Also called a pseudo-grain, quinoa is a great source of fibre, nutrients and protein. But to many it is still a luxury item that doesn’t work with their food budget.
For people who need to avoid gluten or who follow a vegan lifestyle, this superfood can be a nutritious addition to their diet. For the rest of us, it might be a way of adding variety to our meals. Compared to the rising cost of meat, quinoa is still a deal and the key to incorporating a more expensive grain like this into your budget is to eat it in smaller portions and to extend its value. Here are three ways to do so:
1. Cut it with rice. Quinoa cooks in the same amount of time and requires the same ratio of water to grain as white rice. 1 cup grain to 1 ½ cups water, for example. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 15 minutes. This increases the amount of fibre in your rice and adds some nutrients and nuttiness, too. This can also be a great way to sneak it into kids’ diets! Cook in broth for more flavour.
2. Toast it. Cook 1-2 cups of dry quinoa over medium-high heat in a pot or pan, stirring constantly until a deep golden colour and popping (about 10-15 minutes). Let cool. Keep leftovers in a sealed container in the fridge. Use a small amount daily in yogurt, oats, soups or salads. This is an easy way to incorporate crunchy quinoa into your daily meals without cooking it each time.
3. Batch cook. Cook a bigger batch at the beginning of the week. Cook like rice and use small amounts during the week. Make a breakfast porridge, use in soups by combining it with any leftover veg in your fridge like this simple quinoa soup. You can also add it to leftover chili or to accent salads. Why not try these amazing quinoa cupcakes with the leftover grain? Most recipes for cooked quinoa can be easily frozen in small containers to use for quick meals. Add a splash of water when re-heating to revitalize it.
Be sure to check out my blog for lots of simple quinoa recipes!