TV Tuesday #14: The Secret To Cooking Perfect Quinoa Every Time

Quinoa, Black Bean and Broccoli Salad with a Blackberry Serrano Dressing

Today we wanted to touch on quinoa. Where you are in your whole food journey will determine your familiarity with this extremely versatile grain/seed.  With all of its media attention these days, the chances are high you are familiar with this new Hollywood star of the superfood world. But if you’ve never met, please allow me to introduce you!

Today I’m not going to share any fancy recipes, just the basics. I spend a lot of time on the internet and I’m always surprised by how many variations there seem to be on cooking quinoa. So, if you’re new to whole foods or just starting out on your journey, you may find yourself confused as to how to cook it.

Why Quinoa Is Awesome

The beauty of quinoa is that it takes no more time to cook than rice, is fairly neutral tasting, has a good texture and is enjoyed by most. Also, quinoa does not require any special preparation.If you have a spouse or family that is resisting whole food options, this is a great place to start.

The only thing is that some people detect a slight bitter flavor (it is very subtle) when they eat quinoa. The method I’ll demonstrate in the video takes no extra time, makes the quinoa taste nutty and masks any bitterness. If you’re just introducing quinoa to your family, I highly recommend this method. It cooks perfectly every time. Set the timer and walk away!

Once the quinoa is made, it makes an excellent side dish, like rice, but it’s also a great addition to a vegetarian or vegan diet due to its high protein profile. We also make extra so that we can serve it with a poached eggs for breakfast, make salads that pack easily for lunch, or use it as a vegetarian main course. For quinoa recipes out the wahoo consider this much loved book, Quinoa 365: The Everyday Superfood.

Also, if you’re following a traditional diet, check out Gnowfglins for her class on cooking grains.

What’s the next recipe you are going to make with quinoa? Let me know in the comments below!


I’m sharing this with Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, A Little Birdie Told Me, Fat Tuesday, This Chick Cooks, Cast Party Wednesday, Allergy Free Wednesday, The Tasty Alternative, What’s Cooking Wednesday, Real Food Wednesday, Simple Lives Thursday, Full Plate Thursday, Freaky Friday, Fight Back Friday, and Foodie Friday.

32 Responses to TV Tuesday #14: The Secret To Cooking Perfect Quinoa Every Time

  1. Joyce Hawkinson July 10, 2012 at 6:20 am #

    If you rinse the quinoa before roasting (until water runs clear) there is no bitterness.  Be sure to drain it well.

    • France Morissette July 11, 2012 at 10:21 pm #

      I didn’t mention it here, so thank you for the reminder Joyce. We buy already washed quinoa, but if you’re buying it bulk or are unsure, washing it is always best. However, I do find that a small amount of bitterness still remains and the toasting makes a huge difference. I hope you’ll give it a try.

  2. Joanne July 10, 2012 at 11:33 am #

    I am SUCH a huge fan of quinoa and am always promoting its awesomeness! Love this post!

    • beyondthepeel July 11, 2012 at 5:57 pm #

       Go Quinoa!

  3. Karey Swan July 10, 2012 at 1:03 pm #

    For years we’ve enjoyed a half quinoa – half buckwheat breakfast porridge. Same proportions as yours and toasting both. We eat the cereal with homemade yogurt and maple syrup. Then use leftovers as a salad. My recipe post – 

    • beyondthepeel July 11, 2012 at 5:58 pm #

       Thanks for sharing Karey!

  4. Vilma G Nava July 10, 2012 at 7:06 pm #

    I am from South America ~ Ecuador, and I remember eating quinoa often, but my mom used to make it in a soup which was delicious!  Too bad I don’t know the recipe :o(

    • beyondthepeel July 11, 2012 at 5:58 pm #

       My husband fell in love with Quinoa when he lived in Peru, in fact that is where we met. Quinoa in soup is fantastic!

