Spiced Quinoa

by Valerie on November 1, 2011 · 6 comments

Curried Mango Quinoa 006

Happy Monday and Happy Halloween… in the spirit of quick recipes and behind-the-scenes lunchbox-ing (no, I am still not sure what to do about that series… ahem) I wanted to talk about using my rice cooker as a shortcut tool. I find it particularly useful for quick quinoa dishes, in addition to cooking dried beans.  This spiced quinoa has become a regular staple, showing up in several lunchboxes as I tweaked the spicing and other flavoring. It serve as a lovely blank slate for a variety of additions, such as mango (which is what you see in the photo).

Spiced Quinoa (Gluten-Free, Vegan, Soy-Free)

  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder (make sure it is gluten-free – I like Spicely for certified gluten-free spices)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon seasalt
  • 1 cup crushed tomatoes (I like this brand)
  • 1 cup water or vegetable broth

Stovetop instructions: combine all ingredients in a medium pot with a lid.  Bring to a simmer and then reduce to low.  Cover and cook for between 25 to 30 minutes.  Remove from heat and let sit covered for an additional five minutes.  Fluff and serve. 

Rice cooker instructions: combine all ingredients in rice cooker.  Depending on type of rice cooker, use any of the following settings: “high” (for about 15 to 20 minutes), “quick” (this is the setting on my rice cooker that works best for quinoa – I just walk away and forget about it until it chimes), or, simply “on” and check it after 15-20 minutes.  Allow to steam an additional 5 to 10 minutes once the quinoa is ready and fluff before serving. 

Now that you have a blank slate, here are some options, each for a batch of of the recipe above, but feel free to come up with your own customizations:

  • Mango Spiced Quinoa Salad (see photo, above): add 1 cup chopped mango (I defrost some frozen mango chunks and chop them into bite-sized pieces), juice of 1 lemon and 1/4 cup scallions. Top with raw cashews.
  • High-protein Spiced Quinoa: Steam an 8oz block of tempeh for 10 minutes.  Crumble into quinoa.
  • Refreshing Spiced Quinoa: Add juice of one lime and one lemon and 1 1/2 cups chopped green and red peppers (a medium-sized pepper, deribbed and chopped, will yield about 3/4 cup chopped peppers).  Combine and then add 1/4 cup chopped herbs.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Alisa November 2, 2011 at 5:22 am

This looks so delicious and sounds amazingly fragrant Valerie!


2 Mary November 2, 2011 at 3:12 pm

Oh, you have my taste buds watering :) Will have to try this for the Holidays!


3 Sea November 2, 2011 at 4:49 pm

I love using my rice cooker for quinoa too! Thanks for the idea of using all the spices and tomato too, yum. :)



4 Linda November 3, 2011 at 2:08 am

We're not big on curry, but the family doesn't mind if I don't use too much and only once in a while. I really need to try adding different spices to quinoa more often. It's a great idea.


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