Sunday, January 9, 2011

Quinoa!

Quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) is one of my favorite, favorite things to cook.  I probably eat it about 4-5 times a week, and both Hank and I absolutely love it.  I mention it a lot on this blog and I swear I even posted how to cook it before but I can't seem to find that post!  But one of the main questions I often get after "what on earth IS it?" is, "how on earth do you cook it?!" I grew up eating it, so it's normal to me, but for most people it's definitely not a common dish and might even seem a bit intimidating to tackle.  Surprisingly though, it's very quick and simple to prepare.  Quinoa is an interesting little power food; it's protein content is high (at close to 18%), and unlike rice or wheat/rice products, quinoa contains a complete set of awesome amino acids.  It's very rare that a plant-based food supplies all nine of the acids, and it even includes lysine, which makes it a complete protein.  What does this mean for you?  If you are a vegetarian or vegan, or just someone who wants to be a little healthier, quinoa is an incredibly healthy option that you can eat in place of heavy pastas, or even enjoy as a main dish.  We've used it in many different ways including but not limited to: stuffed peppers, in place of spaghetti with a super chunky homemade sauce, a simple version with just sea salt and butter, cooked in vegetable broth to kick up the flavor, baked in spiced quinoa cakes, the list goes on.  Simply google "quinoa recipes" and you will be overloaded with tons of delicious and nutritious ideas for this power protein. 

So, you may be wondering: how DO I make it?  Well, it's simple:

1. Add 2 cups of water for every 1 cup of quinoa into a pot. 
2. Boil together until all the water is boiled out of the quinoa.

Yup, that's it. 


We typically use Trader Joe's brand quinoa but just yesterday we found a huge 4 lb. bag of organic quinoa at Costco for $9.99!  That is an amazing deal for an amazing brand (I love Bob's Red Mill products), so if you have a Costco head over and see if your local store carries it.  You can also typically find quinoa in the bulk section of your regular grocery store, and you can be sure to find it in your local natural foods store.



 Have fun, and good luck quinoa-ing! Let me know if you decide to try it! xoxo

60 comments:

  1. i love the sound of this and have been wanting to try it for ages!! i want to try it in stuffed capsciums (peppers)!!

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  2. Hmm that seems interesting. I've never heard of it before. I'll have to try that someday!

    The Sweetest Life

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  3. I love quinoa! I recently started cooking with it & it's so easy to make! I use it in place of rice in a stir fry, I also made a lentil quinoa salad with cilantro & lime juice. I have bought at Trader Joe's too & they even have it at Walmart! But I will be checking out Sam's to see if they have it too. $7 is a great deal!

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  4. love love love quinoa!! we eat it like crazy over here! my in-laws grow in on their farm ... it's the most amazing looking plant, especially for a grain!

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  5. I've been wondering about quinoa for awhile now! I still haven't made it. I'm headed to Trader Joe's soon to get fixings for tonight's dinner. I think I might finally buy quinoa and give it a try. Is it anything like couscous in flavor?

    That Much Further West

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  6. M.- I'd say so, to me it just kind of has a pasta taste, but along the lines of couscous. Good luck! I'm excited for you to try it :)

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  7. YUM!

    Also, you can cook this in your rice cooker. (keep the 2 cups of water for every 1 cup of quinoa ratio.)

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  8. ive heard about quinoa but have never tried it.

    thanks for the post! i didnt realize it had so many health benefits. im going to go and buy some tomorrow.

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  9. I just bought a box at Trader Joes! I love quinoa! I'm defiantly making some tonight!

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  10. I've always wanted to cook Quinoa so thanks for this! I use couscous a lot but being diabetic I have to watch the carbs...I think this is lower?

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  11. I have always wanted to try quinoa and after this post I think I will!

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  12. oh, yes, quinoa really is the best!!! maybe i like it so much because we can afford it to eat quite rarely - here in Latvia you can find quinoa only in a few stores and it costs like 8$ for 500 grams, so 7$ for 4lb is my dream :)
    anyway, my favourite recipe is easy, tasty and healthy- quinoa, chunks of avocado and roasted almonds,mmm.

