Mexican Quinoa

 Mexican Quinoa in a spelt tortilla
We love quinoa, and I use it a lot as an alternative to rice and other grains. So when I made a Mexican meal the other day I decided to use quinoa instead of rice in the Mexican Rice. It worked beautifully!

I cook quinoa in my Thermomix in one of three ways - in the bowl with liquids, a little like a risotto (method below); in the rice basket just like you would cook rice (see my Garlic Quinoa recipe); and steaming in the varoma just like you would steam couscous, on baking paper (soaked for a few hours first).

It's best to soak quinoa before using it, as it is naturally coated with bitter tasting saponins, which are removed by soaking and rinsing. Toasting quinoa before cooking it is another way to remove the saponins - either in a dry frypan on the stove, or in the Thermomix as in the method below.

1. Weigh quinoa in to Thermomix bowl and cook without oil for 10 mins, Varoma temperature, reverse, speed 1:
- 370g quinoa
Remove from bowl and set aside.

2. Add veges to bowl and chop on speed 5, 4 seconds:
- 1 small onion, halved
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 carrot, quartered (opt.)

3. Add oil and cook for 2 mins, 100 degrees, speed 1:
- 30g extra virgin olive oil

4. Add toasted quinoa, stir for 1 minute on reverse, speed 1, until well coated in oil.

5. Add puree and stock, and cook for 25 - 30 mins at 100 degrees, reverse, speed 1, or until liquid is mostly absorbed and quinoa is tender:
- 500g tomato puree (or 100g tomato paste concentrate + 400g water)
- 750g chicken or vege stock (or water + 2 tablespoons vege stock concentrate)
- some semi-dried tomato strips

(If it's a bit soupy, that's okay - it will absorb liquids as it sits. I put it into my Thermoserver with the lid on to soak up a bit more of the liquids, then serve.)

Serve with spelt or corn tortillas and salad for a complete meal, or as a side dish with Mexican food.

 Mexican quinoa served in a spelt tortilla with salad and toum (a kind of garlic aoli) or dairy free sour cream.
To see a short video clip on how to make spelt tortillas, go to my YouTube page.