Readers request: quinoa

I haven’t bought quinoa yet because it’s SO expensive at New Seasons and Trader Joes – where do you get yours? 

I get it at Costco or Whole Foods.  It’s pretty inexpensive in the bulk bins aisle.  If you don’t have either of these stores near you, you may want to check online.  Amazon sells everything and places like nutsonline or Bob’s Red Mill also have good deals.  I pay a bit more for organic quinoa, but that’s your call. 

Using the rice cooker, do you just hit the white rice button and wait for it to ding? (my cooker only has a white rice and brown rice button)

No.  I use the other/mixed rice/brown rice setting (aka the setting that is not white rice) and I use the grain:water ratio as per the rice cooker (as opposed to the ratio I would use if I were making it on the stove top).  It’s never messed up.  Even when I haphazardly pour things in without totally looking at the lines. 

What do you do to and/or with your quinoa?

The real question is what DON’T I do with it.  I eat quinoa all the time.  For breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  I love the pseudograin/seed and I can’t seem to find anything it doesn’t go with.  Just like oats, it can be eaten in both savory and sweet dishes.

For breakfast I love quinoa granola, or just au natural topped with nut butter and fruit

For savory meals I like it with any veggie and soy sauce or Bragg’s aminos.  Or on the side of a tofu stir-fry.  But my favorite way to eat it is with seitan.  I swear it’s probably the most protein packed meal a vegan can create.  But truly, the options are endless.  Greens and grains.  My staples.

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Comments (27)

  1. Caity @ Moi Contre La Vie

    Great post. I am such a Bragg’s girl, quinoa w/ Bragg’s was one of my staples when I first started eating a gluten-free diet, I ate it every night for months!

  2. Jess

    I like it instead of rice with stir-fry. Quinoa is good stuff. 🙂

  3. Christine (The Raw Project)

    Great post on quinoa, I usually get it at Costco too and need to try it in a breakfast recipe.

  4. Pure2raw Twins

    love quinoa, love it sweet or savory. and we agree there is not much that we do not like with quinoa it is really such a great ‘grain’ to make meals with.

  5. Jes Suazo

    I love quinoa! I need to invest in a rice cooker–sounds like such an easy way to whip some up. Thanks for the tips!

    I buy my quinoa at Sunflower Market or Whole Foods & love taking advantage of the bulk bins!

  6. Tt in nyc

    I have actually found really cheap quinoa by the brand “goya” usually found in international aisle, is mostly spanish foods- not organic but….

  7. Alexa @ SimpleEats

    I love quinoa, in soup, in salads…it’s so filling!

  8. esmemerrie

    I love quinoa! I’ve recently started using it instead of bread crumbs for things like eggplant parm or chicken fingers! It’s really thick and heavy but it crisps up nicely!

  9. Melissa

    I love quinoa with red pasta sauce, mushrooms, broc, and cheese! YUM!

  10. Wendy (Healthy Girl's Kitchen)

    I especially love red quinoa. It is more expensive, but it goes a long way. I like to make a “salad” with tomatoes, black beans, corn, avocado, red onion and red quinoa. Then it can be simply dressed with lime juice, pepper and a touch of salt. Or you can go crazier and make this dressing

  11. Lacey

    RE: Quinoa. There’s no where cheaper than Costco to get the organic stuff. You can’t even find conventional quinoa for cheaper-not even in bulk. At least for me that’s true. I pay $8 for a 4 lb bag at Costco+9.75% food tax of course.

  12. Cat

    Okay, so I am into quinoa mainly because of your constant quinoa directed love, and I have to admit, it is an awesome alternative to brown rice (the grain that rules the roost in my house) but every time I try to cook it in the rice maker, I get an epic quinoa volcano coming out of the top where I previously only thought steam could escape. This is a problem 1) because I am losing precious grains! and 2) because the top of a rice cooker really isn’t meant to be scrubbed. Silly designers didn’t think of me and my grainy volcanoes.

    Anyone else have this happen? Good way to prevent it? I stick to the measurements of the rice maker (and no, there are no fun options on my rice maker, just on and off). I was thinking maybe giving it a quick rinse so the bits sink instead of floating. I would love some ideas.

  13. Sarah

    Ive had this in my pantry for forever. Its about time i use it!

  14. Elise (Post author)

    thats so weird!!! ive never heard of that before (sorry to say), but i would try making smaller batches maybe? are you sure the top of your rice cooker doesnt have a problem or something? how much quinoa are you making at once? have you ever had this problem with another grain? what kind of rice cooker do you have because my top is removable and can be cleaned easily… sorry about the question overload but i have no clue why that could be happening. id say contact the rice cooker company!

  15. cat

    I don’t think it has a problem. I usually make two cups, its an eight cup capacity cooker so I really don’t understand the overflow. I haven’t had this happen with anything else, I make brown rice, wheat berries, millet, rye and grain mixes, never another problem. Although interestingly, when I have mixed up several grains including quinoa I haven’t had the same problem. I really think maybe it has to with the weight, since quinoa seems (at least to me) to be much lighter in weight per grain. But maybe not lighter than millet? I just got a new type of quinoa and I am going to play with the water ratio. I will let you know how it goes.

  16. Elise (Post author)

    thats so weird then! i think you had the right idea in letting it get wet and sink to the bottom before starting it. hmm…

  17. Elaine

    happy new year! i never left a comment on this post, but i’ve looked at it several times. thanks again, elise for answering another one of the many Qs i had 🙂 i was at costco today and failed at remembering to buy quinoa – probably because i went there on a whim with NO list. i’m so disappointed.

    i lost the rice cooker instructor manual for my cooker…i have only made white rice in it and i always have done equal parts white rice to water…i’m not sure what to do for quinoa?? it’s an 8 cup cooker. i’m going to keep searching for the manual in the meantime because i know i didn’t throw it away, but any estimates??

  18. Elise (Post author)

    i would guess you should go with a 2:1 ratio of water:grain for the quinoa in the rice cooker.

  19. Charles

    Same problem, Cat. What a mess! I cooked my quinoa in my rice cooker for the first time tonight and it spewed out of the top and got all stuck under the rubber gasket on the top. However, I added way too much water, and I hope that was the problem. I did 2 to 1 and with my Aroma cooker you are only supposed to add 1/2 cup more water than…whatever, I guess.

  20. Elise (Post author)

    how weird! sorry you had problems charles. did you see cat’s follow up comment below? i wonder if she retried with those other techniques and had any more success.

  21. Charles

    Yes. Thanks. Besides adding less water, I’ll also try pushing the brown rice button next time. I think maybe the thing just got too hot. Perhaps rice absorbs some of that heat so that it doesn’t boil up like the quinoa did. Btw, I have symptoms that seem like IBS too, and this began when I was 69, not earlier. I’m finding some help by staying away from gluten, as well as lactose and beans. Still occasional symptoms however. I guess I’ll keep using my body as a scientific experiment, seeing what is ok and what isn’t. It takes some discipline however!

  22. Elise (Post author)

    sounds like a low fodmaps approach may fit for you too – check out my posts on those.

  23. Kim

    I know this is an older post but hoping you see this. What kind of rice cooker do you have? Thank you!

  24. Kim

    Thank you!

  25. Karen

    I have been wanting to try your granola recipes that use quinoa. Question….do you rinse the quinoa before using? I always rinse it prior to cooking, but your granola recipes all refer to it as a “dry” ingredient. I do not like that bitter taste of unrinsed quinoa.

  26. Elise (Post author)

    Hi Karen. I don’t pre rinse but check out the comments section Bc I know other readers have addressed this.

Comments are closed.