I like to cook 2 or 3 cups of quinoa at a time in my rice cooker. After the rice cooker clicks off, I unplug it so that the quinoa doesn’t get too brown on the bottom. I let it stand for 5 minutes or so and then transfer the hot quinoa to a couple of dinner plates to cool faster. This also allows some of the moisture to dissipate so that the quinoa doesn’t clump or get too soggy. After it cools, I refrigerate the quinoa in glass storage containers. The quinoa is now ready to be transformed into a variety of dishes.

Cooking Quinoa

Rinse 1 cup quinoa in a fine mesh strainer and drain well. Heat 1¾ cup water to boiling in a small saucepan over high heat. Stir in quinoa and ½ teaspoon salt. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 15 minutes, until quinoa is tender and liquid is absorbed. Let stand 5 minutes. (Or cook in a rice cooker.) Makes about 3 cups.


  1. Grains: Substitute 3 cups cooked millet, brown rice, barley, or wild rice for quinoa.
  2. Beans: Substitute green soybeans, kidney beans, chickpeas,
  3. Vegetables: Substitute lightly steamed broccoli or asparagus, chopped red or green cabbage, celery, spinach, cucumber, jicama, finely chopped kale, halved grape tomatoes, corn, or roasted vegetables for the bell pepper, zucchini, and carrot.
  4. Herbs: Substitute fresh basil, dill or chives for cilantro or parsley.
  5. Nuts: Substitute toasted slivered almonds, cashews, pine nuts, hazelnuts, shelled sunflower seeds, or pistachios for pecans.

Quinoa Ready Dishes

Vegetable Confetti Salad with Quinoa and Toasted Pecans (Below)
Quinoa tabbouleh
Served with stir-fried vegetables
For a quick breakfast cereal heat cooked quinoa in a almond milk or other nondairy milk. If desired, top with shredded coconut, chia seeds, and fresh or dried fruit.

What meals do you like to create with quinoa?