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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Spaghetti Tuesday, On Wednesday

This morning I ran in the rain for the first time!  It wasn’t really on purpose, it started raining after I was out there, so I just went with it.  Also, I saw a rainbow!  (I don’t usually run in the rain because rain is cold and wet and also there are a couple of steep parts of my run and rain makes them slippery.)

On a completely different topic, I finally figured out quinoa.  A few years ago, Mickael asked me to cook it for him because it’s such a nutritious grain and it’s a complete protein, and blah, blah, healthy, blah.  I did, but I wasn’t really fond of the flavor (I hated it).  I tried different seasonings, and mixing in different things and that helped, but I really never liked it.  I’d read recipes using quinoa and they all mentioned how it was a lot like rice, but with a nutty flavor.  I had never thought it was like rice (except the texture), and I’ve never really thought of something as bitter and foul as quinoa as “nutty.”  I figured the people who were writing these things were probably vegan hippies who couldn’t remember what real food (cheeseburgers) tastes like.

A couple of weeks ago, I made quinoa again and Mickael finally asked why I kept making it.  I was making it for him because it’s healthy and he likes healthy food (he also likes eating all the ice cream out of the container in one sitting, but that’s a topic for another day).  I thought it tasted terrible, Caleb thought it tasted terrible, but I kept making it periodically because Mickael hadn’t told me he thought it was terrible.  As it turned out, he hated it too!

So I decided then and there that I wouldn’t buy or cook any more quinoa.  Then last week, I ran across something on the internet and it mentioned rinsing the quinoa.  I had been rinsing it, but this article said to REALLY rinse it!  Like take several minutes rinsing it.  Rinse it like you mean it.  Then it explained why: the quinoa has a bitter coating and the rinsing gets rid of it!  It was like a lightbulb went off in my head - maybe I hadn’t been rinsing the quinoa enough!

I got some more quinoa at the store and last night I rinsed it.  And rinsed it and rinsed it.  Then I kept rinsing it (rinse/rinsed/rinsing starts to look funny if you type it too much).  Just to be sure, I rinsed it some more.  It actually smelled better and less bitter when I finished rinsing it.  Then I cooked it and yes, it definitely tasted more like rice and way better than it ever had before!  Caleb even liked it!

The reason I’m telling you this is that I can’t be the only person on the planet who thinks/thought quinoa was pretty disgusting.  I don’t know why they don’t tell you to do more rinsing.  The quinoa I cooked last night actually said pre-rinsed.  It wasn’t.  I gave it much more rinsing.  So, if you’ve tried quinoa and find it tastes pretty bad, try it again, but rinse it really, really good - take your time.  If you work for a quinoa marketing firm, you’ve really dropped the ball.  The rinsing thing shouldn’t be a secret I have to go to the internet to find.  It should be on your package.  Think how much more of this stuff our family would have eaten if it tasted good!

If you already knew that quinoa needed copious amounts of rinsing, carry on.  I have nothing new to tell you today.  Also, you may have just figured out why this isn’t a cooking blog.



Anonymous robin mc said...

Don't just rinse, soak the quinoa for at least 4 hours before rinsing (overnight works fine too). Makes a huge difference!

9:50 AM  
Blogger Jen said...

Thanks for the tips - you are not the only one who thought quinoa tasted terrible! I wanted to like it because - well - healthy, but I just couldn't maybe now it's worth trying again. Also, the last line of today's blog cracked me up. Thanks for the chuckle.

10:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now that I have a Japanese vegetable/rice bowl with fine sieve in the bottom I can do the rinse and repeat for quiona. Before I had nothing sufficiently fine-gauge to do the job. (It was less than $5 from Amazon!)

11:14 AM  
Blogger Michelle said...

I've never soaked or rinsed but I did notice the bitter taste so didn't do much with it. Last week I cooked it with chopped broccoli and then stirred in shredded cheese and it was pretty good. Will rinse it next time and see if it's less bitter.

12:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really had a good chuckle when reading your post. I found a recipe that combines two ingredients that my husband was certain he'd hate -- quinoa and kale. Seems my OCD rinsing came in handy with both those ingredients. But I was certain he'd like it as much as I do and I was right. Try http://allrecipes.com/recipe/kale-and-quinoa-salad/detail.aspx for a really tasty and healthy salad.

6:02 PM  
Blogger Jewels said...

I never minded the taste but i'll try rinsing too.

8:16 PM  

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