Quinoa is very versatile in the kitchen. One of the simplest ways of using it is as a straight replacement for rice or cous cous. Now if you are interested in authentic Indian curries or Moroccan cuisine then you are not going to want to substitute anything for the correct ingredients.
But it is actually a very healthy alternative because it is full of vitamins and nutrients. It also has a nutty and crunchy texture that lends itself very well to these dishes.
Quinoa instead of rice.
This very simple substitution works very well for mild and medium spiced foods. If you like hot curries then quinoa is not quite as good as rice at decreasing the strength of the food. In this case it is best to over cook the quinoa to help combat the spiciness of the curry.
For other dishes such as tabouleh and risotto it is ideal instead of rice. I would say preferred to rice because you do not get the starchiness. No post rinsing is needed. You can serve it straight from the pan. You can use it instead of rice in desserts but it does not perform as well here as with the savory dishes.
Quinoa instead of cous cous
Cous cous is found very often in salads mixed with other vegetables. You can combine it with peppers and green leaf salads to make an endless combination of quickly prepared meals. Quinoa is an ideal replacement for cous cous but it does not keep as well once it has been prepared. You can keep it in a fridge for 2 days in an airtight container quite safely. After that it can lose its texture. It is better to prepare what you need on the day. Any left overs can be used as a packed lunch snack.
The best way of finding out about replacing rice and cous cous with quinoa is simply to try it. Be adventurous and you will find it very easy to use in your favorite recipes.