Cooking Quinoa Grain can be done in a number of ways. The way you choose will depend on what type of recipe you are going to use it in. The most basic way to prepare it is by boiling it in water. You use one part of quinoa to two parts of water. Rinse the quinoa under a tap to get rid of any coating on the seeds.
Some brands will already be pre washed and not need the rinsing process. If it needs rinsing you will see a light foam appear when you rinse it. You then bring the quinoa to the boil and then simmer it for 10 – 15 minutes. If you want it firm and crunchy then only boil it for ten minutes. If you want it soft and fluffy then cook it for fifteen minutes. After you have done this a few times you will get to know how you like it.
As well as boiling it in plain water you can use vegetable stock or meat stock to boil it in. This will infuse the quinoa with the stock flavour. Some people also add olive oil to the water. You can also add any herb or spice you want to experiment with. What ever you add will add this flavour to the grains you are cooking. This is good when you are using it as a plain meal accompaniment as it gives it a bit of flavour without overpowering it.
You can also cook quinoa in a microwave oven although this is no quicker than the standard method and it does take more watching than boiling.
If you are making a soup, risotto or a casserole then you do not need to prepare quinoa in this way. You can simply add it to the other ingredients and it will bulk up during the cooking process. You may need to add some more liquid because quinoa absorbs a lot of the moisture in the recipe. It will also slightly thicken the recipes which means you can reduce the amount of cornflower or other thickening agents you might be using. Your meals will feel much more satisfying and filling and you will feel fuller for longer because quinoa is a complex carbohydrate.
You can add the seeds into cakes, cookies and scone recipes. It has to be prepared using the boiling method described above. You can also make them into a breakfast style porridge and add fruit to give it a more interesting flavour.