The basic method for making "fluffy" quinoa is to first boil the grains for about 15 minutes in lots of salted water. Drain - make sure your strainer has small holes or line it with cheese cloth, otherwise you will lose a lot of your quinoa down the drain. Then steam the quinoa for another 15 minutes or so until it is light and fluffy. I usually strain mine into a cheesecloth-lined steamer basket and then get on with the steaming.
Since this cooking method is a bit of a hassle (boil then steam) , I am happy to say that you can make a big batch and freeze it for later use. Just toss it with a little olive or neutral oil before freezing, and then thaw in the microwave. Oh, keep in mind that one cup of uncooked quinoa will puff up to about 4 cups once it is cooked.
When you cook the quinoa this way it comes out almost like couscous or bulgur - light and fluffy, with an appealing nutty, yet not overpowering flavor. It is absolutely perfect as a substitute for couscous/bulgur/rice in any kind of pilaf, tabbouleh or other grain salad.
In the summer, my preferred variation is with diced tomato, cucumber and whatever other veggies I have on hand, tossed with a few "glugs" of olive oil, salt and pepper, and served room temperature. The above quinoa salad is the one that I made for our 4th of July family bbq. I really should have my sister-in-law do all of my photography, don't you think? Here are some of her other photos of that fabulous feast.
Center l to r: whole grilled snapper, jerk style ribs, sausages with lentils Background: grilled asparagus, veggie lo mein