Saturday, February 21, 2009

Quinoa With Toasted Almonds and Dried Cranberries

I always see quinoa in my vegeratian cookbooks but today was the first time I cooked it AND the first time I've eatten it! I tried this recipe found on the Savvy Vegetarian website:

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1/2 cup sliced blanched almonds
  • 1 veggie cube
  • 1 1/2 cups boiling water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  1. Soak the quinoa 1/2 - 1 hour in cold water
  2. Rinse very thoroughly in water several times. For each rinse, pour off most of the water and finish draining through a large fine mesh strainer
  3. Shake dry in the strainer
  4. On medium heat, stir and toast the sliced almonds until golden
  5. Remove from pan
  6. Stir and toast the quinoa until dry and turning color
  7. Transfer toasted quinoa, toasted almonds, and cranberries to 2 qt saucepan
  8. Add boiling water, veggie cube, salt, bay leaf and cinnamon stick
  9. Bring back to boil
  10. Cover, turn the heat to simmer, cook for 20 minutes
  11. Remove from heat and allow to sit five minutes with lid on
  12. Fluff gently with a fork and serve.
I followed it to a tee. After doing some research on the stuff, looks like I'll be cooking a lot more of it! It's really high in protein - good for the vegetarian diet.

Everything I read stresses the importance of rinsing it really well. The saponins that it's soaked in is really bitter and not a good thing to eat. One person said they use the water they soak the quinoa in as a spray to prevent bugs from wrecking flowers. Not something you want in your belly.

MY REVIEW: This was really really good. It was nutty and crunchy.. I'd say I like it more than cous cous for that reason. It didn't get mushy at all. It looks to be very versatile so I look forward to trying some other methods of preparing it.

JASON'S REVIEW: It was very good and filling and had great flavor.

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