Often referred to as a grain, quinoa is actually a seed that, unlike most carbohydrates, can boast having complete protein as well as being rich in vitamins, minerals and fiber. Complete protein aside, it... has a similar nutrition profile to brown rice, but cooks fast, like white rice, so if you need a healthy carb to go along with a meal but don’t have time to make brown rice, try using quinoa instead. Quinoa is also delicious in grain salads like tabbouleh, for breakfast instead of oatmeal, and freezes well so can be cooked in batches and frozen for later use. For delicious easy recipes that use basic quinoa, click here.
In a fine sieve rinse the quinoa a few times. Drain well.
In a thick-bottomed pot, bring the washed quinoa and water to a boil with a pinch of salt. Cover, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook for 20 minutes or until the spiral around the quinoa seed has come loose and the quinoa is tender but still chewy. If there is any remaining water, drain it off.
If quinoa is unfamiliar to you, don’t be afraid to try it. Once you see how easy it is to make, it will be a constant in your pantry. Our cooking method uses less water than is often recommended on the packet, and steams the quinoa in the same way as white rice. The good thing is that after the 20 minutes of cooking are up, you can leave it covered on the back of the stove to quietly steam until you are ready to serve it.