Quinoa Rice Cooker Recipe
Quinoa is not often mentioned when you hear people talking about going gluten-free, usually they refer to using wheat product substitutes: bread or pasta, brownies or cakes– that are made with gluten free flours, such as rice flour. If the gluten substitute product is certified to be gluten-free, it’s deemed friendly for people who have Celiac Disease, or those who are gluten sensitive.
Some gluten free products are great – I especially like this healthy pancake recipe mix that is both gluten-free and has no added sugars – and others can simply be another form of junk food—for example, gluten-free donuts and cookies have lots of added sugars and are usually highly caloric.
There are foods that are naturally gluten-free, but few of them are sugar-free and as solid a source of protein as quinoa is. Quinoa has become a bit of a buzzword in the last few years, through media hype– including parodies of an effete, urban, metrosexual lifestyle – but quinoa remains one of the best gluten free foods out there, particularly for vegetarians. Quinoa not only offers much a higher protein content than one of its biggest whole-grain competitors – brown rice – it also cooks much quicker.
Don’t confuse quinoa with couscous, that fairly similar-looking grain made popular by Moroccan cooking—couscous is a wheat, and therefore most definitely not gluten-free. Quinoa itself is not actually a grain, but rather a seed, and indeed they do look like seeds (if you shop for quinoa with a meat-eating friend, you should probably anticipate being teased about buying birdseed). If you don’t have a good source for quinoa and other gluten free grains near you, you can buy millet, amaranth, quinoa and other gluten free grains from Amazon.
Quinoa is incredibly versatile and can be used as an alternate breakfast cereal, served cooled and mixed into various types of salads and in main course dishes. I like to use it as a quickly-made main course – and I mean QUICK – 10 minutes or less – accompanied by freshly cooked vegetables. Here’s one of my favorite quinoa recipes. If you’re interested in more recipes for quinoa, The Quinoa Cookbook is a good resource with over 70 quinoa recipes
Vegetarian Quinoa Recipe
You can easily cook this quinoa recipe in a rice cooker. Rice cooker quinoa recipes are simple and easy to make. The portion size is enough for two people, but you can scale up the recipe if you have a larger group.
½ cup quinoa, preferably clean and white, not red (not necessary to rinse)
1 cup water
¼ medium onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
½ teaspoon curry powder (or your own preferred powdered spice)
Dice onions and mince garlic, and set aside.
Pour quinoa into rice cooker, followed by water, and then onions and garlic, and turn on rice cooker.
After about 3 minutes, open rice cooker and sprinkle in curry powder. Stir quinoa to distribute evenly. After another 4 minutes, check rice cooker to see if water has evaporated; if not, stir and check again in a minute or two.
Voila! It’s that quick, and easy enough to make even after a long day when you don’t feel much like cooking. This quinoa recipe is a fantastic addition to your meal rotations. Serve up with mustard, or your favorite condiments. Take a look at all of our great rice cooker recipes.
Michael Shaw is a freelance writer who has written about food and health, and is passionate about gluten-free, refined sugar-free, and vegetarian food options in the mainstream marketplace. You can check out more of his writing and observations at No Flour, No Sugar Diet