I recently wrote a post on quinoa, and since then I have completed my fifth attempt eating quinoa. First time was successful tasty-ness because I made the quinoa in a college cooking class with some helpful tips. Second time, I completely screwed up the quinoa because I did not rinse it well enough (I did not have the proper strainer). Third time, my boyfriend made more of a breakfast quinoa (with craisins, almonds, brown sugar, honey, pomegranate juice) and it turned gray. Seriously, the quinoa turned blue-gray. Sick. Perhaps this was due to the presence of an alkali (base turns anthocyanin a gross blue/purple/gray–just sharing a tidbit with those fellow soon-to-be RD’s). And we could still taste that faint astringent hearty flavor (you’ll know what I mean if you’ve had quinoa).
Fourth and fifth attempt, was more of a success only because we mixed cheese in it (with sun-dried tomatoes and sauteed mushrooms) and created a casserole (fat + salt + sugar= tasty, but slightly unhealthy Americanized food). I could tell my boyfriend was scared to try this fourth attempt because by now, quinoa just seemed like a food neither of us could fully come to enjoy. I know what you are thinking: I need to rinse it better! Trust me, after that awful sour second attempt, the quinoa was rinsed thoroughly.
A few things I have discovered through this process with quinoa: when cooked as a savory dish it is best to use some reduced sodium chicken broth; rinse the quinoa for about 3 minutes straight; it may taste better if you cook it dry in a saute pan first to try and toast it before cooking (like risotto). Oh, and I always get pretty full (defeated) very quickly when eating quinoa (like I feel when eating a bowl of oatmeal). It is just a nutrient-dense food, and fills you up!