Quinoa (pronounced as Keen-Wah) is a crop similar to a grain. It is grown mainly for it's incredibly healthy and edible seed. It is the only grain-type food that contains all of the essential amino-acids, making it rich in high-quality protein.
Quinoa can be prepared in a variety of ways, including as a side dish with added vegetables, to be eaten as a substitute for rice, or added soups and other dishes.
The seeds are covered with a resin that is bitter to the taste. You should always run quinoa under the tap and rub the seeds together to rinse it.
It is recommended that you rinse even if the package reads as pre-washed.
The golden ratio for cooking quinoa is 2 parts liquid to 1 part quinoa. Always maintain this ratio and you will go a long way in ensuring properly cooked quinoa. Many people will use water, but vegetable and other stocks can add flavour to your quinoa.
Place the liquid and quinoa in a pot. Bring to a boil and then cover with a lid and let cook at medium-low heat. The cooking time will be between 10-15 minutes at this temperature.
Once cooked, the liquid should be absorbed and the quinoa should be translucent in appearance. It should also be slightly crunchy.
Using a microwave-safe dish, cook the quinoa and liquid for 8 minutes on high. You can cover the dish with plastic cling wrap leaving one corner open in order to let steam out. You may also use the dish's lid covering the top loosely.
Once the 8 minutes has passed, stir and let sit for 10 minutes. Microwave again on high for 2 minutes and then let stir and let sit for 1 minute prior to serving.
Using the 2 to 1 ratio indicated above, follow the time instructions as you would for rice. Cooking times will vary with different cookers.