Quinoa is a tasty low fat food grain (in fact a pseudo cereal, which is not a grass like wheat is) that originates from South America and is strongly related to spinach, beets, and tumbleweeds. This is the reason it is absolutely gluten free. Quinoa is not like wheat and does not have any gluten. Rightly cooked quinoa is something great. I have tried quinoa cooked by a lot of different people and there is always much difference in the look and taste of quinoa if it is squashy and overcooked, or fluffy and light. Generally we observe at vegan potlucks the soft overcooked quinoa dishes, while at vegetarian hotels; you get nice chewy absolutely cooked split quinoa granules.
The biggest and most common mistake people make while cooking quinoa is using 2:1 water to quinoa ratio. Quinoa soaks much less water than rice, so it is needless to cook it in large quantity of water. If you follow this tip your quinoa will be perfectly cooked.
How do you know if your quinoa is overcooked? Well it will perhaps be very damp (because of too much water) and will be soft and not fluffy and light. Quinoa doesn’t soak up as much water as rice so adding much water will result in soft quinoa.
Once you are familiar with these kinds of tips regarding how to cook quinoa, you will definitely enjoy eating it frequently. It’s a simple replacement for couscous or rice as a side dish and much more nourishing.
Following is the recipe that will help you cook quinoa perfectly. For this recipe you will need:
- Dry quinoa: 1 1/2 cups
- Water: 1 1/2 cups
- Salt: 1 tsp
- Fresh ground pepper (if desired)
- lemon juice: 3 tbsp
First, soak quinoa in a bowl for 15 minutes in cool water. Drain and rinse it until the water is clear and then dump it into a pot. Mix rinsed quinoa and water in a pot in a 1:1 ratio. Add seasonings. Cook it on a medium heat. At simmer, reduce heat and cook for 30 minutes. When all water disappears, turn off stove and let the quinoa set for 5 minutes. Then fluff it with a fork and serve.