How do you add FLAVOR to your quinoa?

  1. Hi! So...quinoa? I really want to like this super-grain, but I haven't had much luck tasting a good version or recipe, so I haven't felt brave enough to mess with it in the kitchen on my own. Blandness has been the major turnoff thus far.

    After the scrumptious quinoa I had during dinner at Joel Robuchon blew me away, I thought I'd ask about your quinoa ideas. The JR quinoa was mixed in with this heavenly Asian broth & short-ribs. It was so wonderfully flavorful & absolutely delicious - the man is a genius. I'm sure many of the other components of the meal contained unhealthy bits, but I'm hanging on to my hope for flavorful, healthy quinoa :p

    Just so you know my taste profile, I'm not a big fan of brown rice (unless drowned in sauce) or couscous (taste like dry flavorless beads). I love big flavors - Indian flavors, Asian flavors, herb-y flavors, French, Italian, Mediterranean, Mexican, pilafs, Greek & most other things (lest I list all the cuisines in existence). I don't want to drown my quinoa in an unhealthy sauce (kind of defeats the purpose).

    I'm trying hard to get myself on a healthy eating track this year armed with good, healthy recipes. I've recently gained weight due to an illness & steroid treatment. The extra pounds are really depressing me. Focusing on the fact that I am now healthy & just need to make sure I eat healthy foods along with exercising on my quest back to my skinny jeans :p

    So what is your favorite way to use quinoa? Do you ever add it to soups? Do you think I could pop it in with turkey meatloaf (instead of bread)? Do you substitute quinoa for anything in existing recipes?

    I'm new to the Kitchen section of TPF (love to lurk - try not to get too hungry), so :flowers: thank you for any & all suggestions to an eager newbie.

    Please help me love quinoa :nuts:
  2. I put quinoa in my rice cooker with chicken broth and mushrooms and onion. Done in 30 min or so. Nice flavors.
  3. Great thread! I'm very interested in ideas as well. The only quinoa I've eaten so far is Trader's Joe's(in the froz section) with zucchini and squash.
  4. I made variations of this salad a lot last summer.
    I didn't use butter, and cooked the quinoa in my rice cooker. Red onion instead of scallion.
    You can add fresh basil, tomatoes, feta cheese or goat cheese, any grilled vegetables, etc
    Like couscous, quinoa can be somewhat of a blank slate to work with.
    If you are serving it cold or room temperature, dress it while it is warm. I do this with any grain or pasta salad, as it absorbs the flavors while it's warm. You may need to add a little fresh dressing when you serve.
  5. Great thread! :tup:

    I only made quinoa one time, and it didn't come out too great. It had a bitter taste to it. Anyone know why?
  6. I like that too- but a little overpriced imo
  7. I have the dry kind from TJ's but I've never tried it because I had no idea what to do with it or how to cook it. Hoping this thread gives me/us some great ideas!
  8. I have a good one saved on my computer at home. I'll try to remember to post it tonight.

    Lemon is a good flavor with it tho
  9. Like cous cous I like to add med shrimp and crumbled feta with evoo salt and pepper to taste and a few squeezes of lemon. Finely chopped mint or parsley is a great refreshing add to it as well!
  10. we do it with broth, salt, and red onion or shallots.... turns out pretty good.
  11. I LOVE quinoa. I usually cook it by itself in a pot like rice, about 15 minutes. I put about 3/4 cup of cooked quinoa in a bowl and top it with heaping spoonfuls of Ratatouille- a cooked mix of eggplant, zucchini, tomatos, onions ( see recipes online- I make loads of the stuff then freeze it in small containers to make fast meals during the week ). I add some fresno peppers to give it some heat. Top it with avocado or cheese and I'm good to go! Anything you can do with rice or noodles, try with quinoa.
  12. I cook an African Peanut Pineapple stew and serve it over my quinoa.

  13. sounds good...