Heard of Quinoa and not sure how to make it? Here’s a super simple recipe to try! And if you like it, experiment by adding in different things and trying different quinoa recipes, there are a TON out there! Enjoy! (just tell the kids it’s brown RICE)
“Quinoa was a staple of the ancient Incas, who called it the “mother grain.” It remains an important staple in South American cuisine, as it contains more protein than most other grains.”
Quinoa with salmon and asparagus
Basic Quinoa Ingredients:
- 1 cup quinoa (I use the organic Quinoa from Trader Joe’s)
- 2 cups chicken broth or vegetable stock (adds additional flavor) OR use cold water
- Optional: 1/4 tsp salt
- Optional: add diced vegetables (added in the beginning with the water or broth)
Quinoa Cooking Directions:
- You’ll need a 2 quart pot with a tight fitting lid, and a fine mesh strainer
- Double the recipe if you want to have leftover quinoa for another meal or two
- Optional: Soak the quinoa for 5 min in the cooking pot. Soaking helps quinoa to cook evenly, and loosens up any residue of saponin (usually removed in processing), which can give a bitter taste
- Most quinoa sold in the US has been cleaned, and steamed to remove the saponin, so don’t worry about that too much!
- To Rinse: Stir the quinoa with your hand, and carefully pour off the rinsing water, using a fine mesh strainer
- Drain quinoa well in the strainer, transfer to the cooking pot, add 2 cups chicken broth & 1/2 tsp salt (if desired)
- Bring to a boil, cover with a tight fitting lid, and turn the heat down to simmer
- Cook for 10- 15 minutes (until all the liquid is absorbed)
- You will know when the quinoa is done when all the grains have turned from white to transparent, and the spiral-like germ has separated.
To Soak or Not to Soak: It usually works well either way. Most quinoa that you buy in stores has been pre-rinsed and dried, but if you are worried, soak it 5 minutes just in case, to loosen up any residue of saponin, or dust or chaff that remains. Skip soaking if you like, but always rinse and drain quinoa thoroughly in cold water before cooking.
To prepare in a rice cooker, simply treat quinoa like rice. Add two parts water to one part quinoa, stir, cover (unlike rice you can stir quinoa a few times while cooking to prevent burning in the bottom of the pan) and when the cooker shuts off, the quinoa is done.
Salmon (baked in foil tents):
My husband actually prepared the salmon and we cooked it on the grill. (This is why I forgot to take photos!) All we did was season the salmon with 2-4 teaspoons olive oil (depending on how much salmon you are cooking), salt, and pepper, dry oregano, onion powder, garlic, and dry rosemary.
Place the salmon fillet, oiled side down, atop a sheet of foil. Wrap the ends of the foil to form a spiral shape and seal the packets closed. Place the foil packet on the grill and cook for about 15-20 minutes.
I prefer baking asparagus in the oven. It’s easy and less clean up!
- Rinse asparagus thoroughly and pat dry; make sure it’s completely dry
- Place on foil covered cookie sheet
- Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper
- Cook at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes!