We’re all suffering from a lingering cough at the moment, so I fancied cooking something that at least felt healthy.
It’s really hot here too, so I decided to go for something fairly light as well & quinoa seemed the perfect candidate. Quinoa, garlic, and onion.
Usually I would cook the quinoa first on its own and then add it to a frying pan with the onion & garlic in it. This time I decided to do things the other way around and cook the quinoa with the already softened onion & garlic.
I started out by rinsing the quinoa to get rid of the bitter taste & left it in the sieve to drain. I then chopped up the onion and put that in the saute pan (with some olive oil) on the same medium-high heat that I usually use for quinoa.
While the onion was softening I chopped up the cloves from half a bulb of garlic (what? I really like garlic – and I’m ill – and garlic is good for you!) I also got two heaped tablespoons of easy-cook ginger (finely sliced ginger in vinegar – but you could use fresh if you liked) and gave that a bit of a chop too to make the pieces smaller.
Once the onions started to go transparent, I added the garlic & ginger and cooked them until the vinegar had evaporated from the ginger. At that point I added the spices and seasoning and stirred them in. If I made this again then I might leave out the spices, or play with a different blend.
I added the rinsed quinoa and let it toast with the spices for ten minutes. Normally I let it toast until it starts to pop, but with the moisture from the other ingredients it wasn’t popping, so I stopped when the onion started to go brown.
At this point I added the water and put the lid on the pan, leaving it to cook for ten minutes. N.B. – It’s important to cover the quinoa, because otherwise you’ll lose too much water to evaporation before the quinoa has the chance to absorb it.
After ten minutes I took the lid off the pan and added some chopped cashew nuts, letting them toast lightly as I stirred the quinoa and let the excess moisture evaporate. If you like your quinoa porridgey, then add more water & leave the lid on for more of the cooking time. I prefer mine with a bit more substance!
Quinoa cooked, I then added a drizzle of chilli infused olive oil & some petit pois.
The (in)exact measurements I used were:
- Quinoa up to the 10fl oz line on a measuring jug
- 19fl oz of water (more if you like your quinoa mushy)
- One medium onion
- Half a bulb of garlic, finely chopped
- Two heaped tablespoons of chopped ginger
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Spices: I used 3/4 teaspoon of turmeric, a tiny dash of cloves and a sprinkling of nutmeg. You could leave out the spices if you prefer. I’d also suggest doing what I did – sniff all your spices and decide what you fancy & what will work well together! I mix my spices & seasonings up in a small pot before adding them. This helps prevent steam from the pan entering the spice container & causing it to clump together.
So there you go.