Saturday, September 15, 2012

How to Make Seasoned Quinoa

Yesterday evening was not the happiest one.

In my home there is the most head-strong, determined little person I have ever met. This girls got a will of iron and she knows her own mind.

We frequently refer to her as The Queen Of The World. Or Boss of the World. Either nickname works well. She's got this family under her all-powerful thumb.

She's also very good at throwing long and terrible fits.

This might give you an idea as to how the last five hours of our day went. Oh, and I must not forget to mention that this lasted intermittently throughout the night, too.

I also really wanted to post an oil free, plant-based veggie pot pie. The crust was a bear. It was still very yummy, but just a tad dry; I think I need to revisit the oil free crust before it makes a debut.

Let's make something tried-and-true, shall we?

My Mom loves quinoa. While visiting her in Utah during the summer she told me that my brother would sit and eat an entire bowl of quinoa by itself because of the way she seasoned it. She taught me how, and I tried it out on my kids. Essie now asks for bowls of quinoa, too.

How to make simple, scrumptious quinoa.

1.) Start with a lot of peeled, chopped garlic. (See this post on how to peel garlic quickly and easily.)

2.) You will need a quality Chicken-like base. I use concentrated base instead of broth, because vegetable broths just don't bring in the amazing savory taste that the concentrate does.

I have had quite an adventure in trying to attain this particular base (as have many of you!), and even went to a lot of effort to order it through Whole Foods Market. They told me no.

SO. I got on Amazon, and for $6 a bottle, with prime, I will have six of these delivered to me on Tuesday. It's worth it. This base makes the best soup, and ultimately the most fantastic quinoa.

Any quality vegan bouillon concentrated base will work. Rapunzel is a great brand, and sold in many health food stores, including places like Fred Meyer's and Smith's Marketplace.

3.) Decide how many cups of quinoa you want to end up with. I like to make 4-6 cups at a time. The ratio is 1:2:2, so for every one cup of quinoa, you need 2 cups of water, and for every 2 cups of water you need 2 bouillon cubes, or 2 scant teaspoons of concentrated base.

Quinoa needs to be rinsed well in a fine-mesh sieve to remove the bitter saponins. Bob's Red Mill brand of quinoa (sometimes sold at Costco for a very good price) does not need to be rinsed, as well as some other boxed brands. I like these because I prefer to avoid additional steps, but rinsing is not too difficult.

Here I put six cups of water, 4-5 teaspoons (I figured that's how much it would be if they were all scantly measured) of concentrated bouillon base, and 6-8 chopped cloves of garlic together and brought it to a boil.

After adding the 3 cups of quinoa to six cups of water, and 4 teaspoons base, bring it to a boil and then cover, and reduce the heat to low.

4.) Simmer on low until it is light and fluffy and has absorbed all the water. The cooking time fluctuates. Most quinoa shouldn't take any longer than 20 minutes to cook, but because I live at a high altitude (over 7,200 ft) out here in the mountains, it takes me at least 30 minutes.

It should look like this.

I like to make this when I don't know what to make for dinner, and I need something very nutritious, and fast. I usually serve it with fried tofu for my kids...but that recipe is for another day...

It also goes very well with soup, on top of green salads, or with a side of your favorite steamed veggies.

Seasoned Quinoa
By Ruth Henrikson


4 cups water
3-4 cubes (or tsp if wet base) of vegan chicken-like bouillon base
2 cups quinoa, rinsed
4-6 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
(if not using "Better Than Bouillon No Chicken Base" brand, you may need to add salt to taste)


Bring water to a boil on high in a medium sized pot and add chopped garlic, vegan bouillon and quinoa. Once boiling, cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer until light and fluffy, and quinoa has absorbed all the water, about 20 minutes.


Updated note: It's hard to add too much garlic to this. Feel free to throw in a few extra cloves if you like. The cloves get very soft -- just as soft as the quinoa -- and they add so much flavor.

I guess I better the breakfast table in the next room my hubby is singing to the kids, "Oh, I wish we had a Mommy in this family, If only we had a Mom in this family..." And Samuel is yelling back, "We do!" Ha ha ha.



  1. This is EXACTLY what I need. Not a bad price on Amazon, that is basically the same price I pay for that same brand, only the vegetable base. Thanks a bunch!

  2. Oh, good! It's very simple but very flavorful. I could eat this all by itself for dinner or as leftovers for lunch. Glad you like!

  3. Hey, beautiful picture of you! Also, I love this quinoa recipe! Thanks for taking on the challange of gathering the best family recipes and centralizing them!

  4. Hey, I was also going to tell you, one reason I love your recipes so much is because you adapt them to high altitude which is what I need since I am in UT! Your careful instructions with pictures helps me to cook with more confidence which only makes it more likely that I will cook at all!