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Old 03-05-2019, 01:55 PM   #1
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Quinoa Chili Question

A few weeks ago I was eating somewhere ( have no clue where), and I tried quinoa chili. It was a vegetarian chili. It was primarily a bean chili with a tomato chili - spiced base sauce. Quinoa was not the star or main component, but it was visibly there . In other words, it wasn't like a cous-cous- or quinoa salad like consistency, but a soupy bean chili with some quinoa sprinkled in ( just so they can call it quinoa chili)

Anyway , My wife being vegan and having some quinoa left over in the house, I figured I'd give it a go. Just make a basic vegan bean chili, and toss some quinoa on.

So, the question is ( since I dont often cook with quinoa, as I prefer other grains), should I make the quinoa as directed on the package it came in, then add the already cooked quinoa into the chili afterwards. Or, should I just add the quinoa ( uncooked) directly into the chili and let it cook in the chili sauce?

Im figuring I have more control of the final product if I cook it first, then toss it in at the end. Not sure how much liquid it will absorb, therefore possible ending up with a clump of quinoa binding the chili. Then Id have to scramble adjusting the liquids, spices ... to get back to the right consistency and flavor.

Anyway, suggestions welcome from all you quinoa experts out there.

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Old 03-05-2019, 01:59 PM   #2
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I don't know how long quinoa takes to cook but if you're cooking the beans in the chili sauce, cook the quinoa at the same time. Add it part way through the bean cooking time if necessary. This ensures your solid to liquid ratio ends up right as you can adjust as you go.
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Old 03-05-2019, 02:25 PM   #3
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I serve my chili over brown rice. I would serve your chili over the already cooked quinoa. OR a quinoa brown rice pilaf.
I like the quinoa idea. I will have to give it a shot.
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Old 03-05-2019, 03:22 PM   #4
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I add cooked quinoa, as well as uncooked quinoa to dishes that don't call for it, sometimes to replace something, other times to add some nutrition to meatless dishes. Quinoa absorbs 2 cups water, or a little more, and takes about 20-25 min. to cook, though I often leave it in much longer, plus it reheats well.

Last week I made that "caponata soup" I came up with, and added 1/2 c quinoa, plus a cup of water, to add some protein to it. One time I made that lentil chili from The Olives Table, and replaced the bulgur with quinoa, and it was pretty much the same - the flavors are fairly neutral, so they can be substituted in strongly flavored dishes.

I just made some rice/quinoa, to serve some Indian food with last night - 2/3 c brown basmati, and 1/3 c black quinoa, soaked the rice for a couple hours, then rinsed both, added 1 3/4 c water, a little salt, and cooked in rice setting in the IP. Came out perfect, and reheated well. I've tried quinoa with white jasmine rice, but the flavor of the jasmine rice was muddled by the quinoa. However, I did find that hulled millet woked better, in combination with white jasmine rice, allowing the flavor to show through.
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Old 03-05-2019, 03:43 PM   #5
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I've made quinoa chili several times, and also added it to soups.

I cook the quinoa first according to the package directions, for the reason you mentioned, Larry. You don't want the uncooked quinoa sucking up all the juices and throwing the ratio off, and then have to adjust the liquids. It works far better to cook it first, then add it. I learned that the hard way.
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Old 03-05-2019, 07:00 PM   #6
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Adding the precooked quinoa worked out well.
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