If you are in need of an effortless meal, Quinoa is a foundational food that you must have on hand. Why? Because cooking it is incredibly easy and super fast, plus is so versatile that can be cooked for breakfast, lunch, dinner or snacks. Besides being so convenient to use, another reason why I am recommending quinoa, is because it is a nutrient rich powerhouse grain. Yes, it not only tastes good, it is very good for you. It is considered a complete protein that is gluten free and a great source of fiber. So what better grain to incorporate into your diet? I am defiantly loving quinoa right now and if you have not tried it at home, read my tips below on how to ease your way into cooking with it.
Use quinoa like you would rice, couscus, or bulgur. You can use it in savory or sweet dishes. My tip when cooking quinoa for savory dishes is to use chicken broth as the liquid to cook it in as it will give extra flavor, but if you plan to use the quinoa for a sweet dish then just cook it in plain water. Because quinoa keeps in the fridge so well, you can cook a large batch for the week, if you do so, it is best to cook it in plain water as that way you can have the quinoa ready to be prepped for either sweet or savory meals during the week.
Below are a few recipes to show you how versatile quinoa is. I am also sharing my favorite salads combinations, which to me is the easiest way to prep quinoa.
- For breakfast, enjoy this Quinoa Bowl
- As a snack, try these Quinoa Carrot Cake Cookies
- For lunch, make these Crispy Quinoa Cakes
- For dinner, serve these Baked Turkey, Quinoa & Zucchini Meatballs
- For dessert, indulge in Quinoa Crepes
Or if is your very first time cooking with quinoa, try any of these yummy salad combinations. Quinoa salad is the most basic, and my favorite way of enjoying this grain. To make a quinoa salad, just cook the quinoa (see basic recipe below) and once the quinoa has cooled, just toss it with your favorite ingredients. Season it with salt and pepper or a tasty vinaigrette. Here are a few of my personal favorites:
- Yams and baby kale with garlic infused olive oil. Perfect for fall!
- Cucumber, feta and blueberries with a white balsamic vinaigrette. If you still are missing the crisp freshness of summer.
- Beans, corns and peppers with queso blanco and cilantro. Toss with cumin, lime, and olive oil. This Mexican style salad is perfect year round.
- Berries and quinoa with honey and mint. Great idea for a snack or breakfast.
I want to fully encourage you to try quinoa, I remember my first experience was not as pleasant as I tried an organic quinoa at a farmers market and it still had an outer shell coating that contains a bitter taste. If that has been your experience fear no more. Most quinoa sold commercially in North America even the organic types, have been processed to remove this coating so there is no need to rinse or clean the seeds before cooking. Bob’s Red Mill quinoa is my favorite kind. They not only sell quinoa, but many other grains and products. What is fun about buying Bob’s Red Mill is that you get to learn more about them and they strive to teach you about what they call the Grains of Discovery, read more about them here.
If you have any questions about cooking with Quinoa, leave them as comments here.
- 1 cup of quinoa
- 1 cups of water or broth
- In a medium sauce pan, place quinoa and water or broth together over medium high heat.
- Once water is boiling stir the pot, close the lid and bring heat to medium low heat.
- Cook for 15 minutes or until all the liquid has been absorbed.
- Uncover the pot, fluff quinoa with a fork and close lid for 5 more minutes and your quinoa will be ready.
Disclaimer: this is not a sponsored post. I received the quinoa at no cost from Bob’s Red Mill but I was not required to write this post. All opinions and comments are my own.