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How NOT to Cook Quinoa [Or Other Grains]

Posted Oct 09 2012 11:38am

There are a lot of things in the kitchen I just don’t do the right way.

I’ve already showed you how not to cut a mango. And even though I know how I should do it.

I don’t.

You should probably NOT follow my method when it comes to spaghetti squash either: poking holes in it and baking it like a potato greatly increases the occurence of explosion…and burnt fingers when you go to scrape the seeds out post-bake.

As a vegan, I’ve definitely had to accept, acknowledge–and choose to ignore–my inability to correctly cook grains, in particular.

A staple of the vegan diet, you aren’t going to get anywhere–well, you might get somewhere, but you’ll be hungry–if you can’t figure out how to cook some ancient (or newborn) grains.

I might not have figured out how to do that.

But I have figured out how NOT to.

I thought I was doing all right when it came to couscous . So maybe I cheated a little bit and used a relic from the pre-fired code regulation time when hot-pots* were allowed in college dorm rooms rather than actually boiling water in a tea kettle.

*Thank you Brother Smart for leaving this is the basement.

probably not smart to have an electrical cord so close to the burner. probably not smart.

But I did pour the water over the couscous and stuck a plate on top. Like you’re supposed to. Right?

just like rachael ray would do. except her bowls would be orange.

Of course, I’m a bit too lazy to actually measure the water.

But I say that’s what slotted spoons are for.

hard to say if this is post-soak or pre...

When it comes to bulgur, I prefer to cook it  like rice risotto…

although if this is wrong, i am proud to be miss taken...

 …and as for rice and quinoa, well, I cook those like pasta.

[I just never got the whole 'bring to a boil, cover, and walk away' thing down. Maybe because that would have involved measuring. I guess it all just comes down to my obstinate refusal to use a measuring cup.]

Of course, cooking grains like pasta--covered with water until it all soaks in (or boils off)…or you decide to drain itdoes make for some interestingly textured results. [See the bulgur riso-faux above.]

Now, I’m not sure where the wisdom of throwing in chopped vegetables comes in. [Probably somewhere with the 'I really need to cook these before they go bad in the bridge' quandaries of the kitchen.] But-surprise! surprise!-if you DO cook quinoa this way, you will NOT end up with a ‘light and fluffy’* ready-to-be-dressed grain. You will end up with a slightly granular porridge. Adding oat bran, nutritional yeast, and your choice of seasonings and flavorings will only add to the ‘what the heck did you do to that quinoa?’ situation.

*I still don’t understand ‘fluffing’ grains. They are not furry, soft, or like anything I would want to rest my head upon.

And I mean, if it is OK to put oats in a jar, why not quinoa?

this totally makes sense.

This whole creamy quinoa thing might not be right. But it sure is tasty.

'cheesy' pizza quinoa w. peppers, zucchini, nutritional yeast, and pizza seasoning

On second thought…maybe this ishow to cook your quinoa.

asian creamy quinoa w. mushrooms, squash, nutritional yeast, and Braggs aminos

(Just make sure to wash it first…as learned the hard way by Calee. Heed her warning!)

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