Saturday, March 6, 2010

Late night hunger, conquered by quinoa

I've had a small bag of quinoa sitting in my pantry for a few months now, and being hungry and not having grocery shopped since coming back from Disney, I decided late last night was the time to use some of it up. 
People have really differing opinions on how to cook quinoa. Mine's from the raw food bins at Whole Foods, so I rinse mine really well before using it. And since I'm usually not making much more than 1 cup at a time, I usually cook it stove-top with about 1.5 to 1 water to grain ratio. 

I seasoned this with some red chili flakes, season salt and paprika, brought it all to a boil and let it cook on med-high with a lid for 10-15 minutes until all the water is absorbed. I stir mine frequently throughout, to make sure the seasoning is evenly distributed and to check on the kernels to see if they've popped yet. 

I also sliced some string cheese into the quinoa and threw in a handful of cashews. YUM. The salty mozzarella brought out the seasonings, and the cashews complimented the nuttiness of the grains. I plan to make a larger batch of this tomorrow with some spinach and bake it so I can take it for breakfast next week!  

Red Quinoa dish:
1 c quinoa
1.5 c water or broth (or half/half - I used about 1/2 c homemade stock)
season to taste with paprika, season salt, chili flakes or other herbs of your choosing
1-2 string cheeses sliced, or about 1/3 c shredded cheese of your choosing
1/4 c toasted cashews (you could probably use any nut you had on hand for this)

Bring grains, water and spices to a boil. Cover and continue gently boiling 10-15 mins until all water has been soaked up, stirring occasionally. Layer cheese, quinoa, cheese, quinoa to help the cheese melt, then stir in nuts. 

Optional: mix in 3/4 c chopped dry spinach, and bake at 325 up to 10 mins.

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