tuesday eats: quinoa

Posted on July 20th, 2010

You eaten quinoa yet? The high-energy, gluten-free grain that everyone’s talking about right now? The stuff is unreal, beyond healthy and is a happy food at this time of year when our bodies need lots of protein and warm comforting textures. Consider this a bit of a cheat sheet on how to cook and eat it:

1

* For starters, pronounce it right: KEEN-wah. You can get it everywhere now…health food shops, Coles etc.

* DUK? Quinoa has the highest nutritional profile and cooks the fastest of all grains. It is an extremely high-energy grain and comes from South America.  It contains all eight amino acids to make it a complete protein and has a protein content equal to milk, and is super high in B vitamins, iron, zinc, potassium, calcium & vitamin E. It’s gluten-free; easy to digest

* When quinoa is cooked, the outer germ surrounding the seed breaks open to form a crunchy coil while the inner
grain becomes soft and translucent. So it has this double texture, which is fun.

To Cook the Stuff

* VERY IMPORTANT: before cooking, quinoa must be rinsed to remove the toxic (but naturally occurring) bitter coating, called
saponin. Saponin, when removed from quinoa, produces a soapy solution in water.

Basic Quinoa
Serves 4
* Rinse one cup of quinoa and add to 2 cups water in a saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil.
* Reduce heat to a simmer and continue to cook covered for 15 minutes or until all water has been
absorbed.
* Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes covered; fluff with a fork.

This is how I eat it:

* I cook a lot of quinoa at once and freeze it in batches, then have it as a porridge, adding cinnamon, banana and yoghurt.

* Or I eat it like couscous, or rice. Because it’s so high in protein, it serves as my grain and protein in a meal. I’ve even made a risotto with it.

* Sometimes I dry-roast the rinced grains for 5 minutes in saucepan before adding liquid. Gives things a toasty, nutty flavour.

A recipe from the gorgeous Aran

Aran is a food stylist who’s recently gone gluten-free.  I met Aran via my blog and we chat every now and then. Her blog Cannelle et Vanille is one of the prettiest things around. That’s puddings above.

Quinoa Pudding with Macerated Strawberries and Pistachios

I like mine a little bit more liquid. If you like a drier version, omit the heavy cream

makes about 4 8 oz servings

3 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream (optional)
1 vanilla bean
1/4 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1 cup quinoa

1 cup strawberries, diced
1 Tbs sugar

chopped pistachios

Place the quinoa in a strainer and rinse it with cold water for a few seconds.

Combine the milk, cream, sugar, salt and vanilla bean in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer. Add the quinoa and stir. Reduce heat to medium low and cook for about 30 minutes stirring every few minutes. If skin starts to form on top of the milk, just stir it back in. The milk will reduce and thicken. Ladle into bowls or jars.

Place cut strawberries in a bowl and sprinkle them with sugar. Toss them and let them sit at room temperature for about an hour until juices start to come out.

Top the puddings with the strawberries and chopped pistachios.

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  • http://www.imdoingmybest.com Aleisha McCormack

    Thanks for this Sarah. I first saw quinoa on Oprah during her ‘vegan week’ but to be honest the program didn’t make it sound nearly and yummy interesting than you have just made it (eating sand looked more appetising!) ….I also didn’t know that we can find it in supermarkets. Off I go!

    [Reply]

  • http://whollyafool.wordpress.com Michelle

    i LOVE quinoa! so good. i’ve never had it as sweet breakfast food though, only with veggies etc…like rice. i will have to try a sweeter version!

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  • http://canwedoityepwecan.blogspot.com/ Mel

    I tried Quinoa at the Sydney Good Food & Wine show last year, love it, have been cooking it since, haven’t tried it for brekkie tho yet, will do :)

    [Reply]

    Sarah

    Sarah Reply:

    it’s actually really creamy as a porridge and more filling than oats!

    [Reply]

  • Laura

    loved the cannelle et vanille site – most beautiful food photography I’ve seen in a while. Very inspirational.
    I’m hoping Coles will have quinoa when I head down this afternoon (I’ll be impressed!)

    [Reply]

    Sarah

    Sarah Reply:

    let me know how you get on… I might be confusing with Woolies

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  • Laura

    how do you make the porridge? just using milk (or soy etc) and heating for 20 mins or so?

