I bought some quinoa for the first time last week and tried it straightforwardly simmered in water according to the package instructions, except with a bit of salt in the cooking water. It had a taste of its own, quite similar to millet but a bit more robust. It wasn't an overpowering taste.
Since I'm not a vegetarian, I allowed myself to recognize that it had a taste that would go ideally with beef and onion. So, today, I decided to see if that would work.
I think it turned out well.
Here's what you need:
- 1/3 cup dry quinoa grain: I used Bob's Red Mill organic
- 1 large sweet red bell pepper
- 1 small-medium red onion
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 medium-sized white mushrooms: I used 1 creimini and 1 oyster mushroom
- 1 heaped tbsp. corn starch
- 1 tsp. beef bouillon: I used the beef "Better Than Boullion"; the package said 1 tsp. was equal to 1 cube of regular bouillon. BTB seems to have fewer mystery ingredients than regular bouillon and tastes as good if not better.
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
- water as required below
Slice the red onion and finely slice the garlic clove. Chop the red pepper and the mushrooms.
In a saute or frying pan, heat the olive oil until it starts to smoke and then add the onion and garlic and stir with a spatula to distribute evenly. After a couple of minutes, add the red pepper and mushroom, distribute with spatula and let cook for about 5 minutes, disturbing with the spatula periodically.
Add 1/3 cup water to the saute pan, stir for about 30 seconds, then cover, and reduce heat so that it can simmer for about 3 minutes. At this point, add the bouillon and black pepper and stir it in until dissolved. Return cover and simmer for another 5 minutes.
At this point, the quinoa should almost have finished its 10 minutes of standing.
Mix the corn starch with an equal amount of water in a small cup or bowl until the corn starch is dissolved in the water. Add it to the saute pan and stir. The contents should start to thicken. Cook for about 1 minute.
Add the cooked quinoa to the saute pan and combine it with the saute pan contents and cook for another minute.