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Quinoa is everywhere these days. The superfood is popular for a multitude of reasons. Quinoa is a complete protein, containing all nine essential amino acids, something rarely found in a plant-based food. It is packed with fiber and is rich in minerals and vitamins. Plus, when properly cooked, it’s impossible to resist the fluffy, nutty, delicious allure of quinoa.

Power Up With Plant Protein

All these health benefits make quinoa an ideal ingredient for vegetarians and vegans looking to up their protein intake. Quinoa also has the added bonus of being gluten free. And, it’s ultraversatile. Use quinoa as an add-on protein source in soups or salads, or make it as a stand-alone side dish. Quinoa also acts as an excellent sub for grains like rice and pasta, making it an excellent complement to a wide variety of dishes and types of cuisine.

Quinoa is also a great staple to cook in large batches, making weekly meal planning and prep a breeze. Quinoa is available in several colors including white, red, black, purple and yellow. White quinoa tends to be more on the fluffy side, while darker quinoa varieties add more crunch.

Cook Quinoa the Right Way

Quinoa can be made in the rice cooker, as long as the correct quinoa-to-water ratio is utilized. For those wondering how much dry quinoa is equivalent to one cup of cooked quinoa, it tends to double or even triple in size once cooked.

When it comes to cooking quinoa, the method is virtually the same as cooking rice, although quinoa cooks up much faster, usually in less than half the time of some types of rice. First, determine how much cooked quinoa is on the menu. A standard serving is typically 1/2 a cup.

Quinoa increases two to three times in size when cooked. If a recipe calls for 3 cups of cooked quinoa, begin with 1 cup of dry quinoa. To cook the quinoa, use a 2:1 ratio of liquid to quinoa. Think 2 cups of water for every 1 cup of dry quinoa. Liquids other than water, such as chicken, vegetable or mushroom broth, can also be used to add even more flavor to quinoa.

Easy, Fluffy Quinoa Recipe

This quinoa recipe will turn out light and fluffy in texture. It also has the whole grain ability to be filling. The recipe can easily be doubled for guests or to make extra for leftovers.

Total Time: 25 minutes | Prep Time: 5 minutes | Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quinoa 
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt, if desired

Directions:

1. Rinse quinoa in a fine mesh sieve until the water runs clear.

2. Drain quinoa and transfer it to a medium pot.

3. Add 2 cups of water and salt.

4. Bring to a boil.

5. Cover, reducing heat to medium-low.

6. Simmer until all the water is absorbed, usually about 15 to 20 minutes.

7. Set aside off the heat for about five minutes before removing the cover.

8. Fluff quinoa with a fork. Serve and enjoy!

Cook up some quinoa as an easy, delicious and versatile superfood option to pair with just about any type of cuisine. Use it to replace grains or as a gluten-free sub for starches, and combine it with other ingredients, such as fresh veggies, spices and herbs for a heartier main meal.

Tip

Quinoa can also be used as a breakfast cereal and in bowls, stir-fries, salads, soups and more. Options abound when it comes to quinoa's versatility. No matter how it's used, it packs a powerful punch of protein, amino acids, minerals and vitamins.

About the Author

Crystal Fenton

writer