Quinoa (pronounced “KEEN-wah”) really goes with everything; it is the perfect gluten free and wheat free substitute (good news for food intolerance/allergy sufferers) and has a delicious, slightly nutty flavour. It’s really satisfying, easy to digest and just so healthy! Give it centre stage on your shopping list!
In this recipe I’ve glossed up the quinoa with a splash of coconut milk. If you’re not a fan of coconut a general rule of thumb for perfectly cooked quinoa is simply add one part grain to two parts liquid in a saucepan.
Where will I find quinoa?
You will find quinoa in any health food store and larger supermarkets in various forms: whole seeds (to prepare like a grain), quinoa flour (in combination with other flours for gluten free baking) and quinoa flakes (to make into a gluten free porridge). You need the whole seeds for this recipe.
Want to know more about the health benefits of quinoa? Find out here>>
Cooking with Quinoa
Ingredients - What you need
300g raw quinoa grains (can be the white or multi coloured stuff)
1 can full fat coconut milk
1.5 stock cubes (refil the empty can of coconut milk with water to make up the stock)
1 clove garlic crushed and chopped (optional)
Instructions - How to make quinoa
It is best to remove any leftover saponin compounds (quinoa's natural insect repellent) before you start cooking. Give the quinoa a quick rinse (30 seconds) under the tap in a fine-meshed sieve, gently rubbing it.
If like me, you are usually tempted to skip this part (guilty-as when cooking brown rice), don’t! You will end up with a bitter and slightly soapy flavour and texture to this otherwise delicious food. Not to mention the many disappointed open mouths to feed at the dinner table!
Now plonk the damp quinoa into a saucepan and dry fry it for five minutes. I really find this brings out quinoa’s natural nutty flavour.
After dry frying it, add one can of full fat coconut milk. Refil this can with stock (using 1.5 stock cubes) and add this too. If using chopped garlic, add this now also. Bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer for 15-20. Give it a stir occasionally or just leave it to do its thing.
You’ll know when it’s cooked because the grains become translucent and the white germ will partially detach itself, appearing like a spiralled tail. The coconut milk and stock get sucked up into the grains and you are left with this lovely, satisfying and moreish dish.
While your quinoa is cooking away, prep this simple salad to serve it with.
Mix everything in a bowl, squeeze over the lemon juice and drizzle with the oil. Crown with extra seeds.
Find out more about the health benefits of quinoa here>>
Why I recommend full fat coconut milk>>
If you like quinoa, tell me your favourite dishes to pair it with in the comments below. Maybe it’s with stew, soups, atop salads, or something else entirely! Let’s hear it!
Or, if you’ve got another delicious way to prepare quinoa, tell me about it. I really love hearing from you all.
Or come over to the Stellar Health Facebook page and join the conversation there. You'll also find more Stellar recipes and loads more tips on how to stay healthy throughout the week over on my Instagram page
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I hope you have fun exploring my recipes and feel inspired to experiment with them. Here you will see examples of how I cook with some of my recommended ingredients and experience the benefits for yourself.