Quinoa is a big part of my diet, so I am always looking for new quinoa cooking tips. Although many people ask me how to cook quinoa perfectly, I have to be honest and say that there are just so many different ways of cooking quinoa! Here are some of my favorite quinoa tips!
Quinoa Cooking Tips
How to Cook Quinoa Grain with Style
Those who know me know I am a magazine junkie. Seriously – I read about 10 magazines a month. No, I don’t have a weakness for grocery counter tabloids. I just love cooking magazines, fitness magazines and women’s magazines.
In the spring Food and Wine ran and article on jazzing up grains to then use them in other dishes. Now, I know quinoa is a seed and not a grain but the article got me to thinking about whether the method would work well with quinoa. I tried it, and guess what – it did!
Here is my adaptation for Thyme-Scented Quinoa. The quinoa will keep in the refrigerator for up to five days and in the freezer for a month. (You probably could keep it a little longer but I tend to be a bit psycho about food safety.
How Do You Cook Quinoa for Salads?
While I often include other instructions in quinoa recipes, I do have a preferred method for preparing quinoa that I am going to use in a quinoa salad. The reason I don’t include it in recipes is that it takes a bit more effort and I don’t want to turn people off from cooking quinoa.
I found this method on Epicurious.com, and although I was skeptical I must say that it does create the most perfect texture for salads.
1. Add quinoa to a saucepan of boiling broth (chicken or vegetable) and cook for 10 minutes. Drain quinoa in a fine metal sieve and rinse with cold water.
2. Boil a pot of water and place the sieve over it. Cover with a kitchen towel and lid and steam for 10 minutes or until fluffy.
How do You Keep from Having Quinoa with a Texture of Glue?
I get a lot of emails from people wanting quinoa cooking tips. The one that I get most often is along the lines of:
“Help, I really want to add quinoa to my diet, but every time I try to cook it is has the texture of paste. It’s so mushy that I end up tossing it out!”
If your quinoa is mushy it means that you are overcooking it. Remember, just as there are many different ways to cook quinoa, every stove is a little different. So when considering how long to cook quinoa, you are going to have to get to know your stove and make necessary adjustments. Because electric stoves don’t cool down as quickly as gas, you will typically need to shorten your cooking time. Check out this post on how to cook quinoa perfectly.
Mushy Quinoa = Overcooked Quinoa
While we are talking about how to cook quinoa grain, let’s talk about storage. After all, if you start with a product that is less than fresh it is unlikely that you will get stellar results. It is best to store quinoa in glass or plastic. Because quinoa has a high content of polyunsaturated fats, it is especially important that quinoa be stored in a cool area that is also dry and dark. Stored properly, quinoa will keep for at least a year. It can keep longer if conditions are ideal or if you remove the oxygen first. I like to use a seal a meal to store my quinoa.