Over the past few years, quinoa has become one of the it ‘grains’ that also happens to be gluten-free. While quinoa is classified as a grain, it’s actually a seed from a grain crop. However, quinoa is prepared and used in the same way as a grain. Quinoa cooks up quickly, in about 15 minutes. Because of this quick cooking, I’ll only ever cook enough for  the meal I’m making and maybe lunch the next day. Quinoa is sold in three colors: tan, black, and red but occasionally comes in a mix of the three together.

Quinoa’s flavor isn’t overpowering and is a bit on the earthy side. It’s a versatile grain that can be used to make hot porridge in the morning, a nice salad for lunch, or serve as a base for a hearty dinner. I’m often swapping in quinoa for brown rice to serve as a bed for roasted vegetables and sauce. It’s one of my go-to grains for vegetarian cooking.

Beyond the the grain, quinoa can also be found in flakes and flour. The flakes are great as a hot cereal or granola while the flour can be used in many of the ways of traditional flour. I find quinoa flour is best combined with other gluten-free flours such as oat or sorghum.

How to Cook Quinoa
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  1. Combine quinoa, water, and salt in a medium pot. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and let cook for 15 minutes, until there's just a bit of liquid left. Remove from heat, leave covered, and let sit for another 5 to 10 minutes until the water has been absorbed. Fluff with a fork and serve.
+ You can rinse quinoa but I've found that for me, it doesn't make that much of a difference.

+ Bon Appetit recommends cooking the quinoa for 15 minutes, draining, and then returning the quinoa to the pan to let sit. I like this method but considering I can be a bit lazy- I just let it sit and absorb the water without draining.

+ For extra flavor, swap in vegetable broth for the water.


 NE Vegetarian Quinoa Recipes:


Vegetarian Quinoa Recipes from Around the Web: