Happy January! We have hit a deep freeze here in the Midwest. The tree is down but the outside lights are still up. I think they might be there until June.
But I love January. You know why? Because ¾ of the planet is trying to lose weight and eat better, which is great for me because I have tons of ideas for you. Recently I discovered quinoa and it has become my new favorite.
But it hit the stratosphere when I had it in Panera’s Quinoa Oatmeal breakfast the other day on my travels to New York ! You can be certain I will be recreating THAT dish!
Quinoa, Couscous, Grains, Barley, Rice are great side dish options and I plan on providing you with tons of different flavors, spices and varieties to impress your 3 year old.
Here is a quick lesson on quinoa that will make or break your recipe:
Each grain of quinoa is covered in a soapy substance called saponin. It tastes bitter and will affect the taste of your quinoa if you don’t remove it. All it takes is one extra step and takes mere minutes but will drastically affect the finished product.
BEFORE COOKING QUINOA:
- Measure the amount of quinoa you are going to cook and put it into a large bowl. Fill it with clean water. Let it soak for a few minutes. Then, using a whisk or spoon, swish the quinoa around until you see a soapy residue come out of the quinoa. You might have to do this for a few minutes to get all the saponin off.
- Next, grab a fine strainer and rinse the quinoa with fresh water. Strain the water out.
- Now you are ready to cook. Get yourself a saute pan (12″ stainless steel pan is what I used) and heat it up on medium low. Put one cup of the quinoa into the saute pan and using a spoon or whisk start moving the quinoa around the pan.
- Once it gets hot, the water is absorbed and the quinoa starts popping you know it’s finally drying out (about 2-3 minutes).
- Then it’s as simple as making rice. You can use plain water just like rice or chicken/vegetable broth for more flavor. I choose to use vegetable broth personally because I think it adds a nice flavor.
You want to cook the quinoa for about 15 minutes. I shake the pan (with the lid on) just to keep things moving around and keep from sticking. Then just fluff like rice.
The lemon flavor in this quinoa is simply amazing. But I will warn you it does increase if you have leftovers. I found it to be much lemonier (is that a word?) the next day.
Hopefully it will be come one of your new favorites as well.Print
A lovely lemony quinoa side dish that goes great with chicken, beef or fish. You can even add it to cooked oatmeal for a great breakfast.
- 1 Cup Quinoa
- 1 ½ Cups Vegetable or Chicken broth
- ¼ teaspoon Sea Salt
- zest from 1 lemon
- 2 Tbsp Fresh Lemon Juice (½ lemon)
- ¼ Cup Fresh Parsley
- NOTE: You must rinse and strain quinoa to remove outer film
- Put quinoa in a pot and fill with water. Let sit for a few minutes. Strain in a fine mesh strainer and rinse for approximately 1 minute. Set aside
- Heat a 12″ skillet over low/med heat. Add quinoa and allow it to dry out over heat, approximately 2-3 minutes, stirring or shaking the pan frequently
- Add chicken or veg broth to the pan, bring to a boil. Cover and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes shaking pan over heat, never lifting the lid
- Once done, remove from the heat and cover with a clean towel or cloth to finish steaming (5-10 min)
- Add parsley, lemon zest and juice
- NOTES: Add fresh thyme, oregano or other herbs of your choice