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  13. I love quinoa too! I use it in a meatloaf recipe (in place of the breadcrumbs), and it's delicious, it adds such a good taste a texture! Looking for new ways to make it, one of my goals for this year :)

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  14. I like to think of quinoa as Keen-WHOA! Ha! Love it... especially the red kind. I just like color though. I even like it made up for breakfast as porridge with almond milk, agave nectar and some spices. Yum!

    I made my own vegetable broth tonight from my juicing remains and can't wait to try some quinoa cooked in that. Yum!

    Love your food posts!!!

    xo,
    Karen Beth :)
    zazazu.wordpress.com

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  15. I've heard a lot about quinoa & we've even bought some to try. can you recommend any recipes?? thanks! :)

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  16. I've seen it, now I'm going to grab some at Costco!! Thanks, we're always looking for another healthy option around here!
    xoxo

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  17. i love quinoa! i decided to try it after reading one of Girl's Gone Child's recipes. (http://www.girlsgonechild.net/2010/07/eat-well-another-quinoa-quickie.html) it's delicious :)

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  18. My husband is allergic to wheat--it's a great gluten-free grain. Total staple at our house. I love that it's a whole grain and doesn't take nearly as long to cook as brown rice. Delish! I use it as a side, cook it in lemon juice or broth for different flavor, mix with herbs, serve hot or as a cold salad with different veggies, cheeses or nuts... the possibilities are endless. I even like it as a hot breakfast cereal like oatmeal with a little cinnamon or maple syrup. Very filling!

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  19. OK. so you say its a good alternative to pasta...does it taste anything like pasta? I'm a pretty picky eater and Quinoa looks like something out of my comfort zone. Convince me!!!

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  20. I knew quinoa was good for you but I never realized just how good... especially for all those veggies out there! I'm not crazy about rice so I usually prepare barley instead but I'm going to have to start turning to the quinoa a bit more I think... Thanks for posting about this delicious and nutritious not-so-well-known food!

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  21. quinoa is my staple grain! i love it in anything. i even eat it for breakfast.. in parfaits. you should try it. recipe here:

    http://vanillaandlace.blogspot.com/2010/10/fallish-recipe-breakfast-quinoa-parfait.html

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  22. I have been giving it to my daughter for a couple of months now - perfect for home made baby food!

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  23. I bought a box of Quinoa a few weeks ago because you had posted recipes with it and highly recommended it often. It was a different taste than I am used to, but my husband and I liked it. He had it with kidney beans made Puerto Rican style :) Do you know of any desserts with Quinoa?

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  24. Quinoa is the best! I recently discovered within the last year it and absolutely love it! Your little tid-bits of how to prepare it really helped, and didn't know it was so healthy, it just tastes so good...thinking about getting some tonight!
    Lauren
    writingthetalesofme.blogspot.com

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  25. I've never had it. Didnt know what it was either. Sounds healthy though!

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  26. I love love LOVE quinoa! We get big bags of it at Costco and before it's totally done cooking we'll stir some light vinagrette dressing in along with chopped peppers or tomatoes and the taste is even more amazing!

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  27. Yum, I love quinoa! My favorite is stuffed peppers and cold salads....yum!

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  28. It was this post you previously mentioned how to cook it: http://sometimessweet.blogspot.com/2010/09/happy-sunday-shopping-list-v1.html

    I did buy it after that post and have only made it once. I had a lot of leftovers which looked gross... so I just haven't gone back to it. Once you've opened the box/bag, how long does it last... do you know? It was good.

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  29. My mum cooks it and I absolutely love it! It's got a very particular and unique taste and I wish I could find some in the UK. Maybe in an organic foodshop...

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  30. We are a vegetarian couple raising a vego toddler and we all swear by the stuff! I cook mine in vegetable stock to add extra punch and it's amazing! Our son, Oliver, loves it as well!

    xx Erin

    www.holdyourhorsesvintage.com

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  31. Quinoa DOES Rock!
    Sadly, I usually eat it when other people make it and have been kind of intimidated by trying it much at home!

    So you really rinse the Quinoa like the instructions often say? I need to get a smaller collander!
    Anyway, just got a few new Vegan cookbooks from Santa, so I've been on a cooking spree...today, making hommemade seitan...but I'll be trying out ond of the Quinoa recipes soon for sure!
    :)

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  32. Quinoa is top ten in my favorite foods list for sure. YUM

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  33. I don't rinse mine either like they say you're supposed to...I don't find it makes a difference and haven't figured out how to run it under a tap without losing half of it down the drain, haha.

