Make quinoa sing with the flavors of Alfredo … with less fat and more protein than the famously creamy fettuccine dish.
I’ve recently posted recipes showing how to cook quinoa both on the stove and in the microwave oven. You bet I’ve bought the quinoa program. I love the stuff for it’s nutty flavor, pop and chew texture and fantastic nutritional value. Like I’ve mentioned before, quinoa, which grows primarily in the South American Andes Mountains, is packed with protein, minerals, and fiber and also contains beneficial fats.
Since posting cooking directions, I’ve heard from people who’ve said they’ve started to use quinoa and mostly serve it plain as a side dish. That’s fine, though I’m sure by now you know I’m a BIG flavor fan. Here’s a very quick and easy variation on fettuccine Alfredo that substitutes quinoa for pasta and evaporated milk for heavy cream, which far reduces calories and fat while increasing the protein content of this fantastically flavorful Italian favorite. Of course, if you don’t have quinoa already cooked as called for below, you can click the highlighted links right here for complete step-by-step picture book directions showing how to cook quinoa either on the stove or in the microwave oven.
Preparation Time: 1-2 minutes
Cooking Time: 1-2 minutes
Grated or Shredded Parmesan Cheese
Ground Black Pepper
Microwave Safe Bowl
1. Use a can opener to open a can of evaporated milk. Put as much cooked quinoa in a microwave safe bowl as desired, and add enough evaporated milk to cover the quinoa generously as shown…
2. Add a shake of garlic powder and at least 2 tablespoons of grated or shredded Parmesan cheese, and stir with a fork or spoon until all the ingredients are well mixed together.
3. Put the bowl in the middle of the microwave oven and cook on HIGH heat or 100% power for at least 1 minute. NOTE: Cooking time will vary depending on microwave oven watt power. I used a 1200-watt microwave oven and cooked the quinoa Alfredo as shown for about 1 1/2 minutes. If your microwave oven uses less watt power, cooking time will be longer. If your microwave oven uses more watt power, cooking time will be shorter.
4. When the timer sounds, carefully remove the bowl from the microwave oven (I take hold of the bowl from the top where the bowl is coolest). The quinoa Alfredo is cooked properly when the Parmesan cheese has melted and looks about as shown in the picture on the right below. If, however, the Parmesan cheese has not melted or the quinoa Alfredo hasn’t been warmed enough to taste,…
…give the quinoa a quick stir and keep cooking at 30-second intervals until the quinoa Alfredo is done.
5. Serve warm either as is or topped with more grated or shredded Parmesan cheese and/or a good crunch of ground black pepper.
Images courtesy of the author