Cooking Quinoa in Different Ways

When you first think about quinoa and come to the different benefits that it could manage to deliver to the body, you will consider it a seed or a grain which you could only add to your healthy options like fruits and vegetables, but searching deeper than that, you will find out that quinoa could help you in transferring a lot of recipes into healthier ones, such as burgers, muffins, pasta, and many more. We all feel a little bit guilty after eating the things that add more calories to our bodies, but with the difference that quinoa could manage to do; we could transfer those calorie-filled recipes into healthier ones indeed.

It is always interesting to change the recipe you are eating every now and then in order to stick to the same ingredient and manage to eat something healthy that will provide your body with its needs and at the same time help you to achieve any of the plans you once had in mind, such as losing weight. There are different things to know about cooking quinoa and different recipes to prepare with it in a different kind of way.

Quinoa Cooking Secrets

There is one important thing to go through before starting the cooking plan which is preparing the quinoa and when we mention the preparation stage of quinoa, we are mainly referring to washing those seeds thoroughly before preparing a meal out of them. In order to wash quinoa seeds, you have to place them in a fine mesh strainer and then place them under water for a couple of seconds; you have to use your hands during the process in order to move the seeds a little bit. Once you are finished, you could taste one of those seeds in order to make sure that they have been washed thoroughly and correctly.

Cooking the quinoa does not take time as well and that is one of the reasons why a lot of those people who cook it go for this option in the first place; because they have no time and want to eat something quickly, fulfilling, and at the same time something which will taste good at the end. The whole cooking phase of quinoa does not take more than 20 or 25 minutes, you just have to know the right tips to follow and the steps that you are supposed to take and which include:

  • After washing the seeds of quinoa and making sure that everything is ready for the cooking phase, you have to toast those seeds to receive more flavor. This toasting is done by placing the seeds in a little bit of oil over low heat; you will just add the oil that you are going to use, heat it a little bit, and then add the seeds and make sure to keep moving them in order not to let them burn.
  • Sometimes you could cook the quinoa seeds in something other than water in order to give it another taste, although this is not usually done by all those who tend to eat quinoa.
  • Quinoa gets ready quickly so always pay attention to the time in order not to forget yourself and find your quinoa getting burnt. In order to cook quinoa, you will first bring the water to a boil, stir in the quinoa, turn down the heat to low, cover and simmer gently until the liquid is absorbed; this process will most probably take about 15 minutes.
  • When the quinoa is done and finished, you will realize that because it will pop open and that will be clear from the way it looks like. Before serving the quinoa dish, make sure to use a fork and fluff the quinoa in order to separate the seeds from one another.

Different Recipes Done with Quinoa

After knowing the steps you have to follow in order to cook quinoa, there are different recipes which you could do with quinoa in order to turn these recipes into healthier ones, such as preparing quinoa burgers, quinoa pasta, quinoa puffs, and other quinoa food. In order to eat all those fattening recipes which you once feared, you could use quinoa seeds in order to make the meal healthier, here are some of those which we are shedding the lights on:

  • Quinoa Pasta

Thinking about the options that you could prepare when it comes to paste, your mind will be directly headed towards things like white sauce, sausages, meat, and chicken, and some of the other additions that could be found out there, but if you are trying to lose some weight and trying to search for healthy substitutes, you could think about quinoa pasta which you could manage to prepare. One of the healthy options to try out there is the quinoa pasta with vegetables and this includes ingredients like:

  • 8 ounces of quinoa pasta shells
  • 1 cup of cooked red quinoa
  • 2 teaspoons of minced garlic
  • 1 small yellow squash
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 cup of green beans
  • 1 cup of fresh or thawed frozen corn
  • 1 cup of cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup toasted sliced almonds
  • 2 tablespoons basil

First of all, you will prepare the pasta as you are used to or just like the preparation tips are written on the package. In a large skillet, you will spray olive oil and then heat on medium heat then add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the squash, red pepper, green beans, and corn and cook them all for 5 minutes until they are crisp and tender. Now combine the pasta with the quinoa and toss with the vegetables and then stir in the cherry tomatoes. In another small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, and balsamic vinegar then add salt and pepper to taste and toss with pasta mixture. This should be served warmed and it could be topped with almonds and basil.

  • Quinoa Burgers

The second quinoa recipe to transfer something from being fattening to being healthy is the quinoa burger, and this is one of the things that a lot of people fall for, for the amount of love they carry for burgers in general. Everything that is healthy might not taste like the others which are not but at the end, this healthy recipe will give your body what it needs and will build it stronger. Here is the recipe for the quinoa burger:

  • 1 cup of water
  • ½ cup red quinoa
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 cups white button mushrooms
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • ¾ teaspoon dried marjoram
  • ¼ cup dried oregano
  • 1 large egg
  • 2/3 cup shredded, reduced-fat cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup whole pecans
  • 1/3 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
  • 1 tablespoon reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 8 small whole wheat burger buns

After cooking the quinoa, you will have to preheat the oven to 350F and lightly grease a baking sheet or line with parchment paper. In a large saucepan, you will heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, add the onion and then cook by stirring frequently for about 5 minutes until it starts to soften. Add the mushrooms, garlic, marjoram, and oregano and cook them for 5 minutes by stirring until the mushrooms become tender. Let this mixture cool down for about 5 minutes.

Beat the egg in a medium bowl and add the quinoa that you have cooked, the mushroom mixture, cheese, pecan, oats, and soy sauce and stir to combine them all together. Scoop scant ½ cup portions of the mixture onto the baking sheet that you have prepared at the beginning and shape them into 8 patties, about 8 inches wide,  leaving about 1 inch space between each patty.

Bake those burgers until they become crispy which will take about 28 or 30 minutes and serve them on buns with your favorite garnishes. It is not hard to prepare the quinoa burgers but you have to go through mixing different ingredients together and it will not taste like the original known burgers but it will still taste good enough for you and will at least be healthy for your body.

  • Quinoa Muffins Recipe

In addition to the real meals that you could depend on, there are also some baking recipes which you could prepare in order to enjoy your dessert meal after finishing your main dish. We all love muffins; we enjoy having them for breakfast, eating them as snacks, and we also enjoy heading to them as desserts after finishing our meals and that is one reason to transfer those muffins’ recipe into one that is considered healthier. Here are the ingredients that you will need:

  • 1 cup of rinsed quinoa
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ brown sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ¾ cup whole milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

You will also start with cooking your quinoa following the instructions we have brought at the beginning of the article. Now you will brush 12 muffin cups with oil and dust with flour, tapping any excess. In a medium bowl, you will whisk together all the other ingredients; flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, raisins, and 2 cups of cooked quinoa. In another bowl, you will add together the milk, oil, egg, and vanilla. Add the two mixtures together and combine well then add this mixture to the muffin cups you have already prepared. Finally bake these muffins until a toothpick is inserted and comes out clean, this process should not take more than 30 minutes.

There are different creative recipes done with quinoa to think about and which could transfer any recipe that was once considered junk or fattening to one that is considered healthy and with fewer amounts of calories. Quinoa serves the body with different benefits and in order to make use of these benefits, you should add quinoa to your schedule; eat it through the different meals you prepare, create something different out of it, or else use it as a substitute for creating any of those recipes which you once considered junk and which you have always tried to avoid or eat with less amounts to avoid gaining more weight.

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