Quinoa is so nutrient-packed, healthy, easy to prepare and delicious! It’s then no surprise that this ancient grain has become so popular in the Western world. But there is one big misconception when it comes to quinoa: that cooking it is difficult. Well, my friends, worry no more, I am here to help. Here is a simple and fool-proof tutorial for How To Cook Quinoa. Rest assured: you will get it right with this every single time.

Quinoa seeds are rich in protein, dietary fiber, B vitamins, and dietary minerals in amounts greater than in many grains. It’s just as versatile as any other grain and naturally gluten-free.  It’s so versatile and so simple to make and is a great alternative for those with special diets or allergies, as it’s gluten-free and cholesterol-free and of course, vegetarian and vegan. It’s also a great alternative to rice, anything you serve with rice, you can replace it with quinoa. Think about the possibilities!

I love quinoa salads because quinoa adds such a nice texture and substance and they are so good for you. The best part, these salads will not leave you feeling hungry!

I have teamed up with GoGo quinoa to share this delicious recipe with their Organic Red and White Quinoa and to share a simple tutorial for How To Cook Quinoa.

Here are the 3 easy steps to cook quinoa perfectly every time:

  1. Rinse quinoa with cold water
  2. Toast quinoa in a pan
  3. Add water and bring to boil at 1 to 1.5 ratio and simmer for 12-15 minutes.

Step 1

Rinse quinoa with cold water

Rinsing quinoa removes quinoa’s natural coating, called saponin, which can make it taste bitter or soapy. Although packaged quinoa is often pre-rinsed, it’s still a good idea to give the seeds an extra rinse at home. Rinsing quinoa also starts to hydrate the seeds, affecting the final texture of them. It makes them cook fluffier.

Step 2

Toast quinoa in a pan

Toasting brings out the oils and rich nuttiness of grains and seeds, lending depth of flavor to a variety of dishes.

Step 3

Add water and bring to boil at 1 to 1.5 ratio and simmer for 12-15 minutes

Bring water to a boil and then turn down the heat. Simmer the quinoa low for 12-15 minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve. Water can be substituted for broth for more flavor and you can also season your water or broth with salt or any other seasoning for extra flavor. All you have to do is remember the ratio.  Whatever liquid you choose to use it should be 1 cup of quinoa to 1.5 cups of water or broth.

That is all it takes to get perfectly cooked quinoa every time. It can be served warm as a side, added to soups or stews and you can also allow it to cool and make a salad with it. The options are endless. It’s just as simple to cook as rice is and can be used in the same way as you would use rice or other grains. It’s fluffy, creamy, crunchy and somewhat nutty, and you will love it.

A staple is definitely a quinoa salad. I love them. Not only does quinoa add such a nice texture and substance, but these salads are so good for you and they will not leave you feeling hungry, which is half the challenge when making any meal salads. Take a look at my delicious recipe: Corn and Quinoa Salad with a Cilantro-Jalapeno Lime Dressing.

Recipe

Corn and Quinoa Salad With A Cilantro Jalapeño Lime Dressing

Serves 6

Ingredients

For the salad

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1½cups water
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 cups of chopped sweet bell peppers(I used an assortment of baby bell pepper)
  • 1 can 540ml/19oz black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 4 ears grilled corn, kernels removed from the Cobb (approx 3cups)
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 small red onion finely diced
  • 2 avocados, peeled and sliced
  • ¼ cup fresh chopped chives
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped for garnish
  • 1 cup of cilantro jalapeño lime dressing (recipe to follow)

For the dressing

  • ¼ yoghurt plain yoghurt (dairy free to keep recipe vegan)
  • 1 cup of cilantro
  • 3 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tsp agave or maple syrup to sweeten
  • 1 clove of garlic chopped
  • ½tsp ground cumin
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, chopped, stem and seeds removed
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1-3 tbsp of water or more to thin out dressing if needed

Directions

  1. Rinse quinoa with cold water
  2. Toast quinoa in a medium saucepan set on medium heat for a minute or two with 1 tsp of olive oil stirring the whole time
  3. Add water and bring to boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer quinoa for 12-15 minutes. Set aside to come to room temperature before making salad (can be made and stored in the fridge the day before)
  4. While the quinoa is cooling grill your corn. Preheat your grill to high heat. Lightly spray or brush a clean grill with oil
  5. Place the corn on the grill and grill on each side until they are slightly charred all around. Approx 8-10 minutes. Remove from grill and allow to cool enough to handle
  6. While the corn cools make your dressing (can also be made a day ahead and stored in an airtight container in the fridge). Place all the ingredients except oil into a blender or food processor. Process until smooth and then slowly drizzle in the oil and continue to process until you reach the consistency you want. Add a tbsp or more of water to thin dressing out if needed. Transfer to jar and and season and with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Once corn is cool slice the kernels off the cob on a cutting board and place into a large bowl.
  8. Now place the quinoa and all the veggies in the large bowl with the corn (except the avocado)

  1. Pour dressing over veggies and quinoa and toss to combine. Now add avocado and toss gently so they don’t mash together. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed.