In my opinion quinoa is underappreciated. It entered mainstream US cuisine about 10 years ago and has become increasingly popular. But maybe you’ve only had it at a restaurant and want to give it a try at home. So here is how to cook quinoa.
Cooking it is actually more simple than you might think. It’s way easier to cook than something like rice (same cooking method) which can be so tricky. With rice, it can be too sticky, mushy, under cooked, over cooked . . . too much stress! With my method and step-by-step instructions, you’ll find that cooking quinoa is nearly fool-proof.
Quinoa has also earned the reputation of being trendy and perhaps a food that only “healthy” people eat. Well quinoa is pretty nutritious as far as grains go (actually it’s technically a seed). It’s one of the few non-animal products that is a complete protein. That means that it has all the essential amino acids we need for proper nutrition. For vegans and vegetarians it is a great way to add protein to their diet. But forget all that. Quinoa is just good and it is so versatile. It’s mild nutty flavor goes well with so many flavors. So watch my video on how to cook quinoa and get started
Some quick and easy ways to add flavor to cups cooked quinoa: 2 tbsps lemon juice + fresh mint leaves or 2 Tbsps lime juice, fresh cilantro, 1/2 tsp ground cumin or 1/4 cup pesto or 1/2 c coconut milk, 2 tsps fresh grated ginger and the zest of one lime. Essentially, citrus and fresh herbs are great with quinoa, so be creative.
How to Cook Quinoa
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 cups cold water
- 1/2 tsp table salt or 3/4 tsp kosher salt
- Place all the ingredients in a medium sized pot (about a 2 1/2 quart size).
- Place on the stove over a high flame. When the water comes to a boil, put on the lid and turn the flame down as far as it will go.
- Set a timer for 12 minutes. When the timer is up, lift the lid. Is there water bubbling up to the top? Cook another 2 minutes. If not, use a fork to gently push aside some of the quinoa in the middle of the pot. Is there still water on the bottom? If so, cook another minute or until that water is absorbed.
- Once all the water is gone the quinoa is done! Add your favorite fresh chopped herbs, nuts, seeds, lemon, lime or orange juice, pesto, chopped tomatoes, green onion etc . . .