Quinoa does not have to be cooked for the exact time it says on the packet. Most of the quinoa I buy says 12 – 15 minutes but you can vary the cooking time to suit the dish you are preparing and your personal preference.
Quinoa is not bad for you if you do not cook it for a set amount of time. For certain foods such as kidney beans the instructions insist that you cook for a minimum set time to get rid of impurities but with quinoa you are quite safe. You can even eat raw quinoa
For the basic cooking method you measure 1 cup of quinoa to 2 cups of water and bring it to the boil. Then you simmer it for 12 – 15 minutes. The quinoa will absorb all the water. The quinoa is then ready to serve or include in your recipe.
But you can reduce the cooking time to about 8 minutes if you prefer the quinoa to have more body and be crunchy. You can also cook it for 20 minutes for a creamy soft texture. I much prefer the shorter cooking time for salads and stir fries as I like the crunchy feel.
There are differents ways to cook quinoa and you can experiment with these cooking time to acheive the end result you are looking for. Quinoa is much more flexible than most people realise.