    Any suggestions, anyone?

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  34. I make it all the time! I didn't grow up eating it, but once I found it I realized I LOVED it! Sometimes I boil it in chicken or veggie broth instead of water to add some more flavor...and there are so many things you can add to it! You should start a quinoa recipe exchange :)

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  35. looks like cous cous.
    I'm celiac, so I could use it,it's permitted... but actually I have never tried this...
    I normally eat corn and rice pasta, and other permitted things...
    I should try...it looks yummy!

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  36. ooh I love Quinoa. I stuffed some mushrooms with it just this weekend. Yummy.

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  37. i was just telling some friends about this last night! they recently became vegetarian. the recipes i have seen were for stuffed mushrooms or peppers. i would love to see some of your recipes!

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  38. LOV quiona. My favorite thing to do is make it, mix in some shredded mexican cheese, grind some pepper into it, top with returaunt style salsa and avacado chunks. YUM.

    I agree with many others here, I would LOVE to see some of your recipes. :)

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  39. I have a quinoa tabouli recipe that I LOVE. I think that's the only thing I've really used it in, but I'm definitely going to have to try other recipes :) Do you use it as a side by itself or incorporate it with recipes?

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  40. Oh now you made me long for some quinoa or couscous! We tried this reciepe (translated it, hopes itll work) Its sooo good with the physalis in the couscous and all the spices, you should try if you havnt already. Also the pomegranate salad and the minty yougurt, and oh the fetacheeze... theyre all soo good!

    http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=sv&sl=sv&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.recept.nu%2F1.11829%2Fthomas_lindberg%2Fsmaratter_tillbehor%2Fmeze

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  41. Danielle, I was looking at your pics on flickr and I wish you would still do outfit pictures because you are such an inspiration, you have the cutest outfits.

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  42. thanks so much for posting this! i felt so dumb asking what exactly it was but i bought my first box of it today!

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  43. Weird...I just bought some today! Glad to hear it's yummy :)

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  44. Danielle,
    Last night I made a ratatouille tort and the quinoa as the side, and let me tell you the quinoa was delicious. I just added a tiny bit of light butter to it and my husband and I ate it up! I just had some for breakfast too. I do have to say that the quinoa was rather stinky smelling prior to cooking, but it was great. Thanks for the encouragement.

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  45. I like to make a big pot of quinoa and make different stuff throughout the week. One of my favs is breakfast.. quinoa re-heated with almond milk, strawberries, blueberries and cinnamon, yum!

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  46. I'm cooking some for dinner in the slow cooker! :D

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  47. I <3 quinoa. You can also sprout it very easily. Sprouts are extremely rich in nutrients! Soak some uncooked quinoa in 4x its volume of water in a mason jar (or sprouting jar) for 30 min. Cover the jar with cheesecloth or a sprouting lid for 30 min, strain out the soak water through the cloth, rinse with cool water a couple times, and leave the jar upside down (but at an angle) so it can drain very well. Rinse your quinoa again in 8 hours then leave partially upside down to drain again. Rinse again in 8 hours and you should have some tails on your quinoa. If the tails aren't really there, wait another 8 hours and they should be ready! You can enjoy them on salad or sandwiches or wait til there dry, grind them in a coffee grinder to make flour and try them in my quinoa flax cookie recipe: http://christinebriana.tumblr.com/post/2545166917/honey-quinoa-flax-cookies

    PS, I'm new to your blog, I did a search on workout motivation and found and bookmarked your workout motivation post :) <3 it!

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  48. While I was living in Nashville, this stuff was everywhere. I never knew what it was, but I knew i wasn't meat so I ate it here and there. Since living in Houston again, I have forgotten all about it. Thanks for the little push. I think I'll try to incorporate in my dishes.
    xo
    Kel

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  49. I haven't had a chance to look through this cookbook, I only found out about it though a blog giveaway. You might be interested in it though!

    Quinoa 365 The Everyday Superfood

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  50. great post... may help us a lot,that maybe what I had been trying to find! Cheers.

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  51. Great job!I will try to see weather it is so good.

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  52. I ve never seen it before but looks very tasty.
    while I cant find it anywhere to buy.

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