Quinoa questions
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Jane McMichen
(jmcmichen) - F

Locale: Maine, DownEast Coast
Quinoa questions on 08/06/2008 18:56:43 MDT Print View

I'm venturing into new ground. I've read so much here and elsewhere about quinoa that I had to try it. I got organic, and it was supposed to be rinsed already.

Here's what I did (on partial instructions to "do it kind of like couscous"). 1/2 cup quinoa to 1 cup water plus herbs and a pat of butter. Put all together in a pot and brought to a boil. Simmered almost 14 minutes (half covered, then uncovered when it seemed there was still too much water) then let sit for about 5 minutes off the heat, covered.

My questions: The individual grains were mostly translucent but with a white dot in the center and a white ring around the outside. This didn't change during the last 4 minutes of cooking. Was it cooked enough? Is it supposed to have a slightly crunchy texture?

It was very tasty, but I'm not sure if I did it right. Any tips? Also, I've read that some of you eat it for breakfast. Do you dress it up like you would oatmeal?

Would there be good nutritional benefits to mixing quinoa and barley? They would seem to be natural partners from my first test.

Once it's cooked, I suppose you dehydrate it on parchment paper to create an instant meal?

Laurie, I saw your pic of quinoa and avacado salad and it looks delicious! Sarah, I'm sure you have a few excellent tips. And you other quinoa lovers probably have great ideas too. I'm looking forward to more tasty experiments!

Thanks in advance!

Christopher Holden
(back2basics) - F - MLife

Locale: Southeast USA
Re: Quinoa questions on 08/06/2008 19:05:16 MDT Print View

Jane,
you're a step ahead of me. I also learned about quinoa on here. Folks working at Kroger and Publix have no clue what it is. That photo of the avocado/quinoa salad motivated me to make it a point to hit the international market later in the week when I'm in the area. If it cooks like couscous, does it also hydrate without cooking like couscous does? Post success stories and ideas. I'll be cooking some this weekend and will be thinking of dishes once I get an idea of what it tastes like.
Chris

Eric Fitz
(pounce) - F
Red Quinoa on 08/06/2008 19:49:07 MDT Print View

I eat Red Quinoa all the time. I used to buy the 12oz boxes, but my Whole foods sells it in bulk now for $2 a pound. It's a much better deal. You can cook it just like rice in a rice cooker. You can get a small rice cooker from Target or the like for maybe 12 or 14 bucks. Makes life easy if you like to eat it a lot.

It's not for packing, but I make a cold Quinoa salad most of the time. I boil the Quinoa in a lot more water than what you would use if you cooked it like rice for about 15 minutes. I then strain it and run it under cold water. I then let it drain in the sieve. After its given up most of the water I mix in olive oil, olive tapenade or fire roasted veggies, crumbled feta, grape tomato and some parsley. I let this work its magic in the fridge for a few hours before serving. If you use olive oil left over from canned or jarred dolmas its also really tasty.

It's also really tasty mixed with caponata and served cold.

I just happen to like the red Quinoa better. I think it looks better and tastes better.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Re: Quinoa questions on 08/06/2008 20:14:27 MDT Print View

Christopher, it does need to be cooked - unlike couscous it is a whole grain :-) But, it cooks fast (15-20 minutes) and dehydrates beautifully.
I added a pictorial how-to on that a couple months ago as well. I don't remember, but I may have posted it here as well.
http://www.freezerbagcooking.com/dehydrating.htm

Laurie Ann March
(Laurie_Ann) - F

Locale: Ontario, Canada
quinoa on 08/06/2008 20:59:23 MDT Print View

Here is a blog post I made a little while ago about quinoa

http://www.wildernesscooking.com/blog/?p=64

I have some recipes for it in my book and am always using it in different ways. It will have a little texture to it - like an al dente pasta.

I always toast my quinoa as it enhances the flavor and I always rinse it even if it says it is pre-rinsed.

