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Preparing Basic Quinoa 101



Love, love, love me some quinoa! It’s the top go-to “grain” in the Yogitrition diet plan. Although technically a seed and not a grain, this “pseudo grain” is mild and slightly nutty, with a pillowy texture, and extremely versatile and easy to prepare. It requires little soak time and cooks within 15-20 minutes.

Gluten-free, and easy to digest, quinoa has all the goods (and more) that grains and seeds are supposed to have, including a ton of fiber, manganese, magnesium, iron, copper, B vitamins (especially B6), calcium, and protein. In fact, quinoa provides a complete protein with all nine essential amino acids, yielding the highest protein level (up to 20%) of all the cereal grains — pseudo or otherwise. For vegans/vegetarians, the next time you encounter an inquisition as to “where you get your protein,” please feel free to mention quinoa!

There are several varieties of quinoa: red and white are the common types you find in health food stores. Use the organic varieties only please. 😛


Preparing Quinoa

Measuring, soaking and rinsing your Quinoa. One cup of dried quinoa yields about 3 cups cooked. Measure out quinoa, place in a ceramic or glass bowl (never use plastic) and soak with purified water for 15-30 minutes. After soaking, use a fine-mesh strainer to rinse quinoa thoroughly. Rinsing removes quinoa’s natural coating, called saponin, which can make it taste bitter or soapy.

 2. Place quinoa in a small saucepan with liquid. Quinoa may be cooked with purified water or vegetable broth. I use a 1¼ to 1 ratio – 1¼ cups liquid to 1 cup quinoa. Any more liquid, seems to make it a little mushy. However, if you live in higher altitudes, a 1½ t0 1 or 1¾ to 1 ratio may be necessary.

3. Bring to a boil, turn to low and simmer. Simmer under a low boil for about 15-20 minutes, or until all liquid is absorbed. You will know the quinoa is done when you see tiny white spirals (the germ) separating from and curling around the quinoa seeds (see image at below).


4. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes.
Fluff with a fork and serve.

5. Serving your quinoa.
Cooked quinoa is perfect for pilafs, stir-fry, cold salads, breakfast porridge, and more.



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There you have it, the basics of cooking quinoa, along with some pretty tasty recipes to get you started! If you have any nifty ways to prepare quinoa other than what you see here, or any fabulous recipes, by all means please share in the comments section below. I’m always looking for creatives ways to spruce up quinoa. And as always, if you enjoyed this post and would like more information like this, please join me at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.


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  1. 2 cups organic rainbow quinoa
    Package of organic grape tomatoes halved
    Bunch of organic cilantro chopped up

    Place in rice cooker
    Add 13.5 oz organic lowfat coconut milk (it’s enough)
    Start rice cooker, when done:

    Add desired amount of organic unrefined coconut oil an mix
    Add fresh organic lemon and/or lime juice from the fruits

    Serve – Yum yum!

  2. Do you add an acidic medium to the quinoa?

    • Monica, I just use plain water.

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