If you want to eat quinoa you need to know how to prepare it and enjoy it. All foods have their best recipes and ways of cooking and quinoa is no exception. Basmati rice is best boiled and rinsed, potatoes can be boiled, chipped and mashed but in my opinion you can't beat chips.
So what are the best ways to cook, prepare and serve quinoa?
I should first say that you can do much more than I have outlined here. You can put quinoa in baking, soups, desserts, and breakfast porridge recipes. What I am outlining here are the very best ways to include quinoa in your diet.
Simple meal accompaniment
The first way is to substitute quinoa for the main carbohydrate such as rice or cous cous. You can serve it as a base for curries. It can also be a side dish when serving meat or fish. You can serve it alone or add other vegetables to it to add interest. It has a flavour of its own so it may be an acquired taste as most people will be expecting it to taste like rice. You can even simply toss it with your favourite hebs or spices and eat it alone.
The preparation only takes 10 -15 minutes using 2 part water to one part quinoa. You bring it to the boil and then simmer for 10 - 15 minutes until all the water has been absorbed. Cook it quickly for only 10 minutes if you prefer a slightly crunchy texture. If you like a bit of colour to your meal there is red quinoa which is the same as normal quinoa but in a dark black/maroon colour. I think that it has a slightly stronger flavour and has a harder "shell".
After you have prepared your quinoa using the method described above you can cool it for 20 minutes and add any number of varieties of chopped vegetables to it. You can also blend it with the classic dressings of olive oil or french dressing. My favourite dressing is italian balsamic syrup. You can almost taste it in the name. You can use your quinoa salad as the main component of the meal or simply as a side dish. It can be stored in an airtight container and used as a packed lunch. The texture is very appetising as the tail has crunchy feel but the main seed is quite soft. So you get a combination of flavours on the tongue.
Quinoa in Stir Fry Dishes
This is my favourite way of eating quinoa. You again use the prepared quinoa but this time add it to a stir fry dish of your choice. I find it blends well with peppers, mushrooms, onions, celery and tomatoes. For flavouring I use fresh basil leaves or medium chilli. You just stir fry all the vegetables in olive oil and add the quonoa at the last moment add stir fry for a few minutes more.
There other ways of eating quinoa but these are tried and tested preparation methods that are also quite simple to do.
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