Since I started eating cleaner—I’ve had an affinity for quinoa. For me it’s just such a better carb option. But no matter what I tried I never ever could get the right consistency. I was relying on Birdseye and shelf stable microwave bags. It got expensive quickly—when I could find them.
So I decided to buy a rice cooker, not the giant one, the tiny little $12 on sale 3 cup Black & Decker one. I never make 9 cups of rice, I don’t need a giant rice cooker. First couple of times I tried mixing rice and quinoa, total fail. I didn’t account for the fact that they needed different cook times. Back to searching for the elusive steamer bags I went.
A couple of weeks ago I decided to try soaking and rinsing the quinoa before cooking it into the rice cooker. The first time it worked like a charm. The consistency is fluffy and it comes out perfectly. I soak the half cup with some dried seasoning the night before in water. I let it sit in the fridge. I make sure it gets a good rinsing, apparently that was my missing step all along. My tiny little rice cooker does the job. Then when the water is just about soaked in, I cut off some buttter add some more seasoning. Then I fluff it with the paddle and let it sit for a few minutes.
In the end I get the perfect balanced meal. Spinach and chicken with sun dried tomatoes, served over that perfect fluffy and seasoned quinoa. I know spinach combination works thanks to those Birdseye freezer bags.