Quinoa and Spinach Soup (A Fork in the Trail page 170)

Quinoa and Spinach Soup (A Fork in the Trail page 170)

Toasted Quinoa and Avocado Salad

Toasted Quinoa and Avocado Salad

Laurie Ann March
(Laurie_Ann) - F

Locale: Ontario, Canada
more info on Quinoa on 08/06/2008 21:33:03 MDT Print View

Here is a site with some interesting info on the health benefits of Quinoa - among other things...

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=142

Dicentra OPW
(dicentra) - F

Locale: PNW
Quinoa on 08/06/2008 23:17:42 MDT Print View

It can also be cooked and dehydrated to make instant (like you would rice). I like the nutty flavor and slight crunch.

There are a few salad recipes on my site too. I can post them here if there is an interest. :)

Laurie Ann March
(Laurie_Ann) - F

Locale: Ontario, Canada
toasted quinoa and avocado salad on 08/07/2008 01:50:19 MDT Print View

Jane - if you'd like the recipe for the salad (as you can see I posted the photo again in this thread) I would be more than happy to send it to you. It is for another book I am working on so I don't feel comfortable posting it on the internet. My email is laurie@wildernesscooking.com

Max Hoagland
(maxhoagland) - F
Re: Re: Quinoa questions on 08/07/2008 02:20:19 MDT Print View

Christopher, It actually doesn't need to be cooked. It doesn't hydrate like couscous, but it does sprout. I have backpacked without a stove (I did a raw 10 day backpack trip) with quinoa. The night before you want to eat quinoa, soak it overnight in water, the next morning, drain it and repackage it in a container with good drainage (nalgene upside down, not screwed tightly, or ziploc type bowl with the lid not sealed). Leave it on your pack all day, and that night you will have the start of SPROUTS! Totally edible (if I where going to sprout quinoa at my house I would wait two days.) Mix it with some hummus or hydrated-dehydrated veggies and you got an excellent meal to pair with bread, soup, or fresh veggies!

Christopher Holden
(back2basics) - F - MLife

Locale: Southeast USA
Re: toasted quinoa and avocado salad on 08/07/2008 03:53:04 MDT Print View

Laurie,
How do you recommend toasting quinoa? Just spread it on a baking sheet and toss it in the oven for a few minutes?
This all looks like good stuff. I look forward to trying out some of these suggestions.

Thanks for the tips and comments, everyone!
Chris

Jane McMichen
(jmcmichen) - F

Locale: Maine, DownEast Coast
Re: quinoa on 08/07/2008 04:42:54 MDT Print View

Thanks everyone! I have to run off to work, but I'll investigate these tips and links tonight. And yes, Dicentra, recipes are welcome! I'll check out your site asap - didn't know about it until this post. What other cool sites lie hidden out there? Hmmmm :-)

Laurie Ann March
(Laurie_Ann) - F

Locale: Ontario, Canada
toasting quinoa on 08/07/2008 07:25:11 MDT Print View

Hi Christopher,

First I start by rinsing the quinoa. I place it in a sieve and run it under cold water for a minimum of 3 minutes. I swish it around with my hand to help remove all the coating. Then I let that drain for a few minutes and place it in a nonstick frying pan that has been preheated on medium.

I stir it a bit and let it continue to dry in the pan until it starts to pop (bounce). It reminds me of popcorn except that the seeds don't explode. Once it is a little active in the pan and completely dried out I store it in a glass jar in the pantry. This way I always have some toasted and ready to go. What toasting does is bring out the nutty flavor of the grain.

Make sure it is completely dry before you store it or you'll get sprouts. As Max has mentioned sprouting is pretty quick.

When I cook quinoa I bring it to a full rolling boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. I let it simmer 10 minutes and then I take it off the heat. Leave the lid on and let it sit for a full 10 minutes. Then fluff it with a fork and make your dish. If you are drying it plain then put it on lined dehydrator trays. I often dry the full meal if I am doing a soup or such.

