Although it is compared to rice, bulgur or couscous, quinoa is not a cereal as such. It is considered a pseudocereal because it really is a seed, and that sets it apart with unique nutritional characteristics. It stands out for its content of high quality vegetable proteins and essential amino acids; it is also satiating, rich in fiber, minerals and vitamins, and has a low glycemic index.
If you have never tried quinoa you should know that before cooking it is important wash it well, rubbing it gently with your hands, under the water, so that the layer of saponins that covers the seeds disappears, in this way we will avoid its bitter taste. In this article we explain how to cook quinoa to perfection.
A really tasty quinoa The grain must be slightly loose, fluffy and have a soft resistance to biting. A texture that perfectly accompanies hundreds of ingredients, and is ideal to make our salads more satisfying, but without ceasing to be healthy.
1. Quinoa salad with asparagus and strawberries
Prepare quinoa according to package directions, washing thoroughly first. Reserve. Wash the asparagus, radishes and strawberries well; cut the thickest ends of the asparagus and the tails of the other vegetables. Cut the asparagus into 2-3 parts and cook in boiling water for a few minutes, ensuring that they do not become too soft. Finely slice the radishes and strawberries. Extract the beans from their pods and blanch them slightly if desired. Season the quinoa and mix with a little chopped parsley and extra virgin olive oil. Distribute on plates or platters. Mix the rest of the ingredients, seasoning them with oil, salt, pepper and lemon zest to taste. Arrange on the quinoa.
Link to the recipe | Quinoa salad with asparagus and strawberries
2. Quinoa salad with raisins, seeds and caramelized vegetables
Ingredients: Quinoa 180 g, Extra virgin olive oil 15 ml, Sultana raisins 35 g, Saffron one strand, Red pepper 1, Green pepper 1, Chives 2, Zucchini 1, Aubergine 1, Carrot 2, Brown sugar 20 g, Salt and pepper to taste, Mix of seeds 4 tablespoons, Extra virgin olive oil (for the vegetables) 40 ml, Salt and pepper to taste, Extra virgin olive oil (for the dressing) 30 ml, Lemon juice (for the dressing) 15 ml, Salt to taste (for the dressing), Ground cumin a pinch (for the dressing).
preparation: We preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius with heat up and down, we place the vegetables cut into slices or strips on a baking tray, we add the oil, pepper and salt and brown sugar. We stir them until they are well smeared. Bake for 30 minutes and reserve with the juice they have released. On the other hand, we put the quinoa in a pan and add the oil, a little saffron and the raisins. When it begins to toast, we add the water and cook it according to the manufacturer’s instructions. We prepare the ingredients of the vinaigrette in a jar, with the juice of the vegetables and add it to the quinoa, we also add the vegetables and sprinkle with the seeds on top.
Link to the recipe | Quinoa salad with raisins, seeds and caramelized vegetables
3. Quinoa and Lobster Salad with Lime Vinaigrette
Ingredients: Frozen lobster tail 1, Quinoa 120 g, Red pepper 15 g, Green pepper 15 g, Yellow pepper 15 g, Fresh coriander to taste, Alfalfa sprouts to taste, Extra virgin olive oil 60 ml, Apple cider vinegar 15 ml, Juice lime 0.5, Salt, Ground black pepper.
preparation: We prepare the quinoa as indicated on the package. In this case, we have washed and cooked it in plenty of water, drained and dried to remove excess water. Finally we have let it cool down. There are other ways of cooking quinoa, all of them valid, choose the one that best suits you and go ahead with it. Finely chop the three types of pepper and also the fresh coriander. Add to the quinoa along with the alfalfa sprouts and mix. Prepare the vinaigrette by beating until the oil, vinegar, lime juice, salt and a little ground black pepper are emulsified. We season the quinoa. Cook the lobster tail, previously thawed, in a pot with plenty of salty water. The appropriate ratio is 70 grams of salt per liter of water and the glue is dipped in the boiling water, not before. Once the water comes back to a boil, we count between six and eight minutes (depending on the size). We remove and immerse in a bowl with ice water to cut the boil. To extract the meat without damaging, we hold the tail with a cloth and press gently on all sides. The shell will crack little by little and will facilitate the work. Cut the tail into medallions and serve with the seasoned quinoa. Brush with a little oil or butter, season and serve with a couple of lime wedges.
Link to the recipe | Quinoa and Lobster Salad with Lime Vinaigrette
4. Quinoa salad with zucchini, olives, jalapeños and flaxseed
Ingredients for 2 people: 100 g of quinoa, 1 small zucchini, 1 Italian green pepper, 50 g of olives, 1 pickled jalapeño pepper, 80 g of cherry tomato, fresh parsley to taste, 5 ml of lemon juice, 5 ml of rice or apple vinegar , 15 g of flax seeds, extra virgin olive oil, ground black pepper, salt.
