Lazybum Recipes: Cranberry Quinoa

This recipe should hardly qualify as a recipe, as obscenely simple as it is, but that’s okay—it’s delicious!

Quinoa, if you are not familiar with it, is a grain-like plant with edible seeds. It was originally grown in the Andean regions of South America; the Incas called it chisaya mama, or “mother of all grains.” Although many plant-based foods lack some of the amino acids essential to humans, quinoa actually contains all of the essential amino acids, making it a complete protein! Like magic. It also has some useful stuff like calcium, phosphorus, and iron.

You can treat quinoa like rice or couscous; it’s even possible to prepare it using a rice cooker. I usually cook a large pot of it all at once, store it in the fridge, and then mix in convenient oddments (nuts, greens, small pebbles) whenever I need a meal.

This pairing, in particular, works wonderfully as a breakfast food. It’s also a good dinner, if you don’t mind some sweet with your meal. And it’s so bloody easy!

Lazybum Cranberry Quinoa

Ingredients:

  • 1-3 cups quinoa
  • 1/2 – 2 cups dried cranberries (sweetened or unsweetened)

(Note: 1 cup dry quinoa yields about 3 cups cooked quinoa, so proceed accordingly. I usually cook lots at once with the intention of leftovers.)

Instructions:

  1. Rinse the quinoa: either put it in a fine-mesh strainer and rinse for several minutes with cold water, or put it in a bowl, fill with cold water, thoroughly swirl around, and drain the water.
  2. Put quinoa into a pan and add water (approximately 2 cups water for every 1 cup quinoa). Put on high heat until it comes to a boil.
  3. Once it is boiling, turn the heat down to its lowest setting, cover the pan, and let it cook for 15 minutes. Then, remove it from the heat and let it stand for 5 minutes.
  4. Fluff the quinoa gently with a fork, and then mix in cranberries (to taste). Serve.
I would have gotten a better-quality photo, but I was too busy eating the meal.

8 thoughts on “Lazybum Recipes: Cranberry Quinoa

  1. Oh, hey! This is what I was asking you about! Thanks! (And pretty, too!)
    Question: why rinse it for so dang long?

    1. Yes ma’am! Now try making it yourself, and let me know how it turns out.

      In the wild, quinoa seeds have a coating on them called saponin, which gives them an unpleasant bitter flavor. Most quinoa you’ll find in a store has already been processed to remove the saponin, but it’s still good to give it a rinse to remove any residual bits.

  2. I bought both dried cranberries and quinoa today, at Janssens–but encountered a small difficulty when I inquired as to the whereabouts of “quinn-oh–ah”. He said, “Spell it”, which I did–“Oh–you mean “keen-wah”. Suitably chastened, I followed him to the rice aisle and purchased same. Next step–try it out on Ed, as I’m always seeking new breakfast stuff. Thank you! Love, G.

  3. What fun to see my fambly chatting here. I’m proud of my mother for trying something new, even though she’s almost 84. I find quinoa boring, but I did try it your way when you told me about it, and I ate it that way for a few days until I got really truly too bored. I do think quinoa is clever to know how to curl its tail like that, without our even asking. I liked using organic bulk cranberries because they’re tarter and less sugary. Have you tried it with a small handful of recently gathered sea glass? Very colorful.

    1. Sea glass, in keeping with the family theme! Boopus would approve.
      Also, this is the funniest thing I’ve read all day: “I do think quinoa is clever to know how to curl its tail like that, without our even asking.”

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