Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Wellness Wednesday: Healthier Food Options QUINOA

Hi finesses!  No weigh in today (see previous here, here, and here).  Let's just say I am "bloaty.  I did sneak a weigh in on Sunday (I know I know that's cheating but I was curious).  I've lost 1.5lbs since the last weigh in.   But I am sure I'm back to 150 with all that I have going on...ugh.

We know by now that wee need to workout and eat the right foods and do stuff that is “healthy for us".  Today I am going to visit a healthy alternative to rice, quinoa.  Quinoa [pronunced keen-wah or kee-noh-uh] has come a long way.  Once only found in health food stores, it is now mainstream and found in almost any grocery chain.  It's high protein content and tender texture makes it an ideal substitute for starchier carbs such as pasta and rice.
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I found cooking quinoa a challenge til I found the following recipe on Apartment Therapy.  Now, I prefer quinoa to rice...that's saying a lot.  Have you tried quinoa?  If you haven't will you now?  

Here's the recipe.  Enjoy!

How To Cook Quinoa
What You Need:

Ingredients
1 cup quinoa (any variety — white or golden, red, or black)
Olive oil (optional)
2 cups liquid, such as broth or water
1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)
Tools
Fine mesh strainer
2-quart saucepan with lid
Spoon

Instructions

1. Measure quinoa and liquid. Measure out 1 cup quinoa and 2 cups liquid.
2. Rinse the quinoa. Place the quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer, and rinse thoroughly with cool water. Rub and swish the quinoa with your hand while rinsing, and rinse for at least 2 minutes under the running water. Drain.
Why rinse quinoa? Rinsing removes quinoa's natural coating, called saponin, which can make it taste bitter or soapy. Although boxed quinoa is often pre-rinsed, it doesn't hurt to give the seeds an additional rinse at home. Some cookbooks suggest soaking the quinoa but, in our experience, this is unnecessary.
3. Dry and toast quinoa in saucepan. Heat a drizzle of olive oil in the saucepan over medium-high heat, and add the drained quinoa. Cook, stirring, for about 1 minute, letting the water evaporate.
4. Add liquid and bring to a boil. Stir in the liquid and the salt (if using) and bring to a rolling boil.
5. Lower heat and cook covered for 15 minutes. Turn heat down to the lowest setting. Cover and cook for 15 minutes.
6. Let stand covered for 5 minutes. After 15 minutes, turn off the heat and remove the pot from the burner. Let stand for 5 minutes, covered.
7. Fluff and eat! After 5 minutes, remove the lid, fluff the quinoa gently with a fork, and serve. (You should see tiny spirals (the germ) separating from and curling around the quinoa seeds.)
Additional Notes:
• One cup of dried quinoa yields about 3 cups cooked.
• Some people like to add olive oil, butter, salt, or pepper. Cooked quinoa can also be used as the basis for pilafs, salads, breakfast porridges, and more.
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1. Measure quinoa and liquid. Measure out 1 cup quinoa and 2 cups liquid.

2. Rinse the quinoa. Place the quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer, and rinse thoroughly with cool water.  Rub and 
swish the quinoa with your hand while rinsing, and rinse for at least 2 minutes under the running water. Drain.

3. Dry and toast quinoa in saucepan. Heat a drizzle of olive oil in the saucepan over medium-high heat, and add the drained quinoa. Cook, stirring, for about 1 minute, letting the water evaporate.

4. Add liquid and bring to a boil. Stir in the liquid and the salt (if using) and bring to a rolling boil.
5. Lower heat and cook covered for 15 minutes. Turn heat down to the lowest setting. Cover and cook for 15 minutes.
6. Let stand covered for 5 minutes. After 15 minutes, turn off the heat and remove the pot from the burner.
 Let stand for 5 minutes, covered.


7. Fluff and eat! After 5 minutes, remove the lid, fluff the quinoa gently with a fork, and serve. (You should see tiny spirals (the germ) separating from and curling around the quinoa seeds.)


Basic Quinoa Facts

How much cooked quinoa does 1 cup dry quinoa yield?
1 cup dry quinoa yields about 3 cups cooked quinoa.
How much liquid do I need to cook quinoa?
To cook 1 cup quinoa, you need about 2 cups liquid.
How long does it take to cook quinoa?
1 cup quinoa will cook in about 20 minutes.
How do I make quinoa less bitter?
Nearly, if not all, of the natural bitterness of quinoa's outer coating can be removed by a vigorous rinsing in a mesh strainer.
How do I make better-tasting quinoa?
Quinoa is really excellent when cooked in vegetable or chicken broth. Also, add about 1/4 teaspoon salt to each cup dried quinoa when cooking. Try adding other spices aromatics during cooking as well: A clove of smashed garlic, a sprig of fresh rosemary, a dash of black pepper.
Can I use my rice cooker to make quinoa?
Yes! Just use the 2:1 liquid to quinoa ratio and follow the instructions on your rice cooker.

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2 comments:

  1. I sure will try and I'll be using this post to do so. I must say, I didn't even know what it was. I see mention of it and it's in one ear and out the other. Thanks for the pronunciation and info.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Joi, I will email you a couple of links to a few recipes. The key is to rinse it well before cooking. Also, it's on the nutty side in terms of taste, but tasty!

    ReplyDelete