How to Make: Quinoa

Quinoa packs a nutritional punch, it's a cinch to make, and it can be used in a variety of ways.

How to Make Quinoa || A Less Processed Life

I've been trying to make sure the fridge is packed with healthy food options of late, so I've gotten into the habit of making a big batch of quinoa on Sunday that lasts all week long.

How to Make Quinoa || A Less Processed Life

I'm a huge quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) fan – it's a great source of vegetarian protein (over 5 grams per serving) and also contains all nine essential amino acids, making it a complete protein. 

How to Make Quinoa || A Less Processed Life

Though there are over 120 varieties of quinoa, the most common types you'll see in the market are white, red, and black. I don't really have a preference for one type over the other; this tricolor variety provides the best of all worlds.

How to Make Quinoa || A Less Processed Life

Though often categorized as a grain, quinoa is actually a seed and is most closely related to spinach, beets, and chard. The seeds have a bitter coating, so unless the packaging says that it is pre-washed, always rinse your quinoa in cold water before using.

You can cook quinoa in water, but for more flavor, I tend to cook mine in vegetable broth or homemade chicken stock. While quinoa is perfectly fine on its own, it also pairs quite well with the addition of other ingredients, such as beans, roasted or sauteed vegetables, or your favorite fresh herbs.

What is your favorite way to prepare quinoa?

Quinoa (printer-friendly version)
makes 3 cups

1 cup quinoa, rinsed
2 cups chicken stock, vegetable broth, or water

1. Add the quinoa and broth to a medium sauce pot and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until nearly all of the liquid has been absorbed. Turn off the heat and let sit for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork and serve.

How to Make Quinoa || A Less Processed Life