Friday, August 5, 2011

Garlic Quinoa

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We love quinoa! It's healthy, delicious, quick to cook, high in protein, contains all the amino acids (so is great for vegetarians), contains no gluten, is low G.I., high in fibre, packed with nutrients, is grown organically... what's not to love?

Quinoa is not a grain - it's actually a kind of grass seed from a leafy, green plant that's related to spinach and chard! There's a bit of argument over whether you should eat it if you're on a grain-free diet - personally, I would. But that's up to you. You really should soak it first, overnight if possible, to get rid of the saponins on the outside of the grain (which taste bitter and are not so good for you) then rinse it... but if you don't have time to soak it, at least rinse it really, really well under running water, or dry roast it in a dry frypan for a few minutes. That will get rid of most of the saponins. Soaking is best though.

The quinoa in these photos is a mixture of three types - red, white and black. White is the most common, and you see red fairly often too, but this mix I bought recently through my co-op also contained the rarer black quinoa, which I thought was pretty cool! By the way, it's pronounced 'keen-wah', in case you were wondering. :)

Here's an easy, tasty way to cook quinoa in your Thermomix. Garlic quinoa is a great side dish. Serve with curries, chilli or stew; use it instead of mashed potatoes, rice, couscous or pasta. It's delicious in salads too. (For example, you know that delicious 'Warm Chicken, Pumpkin & Couscous Salad' from the Thermomix Varoma demo? Try it with garlic quinoa instead of couscous! Yum!)

I usually cook my quinoa in the rice basket in my Thermomix, just the same way I cook rice - same timing, same amounts - easy. As you can see in the photo below, the slits in the rice basket are small enough that it shouldn't fall through.

Garlic Quinoa in the Thermomix

Prepare ahead: Soak 350g quinoa overnight first; drain & rinse. Or at least rinse really well before preparing.

1. Chop garlic on speed 7 for 3 seconds:
- 3 cloves of garlic (more if you like)

2. Add oil or ghee and saute for 3 minutes, Varoma temp, speed 4:
- 50g olive oil or ghee

3. Add water & salt:
- 900g water
- 1 tsp sea salt

4. Take pre-soaked or rinsed quinoa and place in rice basket, put basket into bowl, then fit on the lid.
- 350g dry quinoa, soaked or rinsed

5. Cook on Varoma temp for 15 minutes, speed 4. Remove lid, stir quinoa with a fork, and taste to make sure it's salty enough. Season to taste and replace lid.

6. Cook another 5 minutes on Varoma temp, speed 4 - or until quinoa is soft, translucent, and the little 'tail' is visible. (Only the white quinoa will look translucent - see photo below.)



7. Empty basket into Thermoserver and fluff quinoa with a fork.

Serve as a side dish. Feeds at least 6, probably more!

14 comments:

ThermomixBlogger Helene said...

Wow, that is easily the most beautiful quinoa I have ever seen! Sorry to say we don't get this mix where I live, but I think I'll try to mix up my own now, having seen this. Thanks for your detailed instructions Jo, I think many people shy away from quinoa simply because it sounds exotic and different but it is SO worth trying -- especially in the Thermomix ;-) For me, one of the main reasons I cook with quinoa is because I go crazy for the TEXTURE. Love quinoa and just love your photos (you turned it into an exquisite jewel, like miniature glass beads!). Yum, H.

Angie from Chocolate Candy Mall said...

So glad to see this recipe, Jo. I bought that quinoa ages ago and then never did anything with it. I love garlic, so this is right up my alley. Can't wait to try it. :)

Jo Whitton said...

Thanks Helene!! Isn't it pretty? Yes, we love the texture too! Dave just loves it - he'd eat it every day if he could! :)

Angie, I'm so glad you're going to try it - let me know how you go! It's really easy :)

Jen said...

Thanks Jo. This is something I would never tried if it wasn't for your beautiful post. And the bonus was that the WHOLE family loved it.

Jo Whitton said...

Oh, I'm so glad Jen!! It's yummy, isn't it! :)

Carol said...

Sorry to sound ignorant but to only feed 2 people, what quantity quinoa would you use ... and I would presume the water quantity remains the same?

Bee said...

Going to give this a try this week! Just got the boring white stuff, but have been inspired!

Jo Whitton said...

Hi Carol - I would maybe cook 150g I guess - although I like to have the leftovers in the fridge to add to salads, soups, stews, etc! Same amount of water and time, yes.

Hi Bee! Hope you like it!! :D

Anonymous said...

Hi Jo! Made this tonight, have just jumped aboard the quinoa train. So tasty! Will be making this often! Thank you - love your blog. Suzanne

Anonymous said...

Just made it. yum

Jo Whitton said...

Glad you guys enjoyed it :)

Amanda said...

Wow - I must admit I have been scared of cooking quinoa and have had some sitting in my cupboard for a while now :-) This recipe is fantastic - what an easy way to make quinoa! Steamed some vegies in the varoma while this was cooking and it was all done by the time the fish was grilled. Tossed it together with some lemon juice and olive oil, yum!
Thanks!!

Sammie said...

I have a big bag of quinoa to use and I'm going to give it a go for my thermomix. That mix you have there is pretty as a picture! Can't wait to try!

Jen said...

Most of my quinoa passes straight through the rice basket :(

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