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Quinoa, any good recipes for a newbie?

481 Views 3 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  teashopgirl
It seems like I can't go a day lately without hearing about quinoa.  My hubby is a diabetic and rice will spike his glucose levels and I am trying to lose weight.  Apparently, quinoa is diabetic and weight loss friendly so I bought a small bag yesterday.  Does anyone have good recipes for main dishes and/or side dishes?  I have a rice cooker and was also wondering if this can be prepared in it.
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My favorite use of quinoa is in a vegetable curry.

Saute a small onion, a carrot, and any other veggies you want that do well when cooked for a long time (I've used peas, kohlrabi, wax beans - anything you'd through in a vegetable soup.) Add a cup of quinoa (two nights worth for us.) ~2.5 cups of water and a few spoonfuls of curry powder. I like the sweet curry powder from The Spice House. Simmer 30~40 minutes (I'm at altitude so this is always a little strange for me.) You want to simmer off all the water and have the quinoa be cooked through. Add water and time if necessary. Salt and pepper to taste.

I find I season quinoa much heavier than ricer or other grains. This goes great with scrambled eggs and a cooked dark green like spinach or kale. If the texture of the quinoa is too blah for you, browning it up adds great flavor and texture. Add oil to a hot cast iron skillet. Press the quinoa curry into it. Peek under it periodically to see if it's browned at all. If so, do you best to flip and press down again. Do this several times. I find it virtually impossible to burn the stuff doing this. Adds a  nice nutty crunch.

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Chicken with Quinoa and Veggies
1 cup rinsed quinoa
2 cups chicken broth
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic scapes, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
2 skinless boneless chicken breast halves-cut into strips
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 zucchini, diced
1 tomato, diced
4 oz crumbled feta cheese
8 fresh basil leaves
1 tbsp lime juice

Bring quinoa and chicken broth to a boil in saucepan; reduce heat to a simmer and cover the pan.  Simmer until the broth is absorbed, the quinoa is fluffy, and the white line is visible in the grain, about 12 minutes

Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in skillet, cook and stir the garlic scapes and onion until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.  Stir in the chicken breast strips and cook until the chicken is still slightly pink in the middle, about 5 more minutes.  Remove the chicken and set aside.  Pour 2 more tbsp of olive oil in skillet and cook and stir the zucchini and tomato until the zucchini is tender, 5-8 minutes.  Return chicken to skillet and sprinkle with feta cheese, basil leaves and lime juice.  Cook until the chicken is fully cooked and hot, about 10 more minutes.  Serve over hot quinoa.

I love this recipe.  I didn't have garlic scapes the first time I made it so I just used chopped garlic and it was really good.  So I always just use chopped garlic.  I have also used other veggies.  Mushrooms, asparagus and carrots.  I also didn't add the feta while the chicken was cooking, but just stirred the feta, chicken and veggies in to the quinoa.
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I like to cook a cup of quinoa in vegetable broth, then add a tablespoon of olive oil, a half teaspoon of garlic salt, chopped tomatoes, chopped fresh basil, a quarter cup of crumbled feta or goat cheese, and a sprinkling of chopped almonds. I am hungry.
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