If you've never used quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah), you're in for a treat; this whole-grain, gluten-free, protein-rich food is super versatile and tasty. But it's critical that you thoroughly wash it before cooking, because each little quinoa grain has a bitter coating that will ruin your dish if not removed first. Here's how to wash it:
1. Put your measured quinoa in a bowl and cover with cool water.
2. Use your hands to massage the quinoa thoroughly. You'll notice that the water will get cloudy.
3. Pour the quinoa into a very fine-meshed sieve to drain the water.
4. REPEAT this entire process -- twice! I recommend triple washing to be sure the bitter coating is completely gone; plus it's actually kind of a nice, zen-like process to really work the grains with your hands.