How to Cook the Best Quinoa

Plus 4 Easy Ways to Use It in Recipes

Forget cronuts; quinoa is the food trend to follow.

This edible seed is a complete protein, but without the fat and cholesterol you typically find in meat. It can also substitute carbs like white rice. But, unlike rice, quinoa ranks very low in the glycemic index.

One cup of uncooked quinoa yields more than 2 cups when cooked, so a little goes a long way. Although there are many ways to cook quinoa, this method will ensure a fluffy base every time.

More: Southwestern Quinoa Cakes

How to Cook Fluffy Quinoa

Equipment Needed

  • 1 saucepan with a tight-fitting lid
  • 1 fine mesh strainer that fits the circumference of the saucepan

Instructions

  • Rinse 1 cup of quinoa in water. Add the rinsed quinoa and 2 cups of water to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook for 15 minutes.
  • Strain the quinoa and rinse under cool water. As the quinoa is draining, fill the same saucepan with water and heat until boiling.
  • With the quinoa in a mesh strainer, place it over the pot and cover it with a lid. Steam it for 15 minutes until fluffy.

More: Toasted Rainbow Quinoa with Roasted Tomatoes

How to Incorporate Cooked Quinoa Into Recipes

For a take on Chinese fried rice: Add 1 cup of cooked quinoa, 1/4 cup defrosted peas and carrots, one cooked scrambled egg, 1/2 cup chopped cooked chicken or shrimp, and season to taste with low-sodium soy sauce and sesame oil.

For a fresh side dish: Mix 1 cup of cooked quinoa with 1/4 cup chopped purple onion, 1/2 cup fresh corn kernels, fresh-squeezed lime juice and salt to taste.

More: Red Quinoa Pilaf Recipe

For a meatless patty: Combine 1 cup cooked quinoa with one egg, 1/4 cup finely chopped onion, 1 finely chopped garlic clove, 1/4 cup chopped chives, 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese and 1/2 teaspoon salt, and form the mixture into patties. Heat a small amount of olive oil in a frying pan and cook both sides of the patties until golden brown.

For a meatless dish: Mix 1 cup of cooked quinoa with 1/2 cup of toasted pecans, 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar and 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and stuff inside a baked acorn squash cut in half.

More: Quinoa Mac, Greens and Cheese

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About the Author

Darlene Horn

Darlene Horn is a San Diego-based writer, journalist and food blogger. When she's not rambling about food on her blog, MyBurningKitchen.com, you can find her taking her dog on daily long walks, or sweating it out in a boxing class or boot camp.

Darlene Horn is a San Diego-based writer, journalist and food blogger. When she's not rambling about food on her blog, MyBurningKitchen.com, you can find her taking her dog on daily long walks, or sweating it out in a boxing class or boot camp.

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