  5. Healthy Frugalista July 11, 2012 at 8:48 pm #

    This is my favorite tabouleh recipe using quinoa instead of bulgur.  The post is about parsley, but the recipe is at the end. Parsley As a Vegetable

  6. Shelley Alexander July 11, 2012 at 10:51 pm #

    France, I love quinoa! I soak it first to get rid of the antinutrients and then I cook it. I use it to add to salads and as a great side dish with dinner. I also like to have it for breakfast with dried fruits, honey, coconut milk, and nuts. Thanks for sharing the nice tips and video!

  7. The Café Sucré Farine July 11, 2012 at 11:44 pm #

    Perfect timing France, my kids are coming to visit and they love quinoa so I’ll be using your tricks!

  8. inspirededibles July 12, 2012 at 12:17 am #

    Blackberry Serrano Dressing?  That would be a WOW.  And it looks fabulous too!  Funny, I’ve never detected a bitter taste from quinoa but maybe I’m just weird that way… couldn’t resist being the 1,000 person to Like Beyond the Peel on FACEBOOK – Congrats guys!! :)

    • France Morissette July 12, 2012 at 4:34 pm #

      Ohhh! well we couldn’t be happier that it was you that pushed us into 4 digits! We were celebrating that before bed last night! Thanks Kelly. Big hugs to you.

  9. Ca4ole July 12, 2012 at 11:03 pm #

    Very helpful, thanks. 

    Looking good.  Found you via Beyond the Peel’s Keep it Real
    Thursday.    I linked in bacon and scrambled egg rolls.  Have a super week.

  10. Jeanette Chen July 14, 2012 at 1:15 am #

     Great video France – I love tossing quinoa in to salads or making a pilaf with it.

    • France Morissette July 14, 2012 at 6:35 pm #

      Me too Jeanette. Especially your creations. Always yummy!

    • beyondthepeel July 14, 2012 at 7:06 pm #

      Thanks Jeanette! I love quinoa salad!

  11. Kelly July 28, 2012 at 1:54 am #

    So how can I toast it if I rinse it first?

    • France Morissette July 30, 2012 at 7:40 pm #

      Hi Kelly, It will dry out in the hot pan. It will just take a little longer that’s all.

  12. Elizabeth January 22, 2013 at 4:21 am #

    Someone please address this: If you toast it before cooking, can you skip the infernal rinsing?

    • beyondthepeel January 23, 2013 at 9:40 pm #

      It’s up to you. I buy mine rinsed. The rinsing helps remove some of the bitterness, but if you don’t notice the bitterness than it really isn’t necessary. The toasting also helps with a better flavor. Rinsing and toasting will give you the best flavor. Try it just toasted and see if you like it. You’ll be your own best judge.

  13. Dawn Kelly February 26, 2013 at 4:02 am #

    Hi – Question for you – did you rinse the quinoa before roasting? Thanks.

    • beyondthepeel February 26, 2013 at 8:12 am #

      I buy my quinoa rinsed. However it is recommended to rinse first if you’re sensitive to the bitterness that quinoa has. We are not. The toasting also really helps the flavor.

  14. Cathy February 26, 2013 at 8:46 pm #

    Do you pre-rinse the Quinoa before you toast it?

    • Cathy February 26, 2013 at 8:47 pm #

      Sorry! I should have seen this question has already been asked. I see the answer. Thanks.

  15. Richard Binder May 6, 2013 at 1:20 am #

    Non-video content is also good, for those of us who can’t hear.

    • beyondthepeel May 7, 2013 at 6:16 pm #

      Thank you for letting us know. The instructions are as follows: Start with rinsed quinoa. I buy mine already washed, but you can rinse it until the water runs clear. Then add 1 cup of quinoa to a pot with 1 Tbsp of oil of fat of choice over medium high heat. Toast the quinoa for apprx 5 minutes. Stirring occasionally so that all the seeds get golden brown. Careful not to burn or you will get a bitter taste. Add 2 cups of water, it will begin to boil right away. Cover with a lid and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and fluff. Voila, perfect quinoa every time.


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