The Vegetarian Resource Group Blog

Quick and Easy Ways to Prepare Quinoa Dishes

Posted on May 25, 2017 by The VRG Blog Editor

The latest issue of Vegetarian Journal features our Vegan Cooking Tips column on Quinoa Dishes. Chef Nancy Berkoff, EdD, RD, shares numerous ideas on how you can prepare quinoa-based dishes easily.

Some of her ideas include the following:
“Quinoa stands well on its own or works as a team player. If you have some half-containers of Israeli (also called “pearl”) couscous, yellow split peas, lentils, and quinoa, you can mix them together to make your own grain blend — colorful and tasty. Prepare it just as you would any grain, by steaming with a small amount of liquid, or if you have the time and would like a little more flavor and texture, toast quinoa in a frying pan before steaming. You can do this in a dry pan, or use a small amount of vegetable oil spray. Toast and stir until the quinoa kernels seem to separate (no more than a minute or two). Some of the kernels may even pop! Quinoa cooks quickly, depending on the amount, in about 15 minutes or less. Some package directions tell you to turn off the heat once the liquid boils and you’ve stirred in the quinoa. You will know when the quinoa is done because it will look like it has popped, with the inner germ exposed; and of course there is the taste-test. If it is as tender as you like, it’s done! To remove the guesswork, try preparing your quinoa with a rice cooker, using the same directions as you would brown rice. Once cooked, fluff up the cooked quinoa to separate the grains and provide a soft texture.”

Other suggestions include:
“It’s a good idea to “over prepare” quinoa, as your “leftover” cooked quinoa can be stirred into muffin or pancake batter, cake batter (think: carrot, banana or zucchini-quinoa bread) or cookie dough, mashed potatoes, steamed rice, cooked corn or simply reheated, with maple syrup and raisins for breakfast or with chopped onions and garlic for dinner. You can also create a quinoa lasagna, shepherd’s pie, or tamale pie by layering quinoa with your ingredients of choice and then baking until heated. One of our friends, “on purpose,” over-ordered some Chinese food, and created a layered casserole with the leftover layers of stir-fried veggies, quinoa, fried rice, shredded cabbage, and crunchy noodles. Another of her creations was “quinoa tamale pie” with layers of quinoa, chopped tomatoes, chopped peppers and chilies, cooked corn, and shredded tortillas.

Quinoa is not just for hot, but also for cold dishes. Try quinoa salad instead of macaroni salad. You can also add quinoa to green or other grain salads or combine quinoa and fresh green beans or snap peas. You can even purée cooked quinoa as a base for salad dressings or quinoa “hummus.””

Read the entire article here:
Vegan Cooking Tips: Quinoa Dishes

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