I think I was pretty late to join in on the quinoa bandwagon.
Everyone else and their mother was eating quinoa cookies and going gluten-free before I even considered buying a packet and giving it a try. I had heard that quinoa was difficult to cook and was a bit intimidated to spend the money on what was once a pricey grain, only to have the whole meal result in failure.
However, quinoa is super easy if you know a few basic cooking tips — which I am going to impart so that you can try your hand at this easy chickpea quinoa salad, an easy healthy recipe you’re going to love.
First, the easiest way to cook quinoa is to invest in a rice cooker. Many now have settings for cooking a variety of grains so you can just measure in your grain and water, press a button, and enjoy your perfectly cooked grains whenever you’re ready!
However, if you’re determined to learn how to cook quinoa on the stove, here are some simple tips to have your quinoa cook perfectly.
Quinoa Cooking Tips
- Boil the water first – this makes sure that the grains don’t spend too much time cooking or absorbing water
- Immediately turn the heat to simmer and cover once grains are added
- Do not stir! It seems counter-intuitive, but just let the grains do their thing — they will not burn if you added enough water, turned the heat down, and take them off at the right time
- Avoid lifting the cover to check on the quinoa – this releases steam, and thus the water that the quinoa is cooking in, which can result in your quinoa not fully cooking
- Take off the heat to finish cooking – the water, the quinoa, and the cooking pot will still be hot enough to finish cooking the grains without risking it burning. I generally take 1 cup of uncooked quinoa off of the heat after 12-15 minutes.
Once you learn how to quickly and easily make a batch of quinoa, you’ll be able to incorporate this easy healthy lunch option into your meal plan more often.
Chickpea Quinoa Salad Ingredients:
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- 1 cucumber
- 1 sweet pepper
- 1/2 cup cooked chickpeas (or cook 1/4 cup dried with the quinoa)
Homemade Salad Dressing Recipe:
- 2 cloves garlic
- 5-10 basil leaves, optional
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- Juice of half a lemon
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Add quinoa to 2 cups of boiling water, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit (with lid still on) for 5 minutes. Stir and fluff with a fork, and let cool.
Dice all vegetables, peeling and deseeding vegetables to your preference. Stir into the quinoa and chickpeas.
Combine all salad dressing ingredients in a mason jar, cover, and shake until well combined. Pour overtop of quinoa greek salad, and then season to taste with salt and pepper.