Guest blog by Leda Scheintaub

Learn from The Quinoa Chronicles, Stephen Gorad’s engaging, heartfelt account of how this ancient food gained status as supergrain in the United States. I met Stephen a decade or so when I briefly hosted an informal food and meditation group affectionately known as Sit and Stew. Rebecca Wood (who wrote a quinoa cookbook back in 1989) introduced me to Stephen as a meditator and one of the people who brought quinoa to the United States from Bolivia. The Quinoa Chronicles gave me a fuller understanding of the presence Stephen brought to our group. After a spiritual training in the seventies, he recounted, “Days just naturally flowed into one another without any planning. Each and every day took care of itself, and my life has been like that ever since.” Quinoa became Stephen’s journey, with twists and turns, intrigue, and insight. Stephen’s dedication to sharing quinoa with the world comes through clearly and sweetly: “If you are conscious in your body, if you are sensitive enough, you can tell when something is truly nourishing you, and your body knows that quinoa is doing just that. . . . If you eat it, quinoa will do its magic in your body.” Here is Stephen’s detailed recipe for making quinoa.

Basic Quinoa Recipe

Reprinted from The Quinoa Chronicles by Stephen L. Gorad; courtesy of the author

1 cup quinoa
2 cups water (or as little as 1 cup water)

Makes about 3 cups

The amount of water you use depends on the particular variety of quinoa you have, and the end result you are looking for. In general, for quinoa with firm separate grains, use less water.

Some quinoa needs rinsing, but many brands do not. You will learn which is which with experience. When I have a quinoa that does need rinsing, I prefer the swishing method. I put the quinoa and water together in a 1 ½-quart saucepan and measure with my finger how high the water should be. Then I add a lot more water and swish it around to wash the quinoa. Then I pour the water off, and repeat until the water runs clear. Last, I again use my finger to get just the right amount of water in with the quinoa. Alternatively, you can rinse the quinoa in a fine strainer.

Bring the quinoa to a boil. Reduce the heat to a low simmer, cover, and cook until all the water is absorbed. This should take about 15 minutes. Midway through the cooking, stir the quinoa with a spoon. The quinoa is fully cooked when it has turned from white to translucent and the germ has separated somewhat. If you are using less than the 2 to 1 water to quinoa ratio, let the quinoa rest covered in the pot for an additional 5 minutes, then fluff up with a spoon.