I bought this box at Wal-Mart, so it should be relatively easy to find now.
I'm going to say up front, I didn't love it. At least not plain quinoa. You cook it and use it similarly to rice. A friend told me they commonly eat it for breakfast in Bolivia.
To prepare it, I rinsed it, even though the box said "no rinsing". Someone on the internet said they always rinse, and if it's on the internet, it must be a good idea, right?
First, I took about a tablespoon of quinoa and toasted it, then added butter. I got this idea from something I saw on "Sweet Genius". Their mandatory ingredient was quinoa and one of the contestants used toasted quinoa atop a cupcake. This was nice, crunchy, nutty with a little "brown butter" flavor, although I didn't purposely brown the butter. Nice garnish. A little "seedy".
Next, I cooked some quinoa according to the box instructions. It had a mild, but not particularly pleasant, earthy flavor. I added brown sugar, cinnamon, and honey. But, while there is not a lot of flavor to this, there is a hint of a vegetable-like flavor that can't be covered up with the brown sugar and honey. Well, maybe if I'd kept adding, but I felt like I was already using too much.
Here's what the cooked, undoctored quinoa looks like. You are supposed to see those little white rings in it when it's done.
|The "doctored" quinoa with brown sugar, cinnamon, and honey.|
But, then I had the most wonderful brainstorm. Shrimp and grits! Decadent, homey, Southern shrimp and grits. I had some cooked quinoa leftover (that's the toasted quinoa on top).
I sauteed some chopped garlic with some butter in a big pot. I took about half the quinoa and added it to the garlic and butter, then used my immersion blender to make this sort of creamy. Then I added the rest of the cooked quinoa, some heavy cream, some sharp cheddar, a little Velveeta for creaminess, lots of Louisiana Cajun seasoning, lots of cayenne pepper, some black pepper, some garlic powder and Tabasco. I added each of these until I got the heat right for me, knowing my hubby would add even more. Then, I quickly cooked up some shrimp (about a half pound for two people, maybe about eight medium sized shrimp each).
I'm sorry for the lack of measurements in this recipe. I was cooking while HUNGRY! For the next quinoa experiment, I may tried a fried rice recipe. The texture reminds me of fried rice.
|Creamy, cheesy, garlic, and hot. Mmmmm comfort food.|
|This is a big cereal bowl. We got stuffed on what appeared a small portion and fed a couple of our shrimp to our grateful little doxy.|