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Cookie and Kate receives commissions on purchases made through our links to retailers. Remember that many brands now pre-wash the grains to remove saponin coating, which will also remove some degree of phytic acid. Here's how to cook quinoa -- and recipes for all your quinoa creations! At some point, I wondered, why do all the quinoa recipes suggest covering the quinoa while cooking? Along with white quinoa, different colored quinoa selections are available, mostly red and black varieties.

Different Ways to Cook Quinoa

Quinoa-Crusted Fish Nuggets with Tartar Sauce

Serve with toasted flatbread, or bake up a pan of cornbread for a classic accompaniment. Cooked quinoa won't swell in the soup overnight liked cooked pasta. Make a day or two ahead, and refrigerate. Serve with Ricotta and Sweet Pea Toasts. Chickpeas are a staple in Provence, where they are often stewed and served with pasta and vegetables.

In this version, chickpeas, leeks, carrots, fennel, and spinach are served atop protein-rich quinoa for a vegetarian main that feels complete without the meat. Deglazing the pan with a splash of white wine picks up the caramelized vegetable bits for more flavor in the finished sauce. A generous heap of fresh lemon rind adds zip, fresh parsley adds color and freshness, and tender artichoke hearts make this a substantial side dish.

We use frozen, thawed artichoke hearts here fresh ones can require more time to prep, and canned may be higher in sodium and slightly too soft. Sweet onion is another springtime staple. Serve with simply roasted fish, or pair with roast chicken and a side of glazed and roasted carrots.

The components of a classic mole sauce—sweet spices, chile heat, and dark chocolate—create a delicious vinaigrette for this whole-grain salad. For a little extra richness, sprinkle with crumbled queso fresco or Cotija cheese, and for a bigger protein hit, top the salad with sliced grilled flank steak. Think of quinoa as a blank canvas for flavors ranging from the simple lemon and parsley to the complex and exotic warm spices; dried nuts and fruit.

Here the protein-packed whole grain gets a Middle Eastern spin with tart dried cherries, chopped pistachios, and mint. Serve with braised lamb or spice-rubbed roasted chicken to complete the theme. Or, stir in shredded rotisserie chicken and another crunchy vegetable like cucumber or celery for a lunchtime salad.

You can also make a larger batch of quinoa minus the stir-ins and refrigerate for a simple side or salad base during the week. A whole-grain protein bowl is the perfect solution for when lunch needs to be quick—as well as tasty, filling, and healthy. Cook quinoa ahead of time or buy precooked, available in pouches near the rice. Use 2 teaspoons toasted chopped walnuts instead of feta cheese. After a recent trip to Israel, reader Pam Riesenberg was inspired to include more quinoa and fresh salads in her family's meals.

While cucumber, tomato, and parsley are traditional, this gorgeous quinoa salad pops with color from dried apricots, green onions, and hulled pumpkin seeds. It tastes just as good if not better the next day. You can substitute dried cranberries or golden raisins for the apricots, and any unsalted nut or seed for the hulled pumpkin seeds. Quick-cooking, whole-grain quinoa is great on its own, but just a few ingredients can make it wonderfully interesting and complex, perfect for a meatless lunch or light supper.

Warm, fragrant Madras curry powder releases its flavor in the hot oil, which then toasts the quinoa before simmering. This is truly India in a bowl: Currants are like smaller, slightly less sweet raisins; you can use either here. Add canned unsalted chickpeas for a little extra protein.

This zesty salad is full of fresh vegetables and protein- and fiber-packed tofu and beans, making this a vegetarian main salad everyone will love. The salad is also versatile: Use any vegetables you like in place of the tomato, onions, and carrot. Building the salad in stages allows for maximum flavor and texture: Want to make something a little special for dinner?

Try these gorgeous stuffed squashes: The recipe calls for golden nugget squash, but that variety can be hard to find year-round; acorn squash makes a good substitute. For a dinner party, double the recipe, and get a head start: The day before, cook the squash, and fill with stuffing.

Bring to room temperature the next day, and bake as directed. Simply prepare the salad on Sunday night, and pack in four portable containers. Crunchy romaine will hold up well, and the quinoa will only get better over time, soaking up all the fruity flavors. Dried apricots and golden raisins—each with a bright, slightly tart flavor—work beautifully here, but you can swap in any dried fruit you like. Dried cherries would be particularly good.

Quinoa works wonders in this fun twist on crab cakes. The grains are intentionally overcooked until soft and mushy, which makes them a great binder for the cakes. The quinoa also makes the dish more affordable by stretching a smaller amount of expensive lump crabmeat—only 8 ounces for 4 servings.

When working with big flakes of premium crabmeat, be careful not to overmix, as doing so will break the crab apart. The cakes are delicate, so take care when flipping them; you might find that using two spatulas works best. Add a little more heft with cooked, crumbled soy sausage links or seared tofu. For an Asian-inspired dish, swap the walnuts for cashews and drizzle with reduced-sodium soy sauce.

