Each month, we encourage you to Cook Once, Eat 3x: Start with a special Sunday recipe that yields a bit extra, then two quick and easy recipes to transform those leftovers during the week. This is get ahead cooking at its most inventive: instead of repeats night after night, our strategic recipe trio gives you three completely different dinners and zero food waste. Cook a little extra now, and save time and money later!
This month, start with a big batch of quinoa. The ultra trendy whole grain shows no signs of slowing down, and it’s versatility makes it perfect for get-ahead cooking. Because quinoa is less starchy (it’s actually a seed), it becomes wonderfully creamy when slightly overcooked. They also become crispy when sautéed and fluffy when steamed—perfect for salad toppers or as the bed for a saucy main.
Instead of water, simmer the quinoa in a mixture of stock and a bold chile and soy sauce. Two cups simmer again in coconut milk for a fragrant savory porridge topped with tender poached chicken. More quinoa is tossed with a springy pea, asparagus, and spinach salad. The rest of the batch becomes the base for a saucy, spicy take on a King Ranch casserole. This is quinoa like you’ve never tasted, and most of the work is done before the week begins.
Want less? If you want just enough quinoa for tonight, cook 1 cup uncooked quinoa in 1 1/4 cups liquid for a yield of 2 cups (1/2 cup per person).
More Ways with Quinoa: