Have you tried quinoa? Do you know how to cook it?
Quinoa is an enticing food choice because when compared to similar foods, it delivers quite a few healthy benefits. It is considered a super food due to it’s rich nutritional content, and it is a favorite for fitness conscious individuals.
I have prepared it many times as a side dishes, but honestly for me, it does not shine on its own like a serving of a fluffy brown or wild rice.
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For this reason, I have been experimenting with it to try to come up with a recipe that really speaks to me. Don’t get me wrong, I like it. It has a great nutty flavor and a firm consistency, which by the way, it may take a bit getting used to. I can eat it on it’s own, but I have come to expect some complex flavors on my quinoa dishes because I know it is easy to make it more flavorful with minimal ingredients.
And guess what? Well, I hope that you will agree when you try this quinoa recipe, that I have discovered a simple combination of flavors that result in a super delicious quinoa. You will be able to eat it as side dish, or as a main course on your meatless days. I will continue to create new combinations, but I think no matter what I come up with, this will be my favorite, and hopefully it will be yours too!
I cheated a little bit here with the ingredients, as one is a canned ingredient with a lot of great flavors. This definitely contribute to a final delicious quinoa dish that you don’t want to stop eating.
Quinoa Recipe Basics
So here are some quinoa recipe basics. One cup of dry quinoa yields about three cups of cooked quinoa, similar to rice.
Packages always come with basic cooking instructions, which involves boiling a certain quantity of product with a certain quantity of water.
Some packages suggest substituting the water for vegetable or chicken stock.
For this recipe, you will follow the package instructions, but I definitely recommend using an unsalted or low sodium stock to cook the quinoa to infuse additional flavor. You can prepare your own stock, or use your favorite brand.
Can You Refrigerate Quinoa?
By the way, quinoa is not actually a grain, it is a seed that comes from a relative of the spinach, beets, and chard family. You can read more interesting details and see actual pictures of the quinoa plant at Encyclpedia Britanica. The reason I raise this fact is because since it is a seed, cooked quinoa behaves differently than rice when you store it in the refrigerator.
How many times have you been less than pleased with the appearance and texture of left over rice? If you wanted to impress someone with a side of reheated rice, it simply wouldn’t be easy to do.
Quinoa, on the other hand, is great freshly cooked, cold, or reheated. It doesn’t loose it’s shape and it lends itself excellently to meal prepping. The best part is that you can follow the simple basic cooking instructions, further prepare the whole cooked quinoa with one recipe, or use a small quantity with one recipe and store the rest to use with different ingredients later in the day or the week.
Either way, you feel like you are eating a fresh batch of delicious quinoa every time even if the original unprepared batch has been refrigerated for some time.
This saves time and actually helps with wellness goals, because it minimizes the excuses you need for eating less healthier options. This can be said of meal prepping in general, but quinoa can definitely keep looking and tasting great in the refrigerator and it really does not feel like you are eating undesired left overs.
You can store cooked quinoa covered in the refrigerator for up to a week, and at least a month in the freezer, although some sites claim it can last frozen from 8 month to a year.
To reheat, cover so that you don’t loose the moisture, and if you wish, you can sprinkle a bit of water or chicken or vegetable stock.
Quinoa with Mushroom and Pickled Artichoke Hearts Recipe
1 c. quinoa
2 c. low sodium vegetable or chicken stock (optional)
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 lb. white or button mushrooms,chopped
1 7.5 oz. glass jar pickled artichoke hearts (use 1/3-1/2 jar), chopped
4 sm. garlic cloves, minced
salt and pepper to taste
grated parmesan cheese (optional)
How to Prepare:
- Use large saucepan to cook 1 cup of quinoa according to package instructions. (For extra flavor, you may substitute water for vegetable or chicken stock. Recommended but not required). Set aside.
- In a large sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium heat, add 4 cloves of minced garlic and 1 pound of chopped white or button mushrooms, cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Add chopped artichoke hearts, quinoa and salt and pepper to taste.
- Cover and reduce heat. Cook until mushrooms are well cooked, stirring occasionally. Monitor so that when done, you don’t have too much or too little moisture. You want it too look like dish of creamy risotto.
- Serve hot and top with grated parmesan cheese.
Note: The pork chops on the picture were topped with my homemade salsa. A great recipe that guides you to make your own signature salsa. Also, two product links above are Amazon links. You can buy these products online, but more than likely they are also available at your local grocery store.
I included the links to show the actual items that I used, but also I also wanted to point out that the quinoa is a brand produced in the U.S., which was news to me because I thought all quinoa was imported from other countries.
Check out the nutritional values of quinoa at Quinoa 101: Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits
Try this quinoa recipe, and don’t hesitate to share your comments on the comment section below.
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