Learning As I Chop

Quooking Quinoa

Posted in Baking/Cooking by R @ Learning As I Chop on August 24, 2010

Sunday night’s fridge was filled with leftovers- meatloaf, turkey meatballs, salad, the list goes on… Since H had many options for dinner, I decided to cook something for myself. Something I’ve been wanting to try but H has no interest in eating- quinoa!

Due to my adventures in Peru, I’ve eaten a fair share of this grain in my life, but have never made it at home.  A lot of food blogs have been mentioning quinoa lately, so I became inspired. Especially when Emily shared that you can prepare it in the rice cooker. (I have way too many burnt rice experiences to count.)

So I did the usual and found this lovely recipe via epicurious


2 teaspoons grated lime zest
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup quinoa
1 (14- to 15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 medium tomatoes, diced
4 scallions, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro


Whisk together lime zest and juice, butter, oil, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4teaspoon pepper in a large bowl.

Wash quinoa in 3 changes of cold water in a bowl, draining in a sieve each time.

Cook quinoa in a medium pot of boiling salted water (1 tablespoon salt for 2 quarts water), uncovered, until almost tender, about 10 minutes. Drain in sieve, then set sieve in same pot with 1 inch of simmering water (water should not touch bottom of sieve). Cover quinoa with a folded kitchen towel, then cover sieve with a lid (don’t worry if lid doesn’t fit tightly) and steam over medium heat until tender, fluffy, and dry, about 10 minutes. Remove pot from heat and remove lid. Let stand, still covered with towel, 5 minutes.

Add quinoa to dressing and toss until dressing is absorbed, then stir in remaining ingredients and salt and pepper to taste.

My local health-food store had the quinoa sans probleme, and then I ventured to my regular supermarket for the rest. Except they were missing part of the rest, namely scallions. Now I ask you-  what kind of supermarket doesn’t have scallions? So I tried to get inventive, and asked for chives, but they were missing those too. I know what you’re thinking – you live in NYC, there’s a store on every corner, why didn’t you go somewhere else for the scallions? Well friends, as some may know, a lovely monsoon descended upon NYC on Sunday afternoon. I had already braved two stores, a dinky umbrella and soaking pants. Though walking in the rain was slightly liberating, I wasn’t about to try a third. I would just have to forge ahead without the scallions.

This recipe took surprisingly little time to make. Before H could ask how it was going, I was done. I was excited to dive into my bowl – how could anything with grain, tomato and bean not be delicious?

Except that it wasn’t. The culprit – lime. 2 tps of lime zest + 2 tbsps of lime juice = quinoa that tastes like key lime pie. Blech! But I am not discouraged. I plan to make more quinoa again. However next time I will limit myself to savory ingredients only.

PS Have you cooked quinoa before? Please give me some washing tips. Those little pebbles slipped right through my sieve.


3 Responses

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  1. Marcus Neiman said, on August 24, 2010 at 1:26 pm

    You told me you liked your quinoa.

  2. Marina said, on August 25, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    I love quinoa!
    Specially with some good veggies in it 🙂

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