Quinoa

There are literally hundreds of varieties of quinoa. This nutrient-packed seed from Peru has a high degree of diversity. In this country though we generally see just three types — red, white and black. They are virtually indistinguishable in taste and also in the way they cook up. For best flavor and fluffiest texture, dry-toast the quinoa before adding the water: rinse the quinoa according to the package directions, then put it in a medium pot without oil or butter. Let the grains dry out a bit and toast until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add the water, bring to a boil and cover with a lid. Simmer  10-15 minutes-do not stir the quinoa while it is cooking. This will allow it to cook evenly and steam holes to form. The quinoa is cooked when you see the grains form a little white spiral tail. This is the outer germ of the grain that twists as it cooks, but stays attached to the kernel.

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