Quinoa

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Joined Dec 9, 2001
Has anyone had experience cooking with Quinoa? I am so curious to see what it is like. Quinoa is supposed to be sooo good for you. I like barley, brown rice, wild rice, lentils and stuff like that. But to cook these things wrong can put a bad taste in your mouth if they come out bland. So the first time I make quinoa, I'd like to do it right. Would you use the same concepts as cooking with the other grains I mentioned (e.g. cooking them in broth and herbs pilaf style, or add flavoring by sauteing it after cooked with, say garlic and herbs)?
Can quinoa simply be substituted for barley and similar grains?
Also, any links to recipes would be greatly appreciated.
 
846
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Joined Nov 29, 2001
Yes, it's just as easy to make as the other grains you enjoy. I like it best served cold like a grain salad with concasse of tomato and tiny dices of cucumber - crunchy things to lend even more mouthfeel to the grain.

Quinoa is the wondergrain. It's supposed to be packed with an alphabet-list of vitamins.

When cooked, the white "ring" that surrounds each grain of quinoa pops out and becomes visible. Just follow instructions on the package for preparation and flavor as you like. I'll be watching this thread - I'd love to know what you do with it.
 
579
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Joined May 6, 2001
Quinoa is a wonderful grain to work with. For your first time out I'd make a quinoa pilaf. I think the flavor and texture of quinoa are both wonderful and like Chiffonade said it is a nutrional powerhouse. Be sure and report back to us......:D
 
3,853
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Joined May 26, 2001
Before you cook quinoa, make sure you rinse it thoroughly. Otherwise it really will "put a bad taste in your mouth" -- very bitter. A recipe brochure I have that came in a package says: "Most varieties of quinoa have a naturally occuring bitter tasting coating on each grain. This coating is removed prior to sale, however there may be a small amount of bitter residue or powder left on the grain. This can be removed simply by rinsing before cooking."

Basic recipe for cooking quinoa is 1 cup rinsed quinoa, 2 cups water. Put in a pot, bring to a boil, lower heat, cover, and simmer for about 15 minutes, until the water is absorbed. Makes 3 cups.

Then you can use it as you would any other grain.

BTW: it grows in Japan, but became very unpopular there because it was such a staple during WW II -- people associated it with hardship and deprivation afterwards. Too bad; it really is quite delicious and versatile.
 
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Joined Dec 9, 2001
After a bit of browsing I found a recipe or two and a bit of background on the wonder grain. The website is www.quinoa.net if anyone is interested in some history.
I'll let you know how my experiments come out. :)
 
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Joined Aug 29, 2000
I learned not long ago that, botanically speaking, quinoa is not a grain but a fruit! The woman who told me is a caterer who has many Orthodox Jewish customers. She was looking for some new ideas to serve for Passover, when grains are forbidden. When she discovered that fact about quinoa, she was happy to have a whole new food to incorporate into her menus.
 
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Joined Jun 20, 2016
I love quinoa! I have a lot of friends who are vegan and our favorite way to prepare the quinoa is to cook it as directed, and stir in a good amouny of your basic taco meat seasonings. We serve it in corn tortillas with refried beans, avocado, really any way you like to have a taco. We also make brown rice with tomatoes, Chile peppers, and corn and sometimes make a taco bowl with that... YUM
 

phatch

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9,351
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Joined Mar 29, 2002
It's wetter than cous cous, a bit more chew. But otherwise pretty compatible.
 
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Joined Sep 28, 2016
I'm really interested in starting to cook quinoa as well! I've never done it before. Do you use any seasoning? Salt even?
 
2,260
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Joined Jun 16, 2007
Seasoning can be added later since the size of the "grains" is very small. I found lemon pepper to be a good one.
 
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