Quinoa is fast-cooking, versatile and protein-packed. Keep a pot of the cooked grains on hand (using the basic recipe below), and these meals will come together in 10 minutes for a nutrient-rich breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Soaking the quinoa before cooking it increases the nutrient absorption. It also reduces cooking time by 5 minutes. If you forget to soak the quinoa, increase the cooking water by ½ cup and the cooking time by 5 minutes. Leftover quinoa can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
1 cup quinoa, soaked overnight in 2 cups water
1 cup water
Pinch sea salt
Drain and rinse quinoa. Place in a small (1 ½ to 2-quart) pot, add water and salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover pot, reduce heat to low and cook for 15 minutes or until all of the water is absorbed. Remove from heat and set aside, covered, for 5 minutes before serving.
Quinoa Porridge with Almond Milk and Berries
With the addition of almond milk and berries, quinoa becomes a tasty and satisfying porridge that keeps you energized until lunch hour rolls around.
Combine ½ cup cooked quinoa with 2/3 cup almond milk. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cover pot, lower heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove lid and continue cooking for another 5 minutes or until porridge is thick and creamy. Stir in ¼ cup berries and sweeten to taste with honey or maple syrup. Serve warm topped with almond milk, berries and optional toasted almonds.
Quinoa Asian Salad
Blanching the vegetables together means this brightly colored and flavorful salad comes together in a snap. It’s delicious topped with avocado or a boiled egg.
Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Combine ½ cup thinly sliced leeks, ½ cup julienne carrots, 2 tablespoons frozen peas, 2 tablespoons frozen sweet corn and 2 tablespoons dried arame seaweed. Add to boiling water and blanch for 2 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Drain well and place in a bowl. Toss with ½ cup cooked quinoa, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon tamari, 1 teaspoon brown rice vinegar, 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds and a few drop of toasted sesame oil. Season to taste and serve topped with toasted sesame seeds.
Quinoa and Greens with Poached Egg
This is delicious eaten for any meal of the day. Use collard greens, spinach or chard in place of kale. Try it topped with avocado too.
Warm 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet over medium heat; add a clove of thinly sliced garlic and saute for a minute or two. Stir in 2 cups chopped kale and a pinch of salt, and cook until softened. Stir in ½ cup cooked quinoa until heated through. Cover and set aside while you poach an egg. Place in a bowl and serve topped with poached egg, a drizzle of flax oil or olive oil and cracked pepper.
Amy Chaplin is a chef and recipe developer in New York City. Her cookbook At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen will be available fall 2014. She blogs at Coconut & Quinoa.