the other night, i made nathan some quinoa for the week. ever made it? its pretty simple and super healthy! we just got into the quinoa craze, and have found it to be a great addition to our repertoire. i have tried out a few different recipes, and been totally satisfied with all of them! one of my favorite ways to cook it is using my favorite brown rice recipe, but subbing in quinoa instead of rice (see that recipe below).
so what is quinoa?? well, good question. according to wikipedia (which has the answer to everything), quinoa is a type of goosefoot, and "is a grain-like crop grown primarily for its edible seeds. It is a pseudocereal rather than a true cereal, or grain, as it is not a member of the grass family. As a chenopod, quinoa is closely related to species such as beets, spinach, and tumbleweeds." so what does that mean? not really sure, but we think its good. one of the biggest things we like and appreciate about it is that it is very high in protein and pretty good for you. one serving has about 14g of protein! pretty cool, huh? its also very versatile, you can sub it for oatmeal in the morning and mix in a little sugar and maybe cinnamon and fruit for a tasty breakfast, or mix it with savory ingredients for a powerful side and potentially even main dish.
so, because of all this, nathan asked me to cook him up some for the week to take to work. i made it plain so he could choose each day what he wanted to do with it. one side note here, we ordered our quinoa from nutsonline.com, a great website which i'll blog about later. its pretty expensive and hard to find in our grocery stores, and even at the farmers market, so when i saw it on their website for such a great price, we ordered several pounds.
so, i decided to make 2 cups of quinoa to start out with. after doing some research, i found that most folks suggested a 1:1.25 ratio to cook the quinoa (1 part quinoa to 1.25 parts liquid). some suggested as much as 1:2, so i decided to go in the middle. i made 2 cups of quinoa, so i put in 3 cups of water. i mixed this in my awesome le creuset 5 1/2 quart round french oven on my stove top, and brought it to a simmer.
|yay for le creuset!|
once simmering, i reduced the heat and allowed it to cook for almost 30 minutes, keeping an eye on it and stirring it to keep it from burning.
side note here, check out my new tea kettle! i'm a little obsessed with le creuset these days, and my mom is so good to me, surprising me with new pieces occasionally.
once the quinoa was finished (and you can tell because all the liquid is dried up and it looks almost like rice does when it is finished, and also kind of like fish eggs), i divided it out into some glad containers. i measured out 1 cup servings and stacked them up in our fridge so nathan could grab and go each morning. he said this worked out great! he just seasons it before he leaves (like friday, he added a splash of EVOO, some dried basil, and salt and pepper), and heats it up and eats it at work. yum!
so there ya go. quinoa. good stuff. here's the two recipes for you:
basic quinoa recipe:
2 cups quinoa
1 1/4 cups water
combine in saucepan and bring to simmer. once boiling, reduce heat and continue to cook for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
season according to your preference.
brown rice quinoa recipe:
1 cup quinoa
1 can beef consomme
1 can french onion soup
1 jar mushrooms
1 stick butter
dump all in a baking dish, and bake at 350 for about an hour.