Rice-Cooker Quinoa rescues me on busy or lazy days, when I want a tasty meal but don't want to cook. The salad vibe comes from green beans, tomatoes, and vinaigrette. High-protein quinoa and crunchy cashews make it satisfying even after an active day of swimming or hiking. Serve it warm as a main dish, chilled as a salad, or in-between at a picnic or as a packed lunch.
The main recipe shows the easiest and most portable way to make it: in a rice cooker with a steamer basket. I love the freedom traveling with a rice cooker gives me. See the notes for how to cook it on the stove.
Recipe for One-Pot Meal Quinoa with Green Beans
Active time: 12 minutes. Total time: 25 minutes. Makes 4 main-dish servings or 8 sides. Vegan, gluten-free, no added fat, no added sugar.
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
1 1/3 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
12 ounces green beans, stems removed and cut into bite-sized pieces (3 cups or 340 grams)
1 medium ripe tomato, cored and cut into bite-sized pieces
3 tablespoons vinaigrette
1/2 cup roasted, salted cashews
- Put quinoa, water, and salt in a rice cooker and cover. Cook as you would white rice. For my very simple rice cooker, this means plugging it in and flipping the switch to cook.
- When quinoa starts to boil, put green beans in a steamer insert, put the steamer over the quinoa, and cover. Let green beans steam over the quinoa until done the way you like them, usually 5 to 10 minutes depending on the size and age of the green beans and how much steam your rice cooker produces. I'm from Michigan, so I prefer crisp-tender green beans that are steamed about 6 minutes. My Taster was raised by an excellent Southern cook, so he thinks they should cook another 2 minutes until fully tender. When beans are done to your satisfaction, remove steamer insert and set aside.
- Let quinoa continue cooking, covered, for a total of 15 minutes, then let it rest undisturbed for another 5 minutes. Taste it to make sure it is fluffy and soft. Cook it a few minutes longer if it fees like a mouthful of sand.
- In the rice cooker if you have room or in a larger bowl, toss warm quinoa, green beans, and tomatoes. Drizzle with vinaigrette and toss again to mix.
- Serve warm, at room temperature, or chilled topped with cashews. After cooking, keeps without refrigeration for 4 hours and refrigerated for a day or two with the tomatoes or for a week with tomatoes added just before serving.
- On the stove: add quinoa, water, and salt to a medium pot, cover, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to simmer so quinoa barely boils. Cook for 15 minutes, putting green beans on top of the cooking quinoa about 8 minutes after it starts to boil. Continue with step 3 of the recipe above.
- I use the vinaigrette recipe from Wildly Affordable Organic or just whip up a quick one with 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and a dab of prepared mustard.
- Add variety by using different toppings. Replace cashews with toasted pine nuts or bite-sized pieces of avocado.