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Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts: Experimenting with Quinoa

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Experimenting with Quinoa

I have wanted to try Quinoa for a long time now. It is on cooking shows and in magazines, and everyone raves about how good it is for you. The thing that has stopped me has been the price. A bag of it locally was almost $11. I finally mentioned it to my husband, and he used his deal seeking skills and scored me 4 bags of it for about $20 at Amazon. You can get White Quinoa for cheap at Amazon as well. It is Red Quinoa, I am not sure if there is much of a difference between the white and red. So last night was the night......

Let's start with, it wasn't what I hoped it would be. I am not giving up yet, I have 4 bags of it! I am not sure my recipe was a good one, and I may have made a mistake in cooking it. I followed my recipe for the water to Quinoa ratio, which may have been the problem. My husband came and looked in the pan when I had about 2 minutes left of cooking, and he said "apparently we aren't eating for a long time, huh?" There was still a ton of water in the pan! So we looked at the package, and the ratio was way different! So I cooked until the 15 minutes as stated on both the recipe and the package, and then just drained the extra water. Who knows if that was what I should have done? It wasn't bad, just not good. I will seek out a new recipe next time.

The pork chops I made with the quinoa turned out much better! Should have taken more pictures, so I could blog more about those!

Pork Chops
Pork Chops
Garlic Salt
Olive Oil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Heat a little bit of oil in a pan over high heat. Sprinkle each side of the pork with garlic salt and pepper. Put pork in pan, and sear side 1 for about 3 minutes. Flip over, and put in the oven. Cook for about 15-20 minutes, depending on how thick your pork chops are.

1 Tbls butter
1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 cups chicken broth
2 tsp chopped garlic
1/2 tsp thyme (1/2 Tbls fresh thyme)
1/4 salt
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 dash lemon juice

Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the quinoa, and toast until lightly browned - about 5 minutes. Stir in broth and bring to boil. Reduce heat to simmer, cover, and cook for 15 minutes.

While the quinoa is cooking, saute the onions and garlic until soft. Stir in the thyme and salt.

In a bowl, toss quinoa, onion and dash of lemon juice. Serve with delicious pork chops, and you have yourself a pretty quick and easy dinner.

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At April 21, 2011 at 6:16 PM , Blogger Liz That Skinny Chick Can Bake said...

I've just tried quinoa this year, too...and found the red took longer to cook than the regular. I think I like it best as a cold salad with fruits, nuts and a vinaigrette...but I have lots left to play with, too. I grew up in Ames...nice to find another blogger from Iowa :)

At April 21, 2011 at 6:31 PM , Blogger said...

Hey at least the pork chops were good, right? :)
I think the correct ratio for quinoa is 2 cups of water for each 1 cup of always works for me! :) Don't give up on it, yet... I'm with Lizzy... throw in some dried fruits, nuts, and some vinaigrette, and have a go.

At April 21, 2011 at 10:00 PM , Blogger Erin said...

Thanks for the advice ladies! I will keep experimenting until I find something that works!

At April 26, 2011 at 4:53 PM , Anonymous Erin Frautschy Barrows said...

Erin, I just love reading your blog! I make a quinoa tabouleh salad that we love. I just use quinoa of any color, and mix in sliced carrots, green onions, tomatoes, chopped parsley, and cucumbers; then mix 1/2 fresh lemon juice and 1/2 olive oil (how ever much you need for the salad) and mix it in. It's a great summer salad :)


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