Quinoa – I love this stuff. It’s such a versatile food that you can use in salads, wraps, breakfast oatmeal, cakes, tabouli, pancakes, cookies, as a filler for burgers, it can replace rice in a curry, and so much more. It’s epic. So today, lets talk about how to cook quinoa perfectly every time.
Thanks to the Incas, who discovered that quinoa is fit for human consumption, we have this awesome stuff today. Inca warriors ate quinoa to increase their stamina, so it’s no wonder this “grain” has been dubbed “grain of the future”.
It’s frequently called a grain because it is used and cooked like one and is often called an “Ancient Grain” and a “Wholegrain”.
All this hoo-ha and whatnot can make it confusing, but trust me, folks, it is not a grain.
It’s a gluten-free, super-seed, pseudo-cereal.
Grains have got a bad rap recently because of all those stories about gluten and the paleo humans that diss any grain that’s been around for years.. #idiots… Yep, I’m calling it!!!
Quinoa, these tiny little seeds, are one of the most protein-rich foods we can find today. It’s high in fiber, iron, magnesium, manganese, and B2. Plus, it also contains this thing called lysine. My friends who are into medicine told me this thing is essential for tissue repair and growth.
So, with all these things, quinoa is not only good for your muscles, but it also nourishes your brain, heart, digestive system and keeps the bones strong. And not to forget, it’s WAY too easy to cook and taste great!!
I love quinoa in salads, but even if you have your ways of using quinoa, you’ll have to cook it, right? But there is one thing I actually hate when I have to cook quinoa. Every time I cook it on the stove, I fuckin’ burn it, and I’m sick of it. I turn my back for a few minutes, and it’s burnt… FAR OUT!!
I had to come up with a better way, so now I cook quinoa perfectly every time.
With this little trick, I can now walk away from quinoa while it’s cooking and don’t feel stressed out because I know my quinoa will be cooked perfectly every time.
Okay, let’s talk business now. I’m going to show you how to cook quinoa chef-style.
My secret ingredient is…
Wait for it…
Wait for it..
….my rice cooker.
Yes, I cook quinoa in my rice cooker, and it turns out perfectly every time.
So, I first wash my quinoa. I add it to my rice cooker pot, pour in water and wash with my hands. One of the things I learnt about quinoa is that in Peru and countries that grow this seed, quinoa is not tough or bitter. But in Tasmania Australia, I found it super bitter, like SUPER bitter. So, the trick I do when washing quinoa is to pop my finger into the pot and then taste the water after rinsing the seeds at least 2-3 times until it’s no longer bitter. But if it still is bitter, well, washing the seeds and straining them at least 10 times will do the trick. NO shit, the bitterness washes away. When my quinoa is clean and the water is not bitter, I just pour away this water and pour in clean water.
I know you always wonder how much water is enough to cook quinoa perfectly. I have a trick for that as well. You don’t have to measure how much quinoa you have, the trick works for 200g, 500g, or how much quinoa you have. So, what I do is check the water level in the pot in which I cook quinoa. I dip my finger into the pot and touch the top of the quinoa seeds. The water level should go up to the first crease on your finger, and that’s how much water you need to cook quinoa perfectly every time.
Turn on your rice cooker… and BOOM, that’s it.
So That’s how to cook quinoa perfectly every time.
Then I love adding fresh thinly sliced cabbage, fresh herbs, nuts, seeds and drizzle it with my green dressing recipe…Mmmmm.
Chef Cynthia xx
Chef Cynthia Louise is an Internationally acclaimed MasterChef, speaker, author, restaurant consultant, teacher and television presenter in wholefood, dairy-free cooking. She also has the worlds first online cooking classes focused on dairy-free plant-based whole foods with recipes that people are raving about and changing people's health, one delicious bite at a time. Chef Cynthia loves nothing more than educating people about the simplicity and vitality of a plant-based, whole foods lifestyle. Each dish is like art on a plate and her flavour combinations nourish the soul and get everyone talking.