Quinoa! What is it good for?

I, like all of you, I’m sure, am constantly inundated with quinoa propaganda. It’s quinoa this, quinoa that, all quinoa, all the time. Or so it seems. It was the same with kale there for a while, so I tried that- I liked it. Also with almond milk, and I also tried that, and I liked it (yeah I know it’s mostly water and supposedly not worth it but I don’t care, the unsweetened has 30 calories per 8 oz so I’m down with it). Tonight I made quinoa and I was excited. I cooked it in the microwave and I looked at it when it was supposed to be done and it wasn’t done and I had to cook it twice as long as it said, but finally! it was done. And it smelled like black-eyed peas! It was going to be delicious, I told my family! And we tasted it. And it tasted like nothing. Absolutely nothing. Even with salt, it was not good. I ate all of my serving, but everyone else threw theirs away. I guess they demand some kind of actual taste to their food, the picky bastards.

It’s not even particularly healthy, with minimal fiber, vitamins, or iron, and a whopping 160 calories per 1/4 cup serving. I am disappoint.

Am I missing something? Can I use the rest of the bag for birdseed?

I’m just posting to congratulate you on the brilliant Thread title. You should offer your Thread titling skills for hire.
Good God, y’all.

I’m old enough to remember quinoa as being ubiquitous hippy-food in the 1970s. Not like it’s some just-discovered super-food. So to me, the current trendy thing with it is amusing.

That said, I like quinoa. With stir-fried garlicky vegetables and feta cheese, or oily/salty fish, it’s very good.

Heh, I try. :smiley:

I will look for some recipes that incorporate it, as I’m too cheap to actually use this very expensive grain for birdseed. But I’m not looking forward to it. :stuck_out_tongue:

It needs flavor from friends. I’m not fond of it cooked alone (even in broth) as a side dish, 'cause it’s still kind of meh. But throw it in a salad with almonds and dried apricots and cranberries, and now we’re talking. Or with cucumber, red onions, tomato and a nice vinagrette. Or this Thai Quinoa Salad that is very yum.

It makes a not entirely terrible mushroom onion “stuffing” if I substitute it for bread cubes in my family’s Thanksgiving stuffing recipe. Not near as good a texture as bread stuffing, but the gluten free guests are grateful for the attempt.

Oh, you, always with the yummy Thai recipes! I even have all of those ingredients! I will make that salad with the abundance of leftover quinoa from tonight, and I think it will even taste good. Thanks!

Yeah it is kind of bland. Needs to be kicked up with spices, pepper, sesame oil, cheese, etc.

You have my permission to feed it to the birds though. They have to eat too. :slight_smile:

I can’t believe I only discovered Thai food in the last decade. It’s, like, the yummiest food EVAR! :smiley:


I make a quinoa piccatta-style, with butter, garlic, lemon juice and capers that people seem to like.

It has more protein than rice, so I use it as a rice substitution. Just like rice, it needs to be flavored as others have noted above.

Did you wash it first? Not that it will be a miraculous change in flavor, but it needs to be washed.

[Edwin Starr] Absolutely nothin’![/Edwin Starr]

Actually, that’s not true. Pepper Mill has tried quinoa in a lot of recipes as a substitute for rice or other grains. It’s kinda bland and odd-textured, but the nourishment is palatable. Given my choice, though, I’d generally opt for something else.

Yes, and that was a head-scratching moment, as I stood there wondering how the hell I was going to drain the water out of those tiny, tiny grains. But a plate over the bowl worked well.

Quinoa… the tilapia of grain. Another food that tastes just great… if you mix it up enough with salty, oily, fishy, garlicky stuff.

My brother is a lifelong vegetarian, going on 50 years at it. He recently wrote me that he tried quinoa for the first time and basically said “yuck.” He looked it up in his cooking bible, and it said “don’t bother.”

There was another quinoa thread in “Cafe Society” a few months ago (“Tried some quinoa ‘keenwa’ grain…” – first post 17th March 2014). I recounted on that thread, that I’d tried quinoa and thought it not nasty, but weird and not quite right: it looks like, and is used as, a grain; but in fact comes from a plant which – if I have things correctly – is related to spinach. I found that it indeed had quite a spinach-like taste – not unpleasant in itself, just not desired in something playing a “basic starch” role, as done by such things as rice / pasta / couscous.

A poster on that thread mentioned – as does Chefguy here – that the quinoa needs to be well-rinsed before cooking, to remove the slightly bitter coating which is on the grains in their original state. On learning that, I reckoned that I’d try the stuff again, and this time, rinse it – have yet to get around to trying the experiment.

Better yet, quinoa is a complete protein while rice is not. I substitute it for part of the rice in an old spanish rice recipe of my mother’s. It’s also nice in salads in place of bulgar. Definitely rinse it well before cooking though to get rid of the saponins.

I disagree–I think it’s totally gross when unwashed (note that a lot of quinoa comes pre-washed) but totally palatable when washed.

I make a quinoa salad I like a lot - you mix the warm cooked quinoa with peas, corn, chopped scallions, and grated carrot and dress it with a mixture of olive oil, lemon juice, and minced garlic. It’s good warm or cold, and because the weird texture is one of my favorite things about quinoa, I like that it’s up-front.