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
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.
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:
Use a flavorful liquid like
stock rather than plain water. Quinoa soaks up the liquid it is cooked in, so
choose a tasty one.
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.