How To Cook Quinoa
Here is my simple recipe for cooking quinoa. What I love about it is that quinoa is quick to cook, around 15 minutes (10 if you soak it overnight). It has a delicate and nutty flavour which is very addictive and I often can’t put down the spoon once I’ve started eating it.
Technically quinoa is not a grain but a relative of green leafy vegetables like spinach. It’s gluten free and has a low GI of 53 + it’s a complete protein which means that it contains all the essential amino acids that the body needs for repair. It’s also a good source of lysine, an amino acid important for tissue growth and repair, which makes it a perfect meal after a hard workout. Your body needs protein for repair and quality carbs to replenish glycogen and quinoa is a good source of both.
HOW TO COOK QUINOA:
STEP 1 – Measure out your quinoa
I normally use 1 cup of quinoa to serve 2 people. But my advice is to cook more to so that you can enjoy it the next day and throw into a super salad or have it for breakfast the next day.
STEP 2 – Wash the quinoa
If you have time. wash quinoa well under cold water in a fine mesh strainer, gently rubbing the seeds together with your hands to ensure that any saponins have been removed. Saponins are just a natural insecticide that forms naturally to protect the seed and can give the quinoa a slight bitter taste if not removed. It should be noted that harvesting methods used in the commercial cultivation remove much of the saponins that can coat quinoa seeds, but it’s still a good idea to thoroughly wash the seeds to remove any remaining saponin residue.
STEP 3 – Cook the quinoa
Combine 1 cup of quinoa to 1 1/2 cups filtered water and place them both into a pot.
Add a very small pinch of sea salt and bring to the boil.
Reduce the heat to very low.
Place on a lid.
Simmer for 10 – 15 minutes or until all the water has absorbed into the quinoa, you will notice that the seeds have become translucent.
Rest for 5 minutes and fluff it up with a fork before serving.
STEP 4 – Serve and enjoy it
You can serve quinoa a number of delicious ways. Enjoy as a power porridge with a tablespoon of crushed flaxseed, banana and honey. For a savoury breakfast option I soft boil 2 organic eggs and scoop out the soft runny yolk and delicate egg white over hot quinoa with a light sprinkle of freshly chopped garden herbs, similar to a kedgeree. Check out my power porridge below.
For lunch combine with tuna or tinned wild salmon, fresh chopped parsley, mint, spring onion and a little lemon juice and cold pressed flaxseed or olive oil for a wonderful tabouli salad or my quinoa salad with pomegranate dressing below.
For dinner make a cajun chicken or vegetarian paella infused with aromatics such as smoked paprika, coriander, lime + plenty of vegetables like roasted red capsicum, green baby peas and spinach or make up my roast Mediterranean vegetables with quinoa scented with a little basil pesto.
HOW TO STORE IT:
Store raw (uncooked) quinoa in an airtight container in the fridge.
Per 50 g serving of raw quinoa
Protein: 6.8 g
Total fat: 3.9 g
Saturated: 0.5 g
Carbs: 28 g
Sodium: 1 mg