Sometimes the best "steak" comes in the form of ripe, juicy beefsteak tomato slices, as in this easy gratin. Serve with a salad of fresh summer greens. This dish makes a perfect showcase for heart-of-the-summer fresh produce. For peak-quality veggies, scour your local farmers market. If you're not concerned about keeping the dish vegetarian, a little crumbled cooked bacon added to the mix would make a fantastic flavor booster.

We love the briny, salty flavor feta gives the Mediterranean-flavored salad, but crumbled goat cheese would work just as well. Letting the oil mixture stand for 20 minutes helps infuse it with shallot flavor and develop delicious nuances.

It's wise to mix the dressing into the quinoa while it's still a little warm: Room temperature or cold grains and starches do not absorb liquid nearly as well. Use a flavorful, good-quality extra-virgin olive oil for the best results—simple recipes like this depend on using great ingredients.

The perfect side-dish companion to a variety of meat-based main dishes, including fish, chicken, and steak, this quinoa recipe is simple and delicious. Pine nuts from China are less expensive than those from Italy, although not as flavorful. Sunflower seed kernels are a budget-friendly alternative to pine nuts in just about every applicaiton, including pesto. Toasting the nuts draws out their essential oils and deepens their flavor. This dish can be made up to a day ahead and kept refrigerated in an airtight container.

Let the dish come to room temperature before serving so the flavors won't be muted. A hit of acid from a squeeze of fresh lemon or a dash of vinegar would be a welcome addition to this dish, brightening and intensifying flavors. These tomatoes are stuffed full with super-healthy quinoa, sweet fresh corn, poblano chiles, and lots of shredded cheese. Cooked quinoa simmers with a mixture of chicken, garlic, onion, and diced tomatoes with green chiles in this easy one-dish meal.

Savory Rice and Quinoa Pilaf. This savory basmati rice and quinoa pilaf flavored with sage and allspice is a quick and easy vegetarian side dish ready in about 30 minutes.

This hearty, power salad bowl is loaded with quinoa, beans, and egg for a vegetarian meal with great sources of protein. Quinoa and Black Beans. Quinoa, once a staple grain of ancient Incas, is tossed with lemon juice, tomatoes, cucumber, carrots, green onions and parsley. Serve with pita bread. Black Bean, Corn, and Quinoa Salad. This is a wonderful Southwestern-style salad with black beans, corn, and quinoa dressed with avocado oil that is quick to toss together.

Roasted Sweet Potato Quinoa Salad. This recipe combines quinoa and roasted sweet potatoes in a fresh and zesty grain salad fit for a gluten-free, vegan or vegetarian diet. Turkey and Quinoa Meatballs. These turkey and quinoa meatballs flavored with parsley and sage are baked in a savory balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, and ketchup sauce. Balsamic and Herb Quinoa Salad.

Balsamic and herb quinoa salad with fresh mozzarella cheese, almonds, and lima beans is a hearty side dish or lunch.

Whether you're trying quinoa for the first time or just trying a new recipe for quinoa, this mixture of quinoa, black beans, corn, and spices will make this dish a new favorite. The secret ingredient in this flavorful turkey meatloaf is quinoa. Quinoa is nuttier than breadcrumbs and improves the texture of the meatloaf.

Quinoa and black beans are tossed in a refreshing lime-cilantro vinaigrette for a quick and protein-packed lunch or side dish. These vegetarian burgers made with black beans and quinoa are delicious!

Quinoa is tossed with onion, garlic, and herbs. This may be served hot or at room temperature. It can also be cooked in chicken broth for added richness. You love it, and so do we! Here are some of our best quinoa recipes.

Soaking the greens in warm water softens them enough to make the rolling process a little bit easier and a lot more fun. This raw-food dish needs planning and patience, but the payoff is a salad that pops with each crunchy bite.

Layering the elements of this flavor-bomb salad guarantees even distribution in every bite and makes for a lovely platter. Toss quinoa with diced apples, toasted almonds, and dried cranberries and serve with a large lettuce leaf.

We swapped rice for protein- and fiber-rich quinoa in this faux dirty rice, but any cooked whole grain would work well; give bulgur or farro a try to change things up. Collard Green-Quinoa Wraps Collard Green-Quinoa Wraps Recipe Soaking the greens in warm water softens them enough to make the rolling process a little bit easier and a lot more fun. Sprouted Quinoa with Marinated Veggies Sprouted Quinoa with Marinated Veggies Recipe This raw-food dish needs planning and patience, but the payoff is a salad that pops with each crunchy bite.

You can also use unsalted chicken stock as a substitute. You can make the stock overnight after enjoying Dinners 1 and 2. Strip herb leaves, and prep all vegetables for the week, using trimmings in stock. Quinoa, Smoked Trout, and Beet Salad Quinoa, Smoked Trout, and Beet Salad Recipe Layering the elements of this flavor-bomb salad guarantees even distribution in every bite and makes for a lovely platter.

Gerri Williams for James Reps. Adding toasted pine nuts and fresh herbs makes this healthy side dish even more fantastic.

How to Cook Quinoa for Best Results