Sunday, September 29, 2013


Quinoa, originally uploaded by michele wynne.
I had this paltry remnant of quinoa lingering in my pantry from a previous Rainbow bulk binge. It would still be there if I hadn't opened up my goop newsletter today. GP has a lot of good rice bowl concoctions in which she combines brown rice with quinoa and then tosses in or tops it with any number vegetables and what-not. Somehow I bounced myself around the blogosphere and ended up jotting down the steps for "How to Make Quinoa Without a Recipe" from a source I forgot to note. I thought it was Food52 but I couldn't find it anywhere.
It goes something like this:
First and super important: RINSE! I forgot to do this once and the result was  bitter.
Put the dried quinoa in a mesh strainer and blast well with water.
Whatever amount of quinoa you're cooking, you'll want to double that volume with water or stock (I love Better than Bouillion Low Sodium Chicken). One cup of dried quinoa yields 3 cups cooked.
I start by boiling a kettle of water and pouring it into a pyrex measuring cup. Stir in the bouillion,
Add a smashed but in tact garlic clove and a good pinch of salt. I drop in a sprig of rosemary and let it steep for about 10 minutes. Fish out the rosemary and pour the liquid into a pot. Bring it to a boil and then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes, until the liquid is absorbed and the little white rings have popped up. Turn off the heat. Fish out the garlic (you can chop it up and add it back in) and stir in some finely chopped scallions (1 for each 1/4 cup of dried quinoa).
Add a couple of generous splashes of vinegar, about 1 tablespoon per 1/4 cup of  dried quinoa.
Fluff with a fork. Taste and add more salt if necessary.
Let it sit until cooled and the add in more finely chopped herbs, a drizzle of olive oil and some black pepper.
This is great on its own and left in the fridge to have on hand.
Combined with cooked brown rice, it's a great host for:

chopped roasted or grilled vegetables
corn kernals
chopped cherry or heirloom tomatoes
chopped cucumbers
avocado or peppers
marinated vegetables
toasted pine nuts or pepitas
crumbled feta or blue cheese
My favorite thing is to have cooked rice and quinoa on hand for any greens like kale and chard that I can rescue from the produce bin at work. I just cut up the greens and sauté then with garlic, olive oil, salt and red pepper flakes and I've got a meal in just minutes.
The next morning a poached egg and shaved parmesan make an awesome breakfast bowl. I made pesto thanks to a basil rescue a couple of days ago.

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