A little off topic but I miss the crunch of fresh greens on the trail. Sprouting is a very good way to alleviate that and I sometimes sprout different types of seeds, including quinoa, on the trail.

Here are some photos of sprouts in my Nalgene on Day 3 (these were broccoli sprouts).

Broccoli Sprouts Day 3 (from above)

Broccoli Sprouts Day 3 (from side)

I hope that helps.




Jane I received your email and have sent you the recipe. I hope you enjoy it.

edited to add photos...

Edited by Laurie_Ann on 08/07/2008 07:33:10 MDT.

Dicentra OPW
(dicentra) - F

Locale: PNW
Recipes! on 08/07/2008 07:39:21 MDT Print View

My site is http://www.onepanwonders.com for anyone else who didn't know. All about hiking and backpacking meals! :)

Lunch:

Sunshine Salad
Serves 1

Sarbar has tried this one, but I used couscous in place of the quinoa for hers (maybe she'll comment?)

1/3 cup (cooked and dehydrated) quinoa
3 packets True Orange©
2 tablespoons golden raisins
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried shallots
1/2 teaspoon vegetable bouillon
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon champagne vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil

At home: combine all of the ingredients except the oil and vinegar in a zip locking plastic bag. Combine the oil and vinegar in a screw top container.

In camp: add just enough water to cover. Stir well and allow to rehydrate. Add the oil and vinegar (to taste) just before serving.
______________________________________________________

Dinner:

Unstuffed Peppers
Serves 1

I have a dehydrator-free version of this included in my book. I switched out the quinoa for rice (among other small changes)

1/3 cup (cooked and dehydrated) quinoa
3 tablespoons dried roasted red peppers
1 tablespoon cilantro
1 tablespoon tomato powder
1 tablespoon sun dried tomatoes, chopped
1 tablespoon dried mixed vegetables
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon vegetable bouillon
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

At home: combine everything in a zip locking bag

In camp: add enough hot water to cover. Stir and place in a cozy. Allow to stand for 5 minutes or until the vegetables are rehydrated. Stir well and eat.

Dicentra OPW
(dicentra) - F

Locale: PNW
and for breakfast... on 08/07/2008 08:01:06 MDT Print View

This won't have the mouth feel that oatmeal or cream of wheat does, but if you like quinoa it's pretty tasty! Use a cozy if it is cold out.

Blueberry Almond Quinoa
Serves 1

This is protein packed and has a nice crunch.

1/3 cup cooked and dehydrated quinoa
2 tablespoons dried blueberries
1 tablespoon slivered almonds
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon powdered milk
1 teaspoon sugar (or more to taste)

At home: put everything in a zip locking plastic bag.

In camp: add enough hot water to cover, stir. Let sit for 5 minutes or until cereal is rehydrated. Stir again and enjoy.

Edited by dicentra on 08/07/2008 08:01:48 MDT.

Laurie Ann March
(Laurie_Ann) - F

Locale: Ontario, Canada
Blueberry Hazelnut Quinoa on 08/07/2008 08:18:42 MDT Print View

that has an uncanny similarity to a recipe that I used back in 2006 for a workshop I was teaching...

http://www.wildernesscooking.com/backpacker-recipes-quinoa.html

Blueberry, Hazelnut Quinoa

Makes 2 servings

Quinoa, pronounced keen-wa is a complete source of amino acids. The addition of blueberries, cinnamon and toasted hazelnuts makes this dish as comforting as a bowl of oatmeal but packed with protein.

