Thursday, May 22, 2008

It's A Quinoa Summer

mexi-quinoa cabbage wraps

I know that I haven't been posting much, but that's mostly because we've been eating the same thing every night--quinoa! I've loved quinoa since the first time I tasted it, but lately it's the only thing that I ever want to eat. I think that it's because we've been outside on our bikes so much and it's already getting pretty hot here (90F). Quinoa is just so light and delicious. Basically, we toss some quinoa in the rice cooker, cut up some veg, steam or saute it for a sec, whisk up a vinaigrette or some sort of sauce, mix it all up, top it with some fresh veg and eat! All the prep work can be done while the quinoa is cooking and dinner is ready in about half an hour without using the oven--or even the stove half the time. The photo above is of last night's mexi-quinoa cabbage wraps with corn, onions, garlic, spinach, tomatoes, avocados and jalapenos.

I guess this is a good time for me to gush about how much I love my rice cooker. It's the Rival RC61 from Target. We bought it out of desperation because I kept forgetting to check the rice and burning it. I never thought that I would become so obsessively in love with a $15 rice cooker. Not only does it make perfect Texmati rice, it also makes quinoa and even steel cut oats. It's really small, but makes the perfect amount for 1-6 people. It comes with a little steamer basket and it's super easy to clean. I can't recommend it enough. We've had it for almost two years and it hasn't failed me once. Oh, and did I mention that it was only $15? Mas and I have seriously talked about buying 10 of them to keep in storage in case they stop making this model. Ok, sorry. < /gush >

Edit: When I use the rice cooker to make quinoa, I usually add an extra 1-2 T. of liquid and check it a few minutes before the cooker clicks off to keep the bottom from crusting. When I make steel cut oats, I double the liquid, add cinnamon and stir once or twice when most of the water has cooked off. For rice, I add a little less liquid because I like my rice really dry. Just experiment until you get it the way that you like it.


Lacy said...

I have the same rice cooker and I'm actually pretty impressed by it. The bottom's a bit thin but it does it's job; the size is convenient and it's not bad looking.

I'd never thought of cooking quinoa in it! Thanks for that.

megan said...

Yeah, the quality of the pot is a little questionable. Other than that, I really like it. Sometimes, I have to take the quinoa out a little early. I always try to check it in the last five minutes, but I'm shitty at remembering to do so.

Bijoux said...

I've never before considered buying a rice cooker but I sure eat rice a lot. My husband usually is in charge of making rice because he always follows the rules whereas I tend to eyeball the rice to water ratio - and the rice does not turn out very good. The fact that the rice cooker also can cook quinoa and oats is a definite plus. I also enjoy quinoa salad in the summer. Hmmm, I might re-consider getting a rice cooker now. I have an amazing slow cooker that I bought 2 years ago but now that I do not eat meat I seldom use it.