I eat quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) pretty much every single day. According to MyFitnesspal, for one serving (1/4 cup or 45g dry), it boasts 6g of protein, 3g of fibre and 3g of fat, and only 170 calories. It is great hot and cold, in savoury or sweet dishes, and can be eaten with any meal of the day. And you know what else? It’s completely naturally gluten-free!
Many people are resistant to try quinoa – perhaps because they believe it is a ‘faddy’ health food and that it will taste… weird. Quinoa is deemed a ‘superfood’, containing all the essential amino acids our body needs to properly function, one of the few non-animal products that does so. And to top it off it tastes great, just like rice!
I love quinoa because I can cook big batches of it at one time and it keeps in the fridge really well for up to 4 or 5 days. You don’t need to fret about re-heating it like you would with rice and it doesn’t get sticky like cold cooked gluten-free pasta does. I also freeze off portions so I can quickly microwave them when I’m stuck for packed lunches or dinner sides.
It took me quite a while to learn how to cook quinoa perfectly every single time. I have begrudgingly eaten many a batch of gummy, soggy quinoa but I’ve got this one nailed. So I’m sharing my tips here for you which will form the basis of many of the recipes on this blog!
- 1 cup/180g dry, uncooked quinoa
- 2 cups/500ml water or stock
- Heat a dry pan or pot* (either must have a secure lid) on a medium heat.
- Measure out your dry quinoa and rinse in a fine mesh strainer for a couple of minutes to remove the bitter taste of the grain.
- Tip the rinsed quinoa into the pan and lightly toast for two to three minutes to remove so excess moisture and to help bring out its natural nutty aroma.
- When sufficiently toasted, pour in the water and bring the pan to the boil.
- When the water is boiling, put the lid on the pan, and turn the heat down low. Don't remove the lid! Leave it for 15-20 minutes until it looks like the water has been completely absorbed by the quinoa.
- Once the water has been absorbed, take the pan off the heat, remove the lid and stir the quinoa. I like to put the lid back on at this point and leave the pan off the heat for another 10 minutes until the quinoa is nice and fluffy.