How to Cook Quinoa ♥ for Meal Prep

How to Cook Quinoa for Meal Prep ♥ A Veggie Venture
graphic button small size size 10 Oh friends, we are so going back to meal prep basics here, just some quinoa, some salt, some water, one pot and one stove. Follow this simple technique – just rinse, simmer, rest and fluff – for full, light-textured
quinoa every time. Quinoa = A Year-Round Kitchen Staple. Great for Meal Prep. Low Fat. Weight Watchers Friendly & Freestyle Friendly, quinoa is one of Weight Watchers "free" foods. Not just vegan, Vegan Done Real. Naturally Gluten Free. graphic button small size size 10

I remember searching high and low for quinoa for the first time twelve years ago – my cousin Lynda had sent the recipe for Acorn Squash with Quinoa & Cherries. I'd heard of quinoa but it was a new-ish thing then and none of the big grocery stores carried it. I finally found a dusty container in what we then called a "natural" food store. (Hmm, have natural food stores gone by the wayside? Who's been in one lately?)

Back then I even mispronounced quinoa "KWIN-oh-ah" or "kwin-OH-ah" instead of the real pronunciation "KEEN-wah". Ha! We do get smarter as we get older, yes?!

I'm definitely smarter about cooking quinoa today. Back then, I cooked quinoa only when it was destined for a particular recipe. Now I cook mostly quinoa to have on hand as a staple, like bread, milk and eggs, like onions, carrots and celery, like ketchup, mustard and hot sauce. Then what? What happens to cooked quinoa the staple?

A plant-based addition to salad suppers, mostly leafy greens and vegetables, a little fruit, a little cheese, usually topped with some variation of the "house ranch" aka Buttermilk Garlic Salad Dressing
Added plant-based bulk and texture for tacos
Added plant-based bulk and texture for oatmeal, either sprinkled on top with fried eggs or turned into our everyday oatmeal, Almost-Chewy Creamy Oatmeal
Added fiber and texture for Our Daily Bread: My Easy Everyday Bread Recipe
One protein component in breakfast protein skillets – recipe coming soon!

IS QUINOA REALLY HIGH IN PROTEIN? I almost wince when people blithely toss off the idea that quinoa is high in protein. Does 4 grams in a half-cup serving add up to high protein in your book? It doesn't in mine, I look for at least 10 grams before I call something "high protein". Don't get me wrong: I love quinoa, as I say, it's a staple here, just not for protein.


Hands-on time: 5 minutes
Time to table: 45 minutes
Serves 2 2/3 cups (assumes white quinoa, varies with quinoa color)

Make sure you have a timer handy, timing makes all the difference here! Minutes matter!
1 cup (200g) quinoa, rinsed well under running water
1-1/4 cups water
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

In a medium-size saucepan (make sure it has a tight lid, you'll need it later), bring the quinoa, water and salt to a boil. Reduce the temperature to maintain a simmer and let simmer, the lid still off, for 8 minutes.

Remove the pot from the heat and put the lid on the pot. Let it rest for 15 minutes, a little longer is fine but do let the quinoa rest for at least 15 minutes and fluff while still warm. Remove the lid and let rest another 5 minutes, then fluff again.

MAKE-AHEAD Yep, total make-ahead. I tend to make it when I'm busy in the kitchen, it mostly tends to itself so long as "Alexa" or the stove timer gets set.

LEFTOVERS The quinoa keeps in the refrigerator for several days, up to a week.

VARIATIONS Cook the quinoa in vegetable stock, chicken stock, even beer, I think would be good!

WHICH COLOR QUINOA? White quinoa is easiest to find and the least expensive. Red quinoa has a chewy, nutty texture that I love. I often buy a blend of red, white and black quinoa, then stir in an equivalent amount of white quinoa.
CAN YOU MAKE A DOUBLE BATCH? Sure, I do, on occasion. But it's more than our small household of three can use up unless I have a particular recipe in mind.

A Veggie Venture - Printer Friendly Recipe Graphic

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the
famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.

© Copyright Kitchen Parade 2018

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.