1/2 cup quinoa
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon white sugar
1/4 cup dried blueberries
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 cup hazelnuts
Enough milk powder to make 1/2 cup, plus water as necessary
brown sugar, optional, to taste
3/4 cup water


At Home: Rinse the quinoa under cold water for at least 3 minutes. Drain well and then toast in a dry nonstick frying pan until the quinoa starts to pop. Allow it to cool and then place it in a ziplock freezer bag with the salt, sugar and blueberries. Toast the hazelnuts in a dry nonstick frypan until they start to become fragrant. Remove from the heat and let cool. Wrap the brown sugar and toasted hazelnuts separately in plastic wrap, and place both in the bag with the quinoa. Pack the milk powder with the other milk powder you will take on your trip.

At Camp: Mix the contents of the quinoa bag with 3/4 cup of water in a pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and let the quinoa cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. If it becomes too dry, add a little more water. Meanwhile use the milk powder and water to make 1/2 cup of milk. When the quinoa has finished cooking, divide it into 2 servings. Top each with milk and a little brown sugar, if desired, and sprinkle with hazelnuts.


Tip: If you are camping in cold weather and need to increase your fat intake, add a tablespoon of butter to the quinoa when it has finished cooking. For a warmer quinoa add the milk to the pot when the quinoa has finished cooking and heat through.


© 2006 Laurie Ann March

you must have had a similar inspiration

Edited by Laurie_Ann on 08/07/2008 08:21:30 MDT.

Dicentra OPW
(dicentra) - F

Locale: PNW
It's just fruit and nuts on 08/07/2008 08:23:27 MDT Print View

I have a HUGE Costco sized bag of dried blueberries so I'm trying to come up with lots of ways to use them up. Blueberries with hazelnuts would be good! I hadn't seen your recipe before, but I'll have to try it.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Recipes! on 08/07/2008 13:26:47 MDT Print View

The Sunshine one has great flavor indeed. We just need to keep Di around more often :-)

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Recipes! on 08/07/2008 15:41:42 MDT Print View

Di, I was thinking...I wonder if the instant Quinoa flakes would work as well - remember this recipe from my website?

Brown Sugar & Cinnamon Quinoa:
In a pint freezer bag add:
1/3 cup instant Quinoa Flakes
1 1/2 tsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon

Add 1 cup near boiling water to the dry ingredients. Start stirring and keep stirring for a minute. Let sit in a cozy tightly sealed for 5 minutes. It will thicken up considerably. This will also work well in an insulated mug.

If you have a Ti or aluminum mug you can also cook this over a low flame for 90 seconds, stirring constantly.

Serves 1.
Note: I came across Ancient Harvest® Quinoa Flakes recently and brought a box home to play with. I found it at the local natural foods grocery store. Quinoa products are often found in the natural foods or gluten free section in large grocery stores. You can also find it online at Amazon.

While they don't claim to be instant they do work perfectly for FBC meals. The box is 12 ounces which is quite a bit of Quinoa! A hearty serving is 1/3 cup dry Quinoa flakes.

Unlike traditional Quinoa that takes 15-20 minutes cooking time and needs to be rinsed beforehand all you need here is boiling water and some sitting time in a cozy. A good comparison is to oatmeal or grits & polenta. Any recipe you have for those will work with the flakes. I tried it out in a quick breakfast and was quite happy with the results. Quinoa does have a quirky texture if you are not used to it but has so much more nutritionally to offer over wheat.

~Sarah

Laurie Ann March
(Laurie_Ann) - F

Locale: Ontario, Canada
cooking time for traditional quinoa on 08/07/2008 15:53:49 MDT Print View

Traditional quinoa cooks in 10 minutes if you toast it first. No need to dehydrate the grain or use instant. Generally instant products are reduced in nutrients because of processing.

Dicentra OPW
(dicentra) - F

Locale: PNW
cooks quick but... on 08/07/2008 16:06:18 MDT Print View

That will only work if you are NOT doing FBC. The recipes Sarbar and I both posted are freezerbag cooking friendly. You don't lose any nutrition by cooking plain quinoa then dehydrating it. LOTS you can do with it after that.

Sar - I still need to try those flakes. Got any left? You forgot to give me some! :)