Quinoa basics – Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) is an edible grain that's been grown for centuries for its edible seeds. These days, it's considered a 'superfood' that's packed with protein and amino acids, but many people don't know how to prepare it.
Quinoa basics – Before quinoa began being exported to international markets, it wasn't cultivated in an organized fashion. Different varieties grew in peoples' back yards in Bolivia, and there were different strains, such red and black and white; most people didn't really care to differentiate that much. Now that it's taken over the marketplace, individual strains are carefully cultivated.
Quinoa basics – When quinoa first started getting popular, there was variability in the product; it wasn't always fully dried. So importers decided that a 2-to-1 ratio of water to quinoa—when cooked using the absorption method—would be a safe recommendation. Even better: 1-to-1 cooking ratio, which results in a much lighter dish with more bite and snap.
Quinoa basics – Rather than soaking it in oil, toast the quinoa before adding water so it picks up a great, nutty flavor.
Quinoa basics – The 'pasta' method where quinoa is just boiled will work, technically, but just doesn't deliver the same degree of flavor that toasting and absorbing does. And your quinoa should be pre-washed before cooking.
Quinoa basics – Quinoa is often served cold in salads, but a hot preparation in the manner of a pilaf is unexpected and incredibly delicious.