What to Do with Quinoa?
At first we are faced with the fact that quinoa is a healthy seed type which we should think about adding to some of the recipes we are preparing, but immediately after, there are some problems which we face, these problems start with not knowing how this seed should be prepared and cooked and then we fail to choose the right recipes to add it to. There are actually different ways quinoa could be cooked through and different things it could be added to, but what are the things considered best when it comes to quinoa and what are the right ways for it to be prepared and seasoned? That’s what we are going to discover.
Being referred to as a grain or a seed might not be one of the main questions that a person could ask when it comes to quinoa since it is something that could be cooked and eaten. Quinoa carries different benefits for the body and this should trigger the mind and let it think about the ways quinoa should be cooked in and how it should be seasoned as well, in order for the taste buds to fall in love with this new type of food entering the body.
Ways to Cook Quinoa
There are different ways to cook quinoa and by different ways, we are referring to the different recipes it could be part of. Before trying to discover the other things that quinoa could best match and build the dish that you prefer, you should know how quinoa should be prepared and what the steps to be followed when it comes to cooking it are.
Preparing quinoa is all about washing and rinsing the seeds before cooking them and this happens for one important reason: the saponin coat that covers it and which protects those seeds from getting attacked by insects; this coat tends to give quinoa a bitter taste and that is the main reason why those seeds should be definitely rinsed. To rinse quinoa seeds, you will add them to a fine mesh strainer, place them under the water for a couple of seconds and use your hands to help in the process, and once you are finished, you will taste one seed to make sure that the bitterness has disappeared.
After rinsing the quinoa, comes the step of cooking it. In order to cook quinoa correctly, there are different things to follow; first of all, you will toast the quinoa to add more flavor to it; you will just toast the quinoa in a skillet with a little bit of oil over low heat for a few minutes. After toasting the quinoa, you could cook it in something else besides water if you want to but there are those who feel that water is enough for them. When you are cooking the quinoa, make sure that you are watching the time because it is cooked quickly in no more than 20 minutes; first of all, you will bring the cooking liquid to a boil, stir in the quinoa, and then turn down the heat to low, cover and simmer until all the liquid is absorbed. Eventually, fluff the quinoa with a fork before eating it in order to separate the grains from one another.
After knowing about the ways quinoa should be prepared and cooked through, it is now the right time to get introduced to some of the recipes for quinoa that will teach you about the different things which quinoa could be added to. Some of the ideas include; the veggie quinoa soap, the lemon garlic shrimp with radish and green bean quinoa, quinoa chicken nuggets, quinoa burgers, quinoa salad, quinoa for breakfast with oatmeal and fruits, quinoa meatballs, quinoa cakes, quinoa with salmon, and actually millions of other things which you could one day create yourself without having to look at what could match it and what will not.
What to Put with Quinoa?
Coming to the next step after knowing about the recipes you could prepare is thinking about the different things which you could put with quinoa or the things that would bring the best taste out for you at the end; this step is considered beneficial if you are planning to create your own recipes and try the mixing and matching game, but if you are going to follow a specific recipe then there is no need to know what it goes well with because eventually you will be following a specific plan given to you.
There are different things to put with quinoa in order to add more flavor to it and these things include:
- Cooking it in chicken or vegetable broth besides water because doing it alone will make it taste very bland.
- Adding herbs to your quinoa dish if you are not planning to cook it with any other thing. There are different things to add, such as oregano, salt, pepper, thyme, basil, and actually any other thing you think will change the taste to the better.
- Add chopped pieces of garlic or onion because this will definitely change the taste and even make you feel the difference.
- If you want to make quinoa in a bit different way but still don’t want to cook anything else with it then you could add cheese on top, and you will realize that you have created a totally different dish out there.
- Adding coconut milk and coconut oil to your quinoa will make it a sweet and savory side dish that you might have never tasted before.
- In addition to all these things mentioned above, you should know that adding quinoa to your homemade granola, to your breakfast cereal, to burgers, and even adding them to some baking recipes like preparing muffins will still manage to create something different, and these are all considered from the things that you could put with quinoa and get a successful outcome.
What to Season Quinoa with?
Seasoning whatever you are cooking is considered the most important thing because it adds a lot more to the flavor to the thing you are preparing and the same thing happens with quinoa. There are different things to season quinoa with in order to receive the best taste out there and these things include:
- First of all, we should mention again that cooking quinoa alone with water will make the taste blank and that is the main reason why cooking it in something else besides water is considered one way to season quinoa; vegetable and chicken broth are considered the best. In addition to that, adding herbs will add a lot more to the taste, not just that, but thinking about cooking quinoa in coconut milk instead of doing that in water will be always considered the best choice.
- If you want to serve your quinoa as a side dish, like potatoes or rice, there are also some ways to season it and give it the chance to add more to the dish it is being added to. You should add salt, pepper, and butter, you could also add cinnamon, salt, cardamom, and allspice if you want something for a Middle Eastern dish, you could serve it in the Mexican way with adding cumin, chili powder, and tomato salsa, and you could even go for the classic ordinary way by adding beef or cooked mushrooms.
- Finally, quinoa is considered a good addition when it comes to salads and that is the reason why seasoning it with mint, parsley, olive oil, minced garlic, and lemon juice is considered possible, that’s of course in addition to the different other salad types and additions which you could create and this will always depend on the things you prefer the most.
Things to Do with Quinoa
Now you know what does quinoa go well with, but you should make sure that you are viewing the whole picture and know that there are a lot of things that quinoa could be added to, starting from preparing your breakfast meal and ending with enjoying your dessert. There are the basic ways to eat quinoa and there are those creative, but since quinoa is getting famous so fast, most of the creative recipes are becoming known by the public; here are some of those which we think are the best when it comes to quinoa:
- Making quinoa part of your breakfast is always possible, but instead of letting it act like a side dish to your omelet, you could think about another creative way that could still serve as something sweet, which we know no one will ever try to avoid. Preparing quinoa parfait is always a healthy and interesting option, you will just add whatever you like to those seeds added to yogurt, one of the options is adding cinnamon and caramelized apple, which will make you fall in love once and for all.
- We know that making it the side dish for chicken or beef will be the first thing to pop up on your mind, but there are different other things to try in order to change the routine you are stuck to. One of these creative things is the quinoa crispy bites which give you the chance to add whatever you prefer from basil, garlic, mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, and preparing those bites that could feel a little bit like pizza, and who here does not like the idea of eating pizza?
- Quinoa could be added to shrimps, could be transformed to cakes, and could be used for making salads; actually there is nothing out there that quinoa could not be added to and this is considered one benefit, but instead of going for the ordinary, you should think with a twist.
There are different options to choose from and different ideas to think about, all what you should pay your attention to is the meal you are going to eat; are you going to have breakfast, dinner, lunch, or dessert? Preparing quinoa, cooking it, choosing the right things to season it with, and knowing what is considered best to come next to it, are all different keys that will open the gate for you to get closer to this seed or grain and know how you are supposed to cook it, when, and which ingredients to mix it with.