How To Cook Quinoa And Make A Simple Seasoning

If we've learned anything at all from making sushi, rice tastes great when seasoned. The quinoa is no exception. 

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It's easy to make quinoa. Use a 2:1 liquid to grain ratio. For every cup of quinoa, add two cups of liquid. We recommend rinsing your quinoa to remove any bitterness from the seed. Although it's not essential, since packaged quinoa is fairly well rinsed. Then season your quinoa while it's cooking. You can do this by substituting water for broth, by adding salt to the water, or a spice of your choosing. We like to add salted, mineral rich water like Mediterranean Seawater for extra minerals and more natural salt.

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After your quinoa is cooked, and all of the water has dissipated, it's time to season your quinoa again. Fresh quinoa is incredibly flavorful and nutritious. I grew some myself in the Pacific Northwest. The nutrient boost from fresh grown quinoa is intense. To enjoy it as a meal, adding in flavor like you do for sushi rice makes a difference.

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This ancient seed is a complete protein, meaning it supplies all of the amino acids your body needs but can't produce itself. It's also loaded with fiber, vitamins and minerals. Quinoa is grown in the Andes, but farmers further north are working at producing the grain as well. In Washington State for example, Washington State University has developed a program focused on growing quinoa sustainably. 

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Quinoa is great as a salad, as a partner to a meat or beans for dinner or lunch, and even as a beverage. You've probably seen quinoa milk at the grocery store.

Here is a simple, fun recipe with quinoa and vegetables that pop!

Quinoa and Bell Pepper Salad

  • 1 cup of quinoa serves five

  • 1 cup of quinoa
  • 1 3/4 cups of water
  • 1/4 seawater (we used Mediterranean Seawater available through Treatmo iOS app - natural food in a tap)
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 orange or yellow bell pepper 
  • 1 tablespoon vinaigrette (imported balsamic from Italy, available on treatmo from Napa Valley EVOO)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (locally grown olive oil, we used Napa Valley EVOO, available on Treatmo)
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup (locally made maple syrup available on Treatmo. We used Purinton Maple)
  • Twist of lemon
  • A few shakes of salt and pepper

Bring quinoa and water to a boil, then reduce to low. Cover and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Just until fluffy!

While  your quinoa is cooking. Wash and shop your peppers into 1/2 inch pieces and place into a heated pan with a bit of oil. You're just going to lightly cooking these. As soon as the color starts to pop (on medium for about 6 minutes) it's done.

For your dressing, mix the vinaigrette with olive oil, maple syrup, salt and pepper. Twist in the lemon (remove seeds). Taste and adjust to your liking.

Add the vegetables to your quinoa, add the dressing, and fold in the dressing with a spatula until covered. 

Serve warm or chilled.

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