May 27, 2012

Quinoa Pilaf

Quinoa is a recently rediscovered ancient "grain" once considered "the gold of the Incas. It is a newly discovered “thing” for myself too…I keep hearing about the health benefits of it, ( and you would be surprized to  know that there are many…)  but never tried it until now. If you are interested in reading more about the many heath benefits,  click on Quinoa.

Quinoa cooking method is very similar to the rice.  Before you cook quinoa, soak first for 5 minutes in the cooking pot. Soaking helps quinoa to cook evenly, and loosens up any residue of saponin (usually removed in processing), which can give a bitter taste. To rinse, stir the quinoa with your hand, and carefully pour off the rinsing water, using a fine mesh strainer.

Cooking Quinoa

To cook the quinoa, add one part of the grain to two parts liquid to a 1-1/2 quart saucepan. After the mixture is brought to a boil, reduce the heat to simmer, cover and cook until all the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Once cooked, the grains have turned from white to transparent, and the spiral-like germ has separated. Remove quinoa from heat and allow to sit five minutes with the lid on; fluff gently with a fork and serve.

Makes 3 cups

Quinoa Pilaf Recipe

I have been looking for a simple, vegetarian quinoa side dish recipe but without much success,  so  I made my own recipe. It's simple enough but tasty.



1 cup quinoa, rinsed
1-1/2 cups water
1/2 tsp. salt
3 tbsp. vegetable oil (I used sunflower oil)
1/2 medium size onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 large tomato, chopped
1/2 red pepper, chopped
1 tsp. Dash seasonings
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 tsp. chopped parsley greens

Bring the quinoa and water to a boil in a saucepan; reduce heat to low and simmer covered, for about 15 minutes, until water is absorbed and the quinoa is fluffy, and white lines are visible in the grain. Set aside.

Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a skillet; add onions and sauté until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, give it a few stirs, then add tomatoes, peppers, Dash seasonings, salt and pepper. Cook until vegetables are tender. Stir in parsley and remove from heat.
Add quinoa to the skillet and mix together with the vegetables, fluffing with a fork. Serve warm.

Leia’s Culinary Treasures


  1. Replies
    1. thanks! I find it works well as an healthy and nutritious substitute for white rice.


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