Thursday, February 16, 2012

Quinoa!! Try it tonight!

In the last post, I made a quinoa meatloaf.  I have a love affair with quinoa, my favorite grain!!  This protein rich grain is my substitute when I want to switch up my brown rice.  It's hearty with a fluffy texture similar to that of couscous.  The simplest way to make quinoa is to use a rice cooker (You may also cook on the stove top).

Simple Quinoa (Healthier at half the sodium; most recipes call for 2 cups of broth)
Prep Time: 2 min        Cook Time: 20 min
1 cup quinoa (1/2 cup of dry quinoa yields 2 cups cooked quinoa)
1 cup chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
1 cup water
*Note: Quinoa can also be cooked with 2 cups of water but I like to cut sodium.

Put all ingredients into the rice cooker.  Press start.  Then you have time to prep the rest of your meal.

When cooking brown rice, quinoa, or barley/bean grains, the ratio of water to grain is 2:1.  *Places like Whole Foods don't do justice for grains like brown rice.  If your only experience with brown rice is from Whole Foods (prepared foods section), you need to try it again when it is cooked correctly.  They don't add enough liquid which causes it to be dry.  I have written comments to them but I don't know if they took my advice.*  For example, if you wanted to make 2 cups of quinoa, you would need 4 cups of liquid.  The reason I mix water and chicken broth is because I am like to limit the sodium intake of my food.  Halt the salt is very important.  *Typically a can of chicken broth contains 40% of your daily value of sodium!!*

If you want to make your quinoa more interesting, you can chop 1/2 a cup of onions and 1/4 cup of pine nuts.  In a medium saucepan, heat some olive oil. add chopped onions(I used red onions) and carmelize by stirring (about 5 minutes).  Add the pine nuts to toast them.  After the pine nuts are slightly toasted, put the cooked quinoa in the pan.  Stir to mix.

Enjoy!!!  =)

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