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All That You Need to Know About Quinoa and How to Prepare It

por Sabores de México

By Elsie Méndez

These are the things that make up my love for the world of gastronomy. One never stops learning and being amazed at the thousands of ingredients that exist, the best of which are excellent for our health. In May, I had the good fortune of staying in the home of Chef Pia Quintana. While I was there, I was helping her revise her cook book that she published, she prepared a delicious salad for me with quinoa that comes at the end of this article. After more investigation, I discovered information that I am happy to share with you and I hope you find useful.

quinoa roja

red quinoa

  • It is light and fluffy when cooked, it has a slightly nutty flavor
  • There are three main types: white, red and black
  • It is an excellent source of protein. And unlike most grains, it is a complete protein source
  • It takes only 15 minutes to cook. A short cooking time compared to other healthy grains, such as brown rice and barley
  • If you cook quinoa and it tastes terrible, it was probably not cleaned properly. The only disadvantage of quinoa is that it has to be rinsed very well, several times. The other option is finding stores that sell pre-washed quinoa, ready for preparation
  • It can replace rice in many dishes and is also good in salads and incorporated into foods such as meatloaf and vegetarian burgers
  • You can also eat for breakfast
  • Quinoa is native to Peru. The Incas refer to it as the mother of all grains.

Chef Pia Quintana


  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup cooked corn kernels
  • 1 diced jalapeño chile, with seeds removed
  • 1 cup diced tomato, with seeds removed
  • ¼ cup diced red onion
  • 2 tbsp basil, cut into thin strips
  • 2 tbsp cilantro, cut into thin strips
  • 2 tbsp chopped onion, cut into thin strips
  • ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice


To cook Quinoa: Place the quinoa in colander, rinse under strong stream of water. In a medium saucepan, boil two cups of water, add the quinoa, lower the heat, cover with lid, and leave it for fifteen minutes until it sponges and the water is absorbed. Empty cooked quinoa into a bowl to cool.

To prepare salad: In another bowl, add the corn, jalapeño, tomato, onion, herbs, cheese, oil and lemon. Incorporate well. Mix in cool quinoa and serve.

Note: This dish can be used as a garnish for fish or grilled chicken.

This post is also available in: Español

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