    [Reply]

  • Laura

    Also Sarah, I’m loving your ‘stuff I don’t get paid to endorse’ posts. They’re great, and I’ve found a few interesting places from that too.
    I was wondering if you could share your recipe book collection? or maybe just your online food link recommendation?
    thanks

    [Reply]

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  • http://lifebeautylaughter.blogspot.com Laura

    I love Cannelle et Vanille, it’s stunning. Very inspirational, “mindful” eating-wise!

    I’d love some recs for recipe books or blogs too :) xx

    [Reply]

  • http://cosmickitten.tumblr.com cosmic

    I love quinoa, and second the request for the porridge recipe.

    However, just to note, the vast majority of quinoa is sold pre-rinsed. In fact, I have never laid eyes on non-rinsed quinoa, so I just cook it right out of the packet with no issues.

    [Reply]

  • http://www.AmyRuthBakes.com AmyRuth

    Thanks Sarah, got your link from Aran’s tweet. Neat…. anyway, preparing quinoa for my husband tonight. Thanks for the nudge.
    AmyRuth

    [Reply]

  • Angela

    Have to agree – it’s tasty stuff, Sarah ! Did you try making the quinoa sushi rolls while you were at Gwinganna ? Hermann, the chef, did a cooking demonstration of a few of their easier recipes and that was one of them. It was so easy to prepare ( substitute the quinoa for the rice ) and so tasty – great for packed lunches / picnics etc.

    [Reply]

  • Olivia

    For those of you who were interested in Sarah’s quinoa porridge, I found this recipe a little while ago. I am still yet to make it but it certainly sounds good. =)

    http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/warm-and-nutty-cinnamon-quinoa-recipe.html

    [Reply]

  • Janet

    Thanks Sarah, I have a pkt in the cupboard but wasn’t sure how to cook it! I made some quinoa flat bread the other day that is delicious! I got the recipe from: gluten-free day.com

    [Reply]

  • Emma

    As a coeliac, quinoa has been my saviour – as a couscous / oats substitute and a tastier alternative to boring old rice. I love it, it’s so, so good for you. I’m so glad it’s getting the publicity this humble little grain deserves and no longer being classed as just a boring gluten free food!

    [Reply]

  • http://www.simplycooked.blogspot.com sarah (simply cooked)

    Oh, I love quinoa so much. I cook it in my rice cooker sometimes. It makes an amazing maple cookie with the added secret ingredient of parsnip! Very healthy and delicious. One thing I like about quinoa is that it adapts well to both sweet and savoury dishes. It just perfectly rounds out a weeknight salad.

    [Reply]

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  • Myra

    The red quinoa cooked in the rice cooker and kept on hand in the freezer in smaller amounts makes a great addition to Tabbouli instead of the bourghul. The red colour of the grain adds a great colour to the mix, and it tastes great.

    [Reply]

  • Victoria

    I make a big pot of quinoa porridge at the start of the week… sometimes freezing portions too. I usually cook it up with twice as much water, some chopped apple or a handful of raisons, and add a bit of soymilk and cinnamon at the end.
    I keep it in the fridge and microwave a bowl with a little extra soymilk and sometimes sliced banana for breakfast. It’s heavenly…… I love the texture!

    [Reply]

  • Pingback: Tuesday eats: a guide to grains (and my good news!) | Sarah Wilson

  • Pingback: I heart Quinoa « One Lovely Day

  • jayne jefferson

    I would love to receive the newsletter and find out more. I will certainly give quinoa a try.

    [Reply]

  • Emmett

    Wow accidentally found quinoa having brekky at hope island QLD last month and it’s very exciting . Thanks for the recipes and information

    [Reply]

  • Emmett

    Would love the newsletter

    [Reply]

  • Emmett

    Wow first tried quinoa at hope island QLD . It’s amazing ,have since bought it from Coles .cooked and sprinkled with berries and a coulis mmmmm
    Better though is cooking a sliced green apple and a handful os sultanas then topping with a sprinkle of raw sugar .MMM

    [Reply]

  • http://www.zwembadenbestellen.nl intex zwembad

    I follow your website for a time. I can see your verry active With this site. I will visit your site more for sure! thnx

    [Reply]

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  • Laura

    Hi Sarah,

    This sounds delicious, but I am following your IQS program and was interested to see that this recipe has sugar? Is there a substitute I could use instead of sugar?

    [Reply]

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