Prepare it like rice. Vegetable broth or stock of some kind in place of water enhances its nutty flavor significantly. It needs to be rinsed before you do anything with it otherwise it will have a residue that gives it a bitter taste. Wouldn’t that be the worst? Feeding your kids a disgusting glob of bitterness and then they have baggage for life and may never consider quinoa again. As it stands now, it doesn’t cause cancer and is healthier than brown rice. It’s done when the spiral shape of the seed is visible, about 15 minutes at a simmer but check package instructions and your pot often.
INSPECT IT BEFORE YOU COOK IT ~ I would also look it over carefully for stray “shrapnel”. You never know what could drop into a bag of tiny seeds on its way through a factory. My Gramy always spread her popcorn kernels out on a plate to examine them and pick out the duds. I didn’t get too scientific about it but did the batch justice.
FOODS THAT WORK WELL WITH QUINOA ~ I roasted some veggies in the oven because I was too lazy to turn on the grill. Zucchini and eggplant tossed in olive oil, a little balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper on top of a sheet of parchment paper browned nicely and kept their crunch. (Before tossing the eggplant I soaked it in some salt water to keep it from absorbing too much oil). In a separate pan I sauteed some onions, garlic and peppers and through in some kale halfway through then basil after turning the heat off. Chickpeas and fruit also pair well with quinoa.
GRAIN? Quinoa is technically not a grain but the seed of a non-grassy plant similar to amaranth. As I touched upon above, it has more protein, fiber, calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, zinc and folate than brown rice!
LEFTOVER IDEAS ~ I ended up with a big bowl of leftover quinoa I may try making some crispy cakes or balls for snacking. A little shaved Parmesan cheese may work well on top.