Yesterday, we expored what the heck quinoa is, anyway. To read a little about it, you can refer to yesterday’s article here http://glowbass.com/gluten-free-food-in-denver/quinoa-the-power-food-gluten-free-substitute, then let’s move on and get this yummy dish cooked to see what you think.
How to cook quinoa
While the processing methods used in the commercial cultivation remove much of the soapy saponins (this is fancy for sap) that coats quinoa seeds, it is still a good idea to thoroughly wash the seeds to remove any remaining saponin residue. An effective method is to run cold water over quinoa that has been placed in a fine-meshed strainer, gently rubbing the seeds together with your hands. To ensure that the saponins have been completely removed, taste a few seeds. If they still have a bitter taste, continue the rinsing process. That’s really the toughest part!
Quinoa is easy to cook, and like rice, blends well with other grains or whole-grain pilafs. The cooked consistency is light, with a texture resembling caviar being fluffy and creamy, yet slightly crunchy. They have a delicate, somewhat nutty flavor. Cooking instructions include boiling the quinoa with 2 parts water with 1 part quinoa. After the mixture is brought to a boil, reduce the heat to simmer and cover. One cup of quinoa cooked in this method usually takes 15 minutes to prepare. When cooking is complete, you will notice that the grains have become translucent, and the white germ has partially detached itself, appearing like a white-spiraled tail. If you desire the quinoa to have a nuttier flavor, you can dry roast it before cooking; to dry roast, place it in a skillet over medium-low heat and stir constantly for five minutes before boiling.
HINT: If you think your children, husband, wife or significant other would despise eating this, no problem! Simply, make a half portion and mix it in with the rice/grain you’re used to. Chances are, they either won’t notice, or notice after they’ve already eating it, to their surprise, and liked it!
A Few Quick Serving Ideas
The great thing about quinoa is that it is extremely versatile. It can be served hot or cold, as a breakfast, lunch, dinner or dessert, as a side or the main course. Substitute this grain for your glutenous, grain recipes. So instead of making oatmeal for breakfast, make it quinoa and add the same ingredients . . . instant Power Punch! You got an amazingly nutritious and gluten free meal . . . and it tastes great!
- Add nuts and fruits to cooked quinoa and serve as a hot/cold breakfast cereal.
- For a twist on your favorite pasta recipe, use noodles made from quinoa.
- Sprouted quinoa can be used in salads and sandwiches just like alfalfa sprouts.
- Add quinoa to your favorite vegetable soups.
- Ground quinoa flour can be added to cookie or muffin recipes.
Julie’s favoite is quinoa mixed with cashews, raisens, almond milk, cinamon, vanilla, and agave for breakfast! Yummy!
I’ll leaving the Quinoa topic with a yummy recipe to try this weekend – Enjoy!!
6 1/2 tbsp canola oil
4 tbsp vinegar
1 1/2 tsp minced garlic
2 tsp dried mint
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 cups Quinoa
1 cup frozen peas
2 ears of corn, kernels removed from cob
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 to 2 jalapenos, finely diced (depending on strength) and seeded.
2 bunches fresh cilantro, chopped
4 medium sized tomatoes, seeds removed and sliced
In large bowl, beat oil and vinegar for 10 seconds. Add garlic, mint, mustard and pepper, mixing well. Rinse Quinoa in a strainer under cold running water. Place Quinoa, peas, and corn, in a medium-sized pan, add 4 cups of water, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer covered until the liquid is absorbed, 10 to 12 minutes. Add salt. Add two thirds of the cilantro and half the tomatoes to dressing; toss with cooked Quinoa. Salt to taste. Garnish with remaining cilantro and tomatoes.
Where to find this quinoa in Broomfield:
King Soopers(12167 Sheridan Boulevard) – on aisle #8; from the front of the store it’s at the end of the aisle on your left.
Sprouts(5150 West 120th Avenue) – by the canned soup for the boxed quinoa. They also carry this in bulk, but if you’re trying to eat gluten free, I highly discourage you to buy your grains in bulk. See the “Be careful” warning below.
Safeway(6775 West 120th Avenue) – does not carry it at this time, but willing to order it.