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Recipe Rescue: 7 Easy Ways to Use Quinoa

Photograph by Getty Images

Quinoa is that über chic millennium’s old seed (Yep, it’s a seed not a grain) that can be seen gracing tables across the country, from high-end restaurants to family kitchens, adding nutrition, texture and flavor to so many meals. Here's what makes quinoa so super healthy and a fool-proof way to cook it:

  • Quinoa has nine amino acids making it a complete protein. This is unique because complete proteins are found most commonly in meats, rarely in plants.
  • You can find quinoa in white, red or black colors — regardless of the color, they all have the same healthy benefits.
  • Quinoa contains monounsaturated fats — the good, heart-healthy types of fat.
  • Quinoa is rich in magnesium, a mineral that relaxes blood vessels and can ease migraines.
  • Quinoa is also very good source of fiber and is high in Riboflavin (B2), which helps energy production in brain and muscle cells.
  • It’s gluten-free!

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Recipes give many different ways to cook quinoa, but if you are just looking for a super fluffy, delicious alternative to couscous or rice, follow the two rules of thumb:

  1. Use a flavorful liquid like stock rather than plain water. Quinoa soaks up the liquid it is cooked in, so choose a tasty one.
  2. Soak the quinoa first then, use the ratio of 1 part quinoa to 1 and ¼ part liquid.

The tastiest, fluffiest quinoa

Choose white quinoa, because it cooks up the fluffiest. Measure 1 cup quinoa (for 4-6 servings), place into a bowl and cover with room temperature water. Allow it to sit for 15 minutes (or up to 30). Drain quinoa and place into a sauce pot. Add in 1¼ cups stock or broth (use chicken, vegetable, beef, mushroom — whichever flavorful liquid you like), cover and set over medium-high heat. As soon as it comes to a boil, turn the heat down to low (or medium-low) and cook gently for about 20 minutes, until the liquid is absorbed and the tiny ‘string’ has popped from the quinoa seed (a sign that it is cooked). Fluff with a fork and serve.

7 Versatile Quinoa Recipes to Try This Week

Monday: Quinoa Coconut Breakfast Pudding by Vianney Rodriguez

Photograph by Vianney Rodriguez

Tuesday: Summer Squash and Red Quinoa Salad With Walnuts by Bon Appetit

Photograph by Bon Appétit

Wednesday: Black Bean, Sweet Potato and Quinoa Chili With Smoked Chipotle

Photograph by Ambitious Kitchen

Thursday: Kids' Quinoa by Michelle Bernstein

Photograph by Getty Images

Friday: Mini Ham and Cheese Quinoa Cups by Iowa Girl Eats

Photograph by Iowa Girl Eats

Saturday: Taco Salad With Chipotle Lime Dressing by Love and Lemons

Photograph by Love and Lemons

Sunday: Crispy, Cheesy Quinoa Cakes by Finding Tasty

Photograph by Finding Tasty
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