I can't remember if I've talked about soaking quinoa before.. It's important to soak quinoa for at least 12 hours. Then rinse and rinse and rinse. This removes the saponins. Saponins produce a soap-like foam in the water, and you'll know when you've rinsed the quinoa enough when the soap-like suds are gone. (fyi - saponis are found in certain plants, and their job may serve as anti-feedants, and to protect the plant against microbes and fungi. I know you have the internet too.. but - hey. Now you know) If you don't have a fine mesh strainer.. I would recommend adding one to your kitchen collection. I use mine almost everyday.
So - once you've decided the day before that you want to make this.. add your quinoa to jar and fill the rest with water. Mine sat for around 18 hours..
1 1/2 cups quinoa
the next day..
quinoa, rinsed and strained
1 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 cup water (If you're only making 1 cup quinoa, use 1 cup of water... etc. It needs less water than other recipes call for because it's soaked)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp salt
Pour the oil in a pot, heat over medium heat. Add the quinoa to toast a little bit. Then after a couple minutes, add the water, garlic, and salt. Simmer covered until all the liquid is evaporated (about 15 minutes.. ok actually I don't remember how long this took.. but the quinoa will be translucent, and you should be able to fluff it with a fork.)
While that's going on.. you'll need:
olive oil, as needed
1/4 red onion, diced
2 clove garlic, minced
1-2 cups sliced mushrooms
1 big carrot, chopped
Sea salt and ground pepper, to taste
Heat a tbsp or 2 of olive oil in a large skillet and over medium heat. Add the onion and carrot and stir for a minute or too. Add in the garlic; stir. Add the mushrooms. Season with sea salt and ground pepper. (Add a splash of white wine. optional) Stir and cook until the vegetables are tender.
When the quinoa is cooked, fluff with a fork and add it to the skillet mixture. Now add:
Fresh chopped parsley
Fresh chopped mint
Fresh chopped curry (I just got this plant from the farmers market.. it's an awesome addition to the standard herb garden)
Serves 4-7. (Depends whether it's a side or the main course) Enjoy!!