Elaboration: Weigh the quinoa dry and wash well with clean water until it stops coming out cloudy. Place in a non-stick frying pan without oil and heat slightly to toast. Remove. Bring plenty of water to a boil and cook for 15 minutes. Drain well and aerate with a fork. Wash the zucchini, bell pepper, tomatoes and parsley. Cut the first two into cubes and the tomatoes in quarters or halves. Chop the olives, jalapeños and parsley, adjusting the amounts to taste. Mix all the ingredients in a large plate or platter. Add the olive oil, the lemon juice and the vinegar. The pickles add salt to the mixture so it is better to test the point before adding salt and pepper to taste. Add the flax seeds, toasting them a little before in an ungreased pan to give them a more crisp touch. If we prefer them tender, taking better advantage of their nutrients, we can soak them for a few hours before consuming.
Link to the recipe | Quinoa salad with zucchini, olives, jalapeños and flaxseed
5. Asian-style quinoa and shrimp salad
Ingredients: Quinoa 60 g, Prawns 150 g, Avocado 1, Canons 100 g, Cherry tomato 100 g, Lime juice 20 ml, Chili flakes 1/4 teaspoon (optional), Chives 2, Soy sauce 15 ml, Fresh coriander, Oil corn 15 ml, Maple syrup, 1/2 tsp.
preparation: We will start by boiling the quinoa following the manufacturer’s instructions, but for approximately 15 minutes. Drain it and reserve it in a bowl. Cook the prawns, reserve them. Meanwhile we make the dressing, mixing the lime juice and chili flakes, the oil and the maple syrup. Add half of the dressing to the quinoa and add the chopped chives, lamb’s lettuce, cooked prawns, sliced avocado and halved cherry tomatoes. We salt to taste and add the rest of the dressing on top. Sprinkle with the chopped fresh coriander. We serve quickly.
Link to the recipe | Asian-style quinoa and shrimp salad
6. Quinoa salad with beef and avocado
Ingredients: Beef fillets 1, Spices to taste (sweet and hot paprika, cumin, garlic powder, peppers …), Cooked quinoa (approximately) 50 g, Avocado (medium) 1, Lettuce head 1, Tomato 1, Green pepper spicy or sweet 1, medium red onion 1, lemon or lime 1, chipotle marinade (optional) 5 ml, ground black pepper, salt, fresh parsley or coriander, extra virgin olive oil.
preparation: This recipe is ideal to take advantage of quinoa leftovers, but we can always cook a good amount to prepare the salad and have leftovers for other dishes. In any case, cook according to the instructions on the package and separate about 50 g (or to taste), letting them cool. Dry the meat well with cooking paper, season and season with the mixture of spices to taste, massaging the fillet well. Cook on the grill or grill, marking it on both sides, ensuring that it is not overcooked. The point will depend on the type of cut and the thickness. Let cool 2 minutes and cut into strips. Wash the pepper, the bud and the tomato well, dry and chop. Peel the onion and cut into thin julienne strips or cubes. Also cut the half avocado into bite-size pieces. Arrange the quinoa at the bottom of a plate or bowl, seasoning and seasoning with spices to taste and a drizzle of olive oil. Spread all the ingredients on top, topping with the veal. Add the chipotle sauce reduced with a little water, or use another hot sauce to taste. Finish by seasoning the salad and dressing with olive oil to taste, lemon or lime juice and chopped fresh parsley or coriander.
Link to the recipe | Quinoa salad with beef and avocado
7. Warm Salad of Quinoa, Sweet Potato, Feta Cheese and Garlic Chips
Ingredients for 4 people: 2 sweet potatoes, 120 g of quinoa, 5 cloves of garlic, 200 g of cherry tomato, 100 g of feta cheese, 200 g of mixed lettuce and / or sprouts, poppy seeds, extra virgin olive oil, sherry vinegar, ground black pepper and salt.
Elaboration: We start by preparing the quinoa and the sweet potato if we do not have both ingredients already prepared. Follow the directions on the package of the first one, or rinse well with water, brown dry on the fire and cook just long enough so that the grain is whole, draining it well. Wash, peel and cut the sweet potatoes into cubes in one bite; Roast painted with oil in a preheated oven at 200ºC until tender. They can also be grilled whole and peeled and cut later, or cooked in the microwave. Cut the peeled garlic cloves very finely and fry in a saucepan with extra virgin olive oil, previously heated to 160-170ºC; drain quickly on kitchen paper when toasted to taste. Sauté the washed tomatoes in a frying pan with a little oil and salt. Arrange the salad in a bowl, mixing the lettuce with the quinoa. Add the tomatoes, diced sweet potato and feta cheese …