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Penny Pinching Epicure: Cooking with Quinoa

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Cooking with Quinoa

Although I didn't know quinoa existed until about 4 years ago, it has become a staple in my diet and I can't remember what I ever did without it. It is versatile and super simple to make (you can even use the microwave, although I prefer to stove-top method), and it goes well with pretty much everything. I like to use a 2-1 liquid-quinoa ratio (just like when cooking rice). I also like to use vegetable stock or chicken broth to give it some flavor (although quinoa's inherent lack of flavor makes it the perfect candidate for almost any flavor profile).

This is one of my fave quinoa recipes. The melding of spicy curry and juicy mango really does it for me (I love spicy-sweet combos). [Yes, I realize this is two curry recipes in a row, what can I say, I like curry.]

Interesting quinoa fact: When the Spanish invaded Peru (quinoa's native land), they forbid its growing because the Inca used it as part of religious ceremony. Too bad conquistadors, you don't know what you missed out on!

Curried Quinoa w/ Mango


2 cups vegetable stock
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp curry powder
1/8 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp allspice
dash of white pepper
1 cup quinoa
1 ripe mango, cubed
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 scallion, chopped
1/4 cup pine nuts or almonds, toasted

  1. Combine stock and spices in a small stockpot. Stir in quinoa, bring to a boil, then turn down and simmer 12-15 minutes or until quinoa is tender and liquid is absorbed.
  2. Stir in mango, chickpeas, scallions and nuts.
The cost:
stock: .98
quinoa: .99
mango: 1.29
chickpeas: .79
scallion: .08
nuts: .45

Grand total: $4.29; serves 4-6 as a side dish

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Blogger RAK said...

Yum, this sounds delicious! Did you know that Costco sells quinoa?? I discovered this, happily, the other day.

November 4, 2009 at 3:34 PM  
Blogger Cinderella said...

Really??? I looked and didn't see any, is it with the rice and pasta?

November 4, 2009 at 5:27 PM  
Blogger Devorah said...

What brand of vegetable stock would you recommend?

November 4, 2009 at 11:20 PM  
Blogger Cinderella said...

I like TJs veg stock--it's 1.99 for 4 cups, and cheaper than anything I've found at other stores, even on sale. I also like the fact that it isn't too salty.

November 5, 2009 at 9:54 AM  

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