Quinoa 101: Red, White, and Black

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Quinoa was a sacred seed, not a grain, for the Inca’s. It is no wonder why this popular food is a major staple of South American cuisine. It is high in protein, 12-18 percent in fact, and contains a balance set of essential amino acids making it a complete protein.

They are all wrong. Seriously wrong.

Traditional White Quinoa: mild flavor, perfect for combining with other ingredients. Plays more of an accompanying role with rich nutritional content.

Whoever wrote the cooking instructions in quinoa packages probably never cooked it as I do not consider a horrific blob-esque glob of mushy porridge sexy, alluring or appetizing even with its mighty mouse nutritional content (hooray from high fiber and regularity, high protein content, balance set of amino acids, whereas gluten gets the hand).

Very unfitting for a superfood. Quinoa deserves better. This crisis may even be of epidemic proportions. A foodie friend confided that she had given up quinoa for this exact reason.

So, unless you want you want a mushy grotesque ball of whateverness, follow these simple, fool proof instructions that will give you a granulated, al dente quinoa that can also be used in any rice or couscous recipe. Quinoa will keep you lean, proteined and fibered.

White Quinoa

  • 1 Cup White Quinoa

    Red Quinoa: a stronger flavor, it takes slighter to cook and retains a little more of its exotic crunch.

  • 1  Cup Water (or stock, liquid, or flavored water)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • Couple of drops of olive oil

Ready. Set. Go.

Place quinoa in a strainer. If yours is like mine and the holes are big, use cheese cloth. Pick away any impurities. Then rinse twice throughly  to remove bitter-tasting sasponins (natural coating in quinoa), unless you like a soapy naughty quinoa. Although all US varieties have this coating removed, but it is better to be safe than encounter a foodie faux-pas.

Soak for 10 minutes. Rinse.

In a pot heat water, quinoa, salt and oil to boil. Cover, let boil fiercely for 30 seconds, reduce the heat, and simmer for 10  minutes, or until all water is absorbed.

Black Quinoa: strong flavor, keeps more of its crunch, gorgeous color. A definite main event.

Turn off the heat, fluff up, cover, and let sit for another 5 minutes to finish cooking.

Swoon, do a funny dance and pose like a superhero. You have conquered quinoa, a feat Europeans were not able to due to non-rinsage.

Red Quinoa:

  • 1 Cup Red Quinoa
  • 1  1/4 Cup Water (or stock, liquid, or flavored water)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • Couple of drops of olive oil

Sames as above. Cook for 12-13 Minutes. Fluff, cover and let rest for 5 minutes.

Black Quinoa:

  • 1 Cup Red Quinoa
  • 1  1/4 Cup + 1 Tablespoon Water (or stock, liquid, or flavored water)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • Couple of drops of olive oil

Sames as above. Cook for 13-14 Minutes. Fluff, cover and rest for 5 minutes.

Want to see me do it?

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  • http://twitter.com/joel_luks/status/14402723955 Joel Luks

    @fbg83 boil. simmer and let rest for 5 minutes. I grew up with it as baby food :) http://ow.ly/1NXnY maybe this will help :)

  • http://twitter.com/joel_luks/status/14573025714 Joel Luks

    @rasheedah1901 any health supermarket. Whole Foods, Trader Joe's common food. here is the basic recipe. http://ow.ly/1OO58

  • http://twitter.com/joel_luks/status/14573374671 Joel Luks

    @markwoodhall related to beets and spinach. Here is a basic: http://ow.ly/1OO9G i have tones of others…what do you like?

  • Pingback: Ridiculous fad diets begone: Vegan protein is here to save the day – CultureMap

  • Silke

    Joel – I cook my quinoa in bed. Don’t laugh…. I start boiling it (equal part quinoa and water) on the stove, then I pack it into my bed, nicely bundled up, for about 30 minutes to an hour. The result is nice and fluffy, and it’s very energy saving! (And if you do it on a winter night your bed is nicely warmed up).

  • http://twitter.com/theveganvoice/status/25735488109 The Vegan Voice

    @Sunraised This page has a good synopsis of the three colors of quinoa plus vegan recipes: http://tinyurl.com/34gxfk7

  • http://twitter.com/theveganvoice/status/25736122153 The Vegan Voice

    RT @joel_luks: Quinoa 101: Red, White, and Black #vegangoodeats #vegan http://ow.ly/1OO9G

  • http://twitter.com/mmmeg/status/25739691592 Meg

    RT @TheVeganVoice: RT @joel_luks: Quinoa 101: Red, White, and Black #vegangoodeats #vegan http://ow.ly/1OO9G

  • http://twitter.com/urfatimnot/status/25800475624 urfatimnot

    RT @TheVeganVoice: @Sunraised This page has a good synopsis of the three colors of quinoa plus vegan recipes: http://tinyurl.com/34gxfk7

  • http://twitter.com/culinaryprep/status/169743571203801088 CP

    cooking ideas: Quinoa 101: Red, White, and Black | Vegan Good Eats: http://t.co/T4eEVw6w

About this site

VeganGoodEats.com is a compilation of my favorite recipes and experiences. Erasing the stereotype that we eat rabbit food, I hope that the site inspires you to live a cruelty-free life. There is enough to live peacefully and indulgently.

About Joel Luks

Intellectually curious arts advocate. Design junkie & blogger. Creative nutty vegan chef loving all ethnic foods in a quest to ensure vegan food is seen as delicious, varied, and yes, sometimes, indulgent. Classical flutist & sucker for rhythmic music.

I work for CultureMap.com, a Houston-based lifestyle digital magazine, where I report on food, arts, society and city life, produce videos and curate an events guide.

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