Start to Finish: 20 minutes

Servings: 4

Difficulty: Beginner

Quinoa can take 20 minutes or longer to cook on the stove. With the potential for boil-over as well as dirtying a pot and serving dish, this high-protein seed that cooks up like a grain may seem like too much trouble.

If you cook quinoa in the microwave, though, the preparation becomes much easier to manage. You’ll still need to invest 15 to 20 minutes, but much of that is resting time during which you don’t have to worry about the quinoa burning or boiling over.

Place 1 cup quinoa in a microwave-safe bowl that has a tight-fitting lid.

Top it with 2 cups of liquid: water, chicken broth or vegetable broth.

Microwave on high, covered, for 5 minutes or until the water is boiling.

Allow the quinoa to rest for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the grains are soft and the outer ring of each individual grain appears translucent. Keep the cover on the bowl while it sits.

Fluff with a fork and serve.

Use cooked quinoa to make a pilaf or cold salad as a side dish for grilled or roasted meats. Cooked quinoa may also be served for breakfast.