cover and reduce the heat, and let it simmer until the liquid is absorbed. Try not to overcook the bottom like my rice cooker does, it’s too expensive to waste like that!
Some people say that you should wash the grain before cooking to remove saponins (soapy compounds that make it taste bitter), but apparently some grain comes pre-washed. It’s hard to tell if it’s been pre-washed, but if it seems to froth up when you add the water, you might want to tip it into a strainer and run some water through it before cooking.
Like many grains and seeds, it doesn’t taste like much on its own, so I usually add a vegetarian chicken-flavoured stock cube (Massel is a good brand in Australia) to the cooking water, and sometimes some rosemary too. Throw some baked or steamed veggies on top, drizzle with dressing, and you’ve got a delicious meal!
I’ll do a recipe post soon on the delicious quinoa and sweet potato burgers I had for lunch on the weekend. Have you tried quinoa? How do you like to serve it?