This popped quinoa recipe is savory and delicious! It’s also loaded with protein, dietary fiber, healthy fats, and vitamins.
For some odd reason, our parents have gotten the impression that we like good food. We have no idea why.
Thus, whenever a birthday or a holiday rolls around, the majority of the presents we get are edible. For instance, at Christmas, we were gifted a 5 pound bag of organic Royal White quinoa from Food to Live By. We liked it so much, we’ve since bought several more bags.
We grow lots of unusual foods in our garden and on Oak Hill Cafe’s Farm. Plus, we’re always in search of new and unusual foods from around the world. So we’re pretty familiar with quinoa, especially given that it’s been making lots of headlines in recent years as a superfood with the potential to yield as much per acre as common grains (wheat, corn, etc) but offer superior nutritional benefits (more protein, vitamins, and minerals).
Unfortunately, our climate does not allow us to grow quinoa very well here (it’s native to high altitude regions in the Andes Mountains of South America), but we have grown its close relative, amaranth.
Each quinoa grain is tiny, roughly the size of a freckle. Often, it’s prepared like rice: cooked in water to enlarge and soften the starch, then flavored or covered with a sauce.
Quinoa can also be popped, like popcorn. Unlike popcorn, each grain of popped quinoa is still quite small. Also, rather than being soft like popcorn, popped quinoa maintains a nice crunch.
Popped is our favorite way to eat quinoa. We like having popped quinoa around as a snack, sprinkled on salad, or using it as a small side at dinner.
Recipe: Black Truffle Popped Quinoa
The Tyrant has been experimenting with this recipe for months to get the perfect flavor combination. Not to worry: this recipe is super simple (4 ingredients) and only takes about 10 minutes to make.
The secrets to making it turn out great are: 1) timing (follow the instructions below), and 2) using really good ingredients.
The four ingredients we recommend using are:
- Organic Royal White quinoa from Food to Live By
- San Francisco Salt Co’s Italian Black Truffle Sea Salt
- Frontier Co-op’s nutritional yeast (We LOVE this stuff and use it on salads, kale chips, and anything we can! Since it tastes like cheese, vegetarians use it as a cheese substitute; it’s also considered a high protein superfood.)
- A good organic extra virgin olive oil.
- 1 cup quinoa
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- ⅛ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon black truffle sea salt (or to taste)
- Add 1c quinoa to a cold uncovered saucepan.
- Turn saucepan to 4.5 (medium heat).
- Stir regularly, keeping pan uncovered the whole time. I pick up the pan and give it a shake, swirling the grain in the pan every ~30 seconds or so to heat evenly, just as you would popcorn made in a pan.
- The quinoa will start to release steam - this is good, you want it to dry out so it's crunchy. it will start popping more after about 5-7 minutes. Once it's sufficiently dry, the quinoa will pop more rapidly and turn golden. Keep shaking & swirling!
- Add salt now b/c you want the mushroom pieces in the salt to release some of their oils.
- Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl.
- Add nutritional yeast and stir.
- Add extra virgin olive oil and stir. Eat it warm (immediately) or cool (later). It will store covered on the counter for at least 24 hours.
Last tip: this savory, black truffle popped quinoa recipe pairs wonderfully with something sweet and juicy, such as fresh summer produce (hence the tomatoes and ground cherries in the photo).
We hope you enjoy crunching away on this delicious popped quinoa recipe as much as we do. Enjoy!