Quinoa

quinoa-image

I have recently watched a documentary that was posted on Facebook by a friend on the effects of the quantity of animal protein in our diet and the negative effects that it has on our bodies.

I am not going to go into a lot of detail on the video’s contents and my thoughts.    I will just briefly say that the video was most definitely an encouragement to me to be more diligent in my diet. It really got me thinking.

 
The video suggests a vegan diet to prevent and cure disease. I do feel that there is very legitimate claims behind this and without a doubt in my mind food definitely impacts the wellbeing of our lives. I do think that there is much to consider in the vegan’s diet. I believe that we, Americans, do not eat enough raw whole foods and it shows in our health and wellbeing.

I personally am not a vegan and am not planning to go that route.  While I found this video to have a very positive effect on the way I viewed food and my personal health and situation I did not agree with the entirety of the content.

Okay, moving on…

to QUINOA!
I wanted to share a little info on Quinoa and share a recipe with you.  Just because I love quinoa!
What is quinoa(KEEN-wah)? It is a plant native to South America grown primarily for the seeds. (what we call grain)

Is it hard to make?  No!  Just add to boiling water.
What are the benefits of quinoa?

  • high in protein
  • has all 9 essential amino acids
  • is low in fat and calories
  • is a great source for iron and fiber
  • it’s high in manganese which keeps bones strong and healthy
  • it can help maintain normal blood sugar levels and can help lower high cholesterol
  • has a low glycemic index compared to other whole grains
  • great for the gluten-free diet
  • it is easy to digest

What does quinoa have to do with the video? Not much really, except that it is a great source of protein from a whole food.  Quinoa just came to my mind when I was thinking about my menu for the week.  And it seemed appropriate to put the 2 together in my post.  🙂

There are many ways you could eat it.  You could even eat it plain or with butter or oil and seasonings.  I like to chill mine and make a salad dish out of it.  Here is how I make my salad dish:

Ingredients:

  1. 1/2 c quinoa
  2. 1c water
  3. 2 avocados peeled and sliced
  4. 1/3 c finely chopped red onion
  5. 1/4 c. freshly chopped cilantro
  6. 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  7. 1/3 c cheese(grated parmesan, feta, or goat cheese)
  8. 2tbsp of oil -I prefer sunflower oil, or you could use olive oil
  9. Balsamic Vinegar to taste

Directions:

  1. In saucepan combine 1/2 c quinoa and 1c water.  Bring to boiling; reduce heat.  Simmer, covered, about 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.
  2. Place the quinoa in a bowl and let chill in the refrigerator.
  3. Add *vegetables to the quinoa and stir.
  4. Stir in oil and vinegar to taste

*you can add any fresh veggies that you like some ideas that aren’t listed above are: garlic, red pepper, green olives, tomato.

My quinoa comes pre-rinsed.  If you buy quinoa be sure to find out if it needs to be rinsed before cooking.

 

Cooking steel cut oats

oats images

A few months ago I started researching anti-inflammatory diets and which foods serve as natural anti-inflammatory .   In the midst of this I saw the suggestion to eat steel cut oats rather than rolled oats(oatmeal).  I was intrigued, I had never heard of steel cut oats.  Apparently they are slightly higher in fiber and lower glycemic load. and less processed than the rolled oats.

Oatss

The next trip to the grocery store I checked to see if they had steel cut ….they did!  The container was half the size of the regular oatmeal so I purchased 2.  I was excited to make them the next morning for my husband for breakfast before he would head off to work.  I got up that morning and found that I would not have time to cook them because to my surprise they take much longer to cook than the typical oatmeal.

They ended up sitting in my pantry untouched for a couple months.

The other night I was reading some recipe suggestions on-line and found the suggestion to cook my oats overnight in the crock pot.  I was excited to give this a try.  This morning our family’s breakfast was done when my husband got up for work and I didn’t have to get up to make it.  We ended up enjoying a healthier breakfast with less hassle.  Love it!

How I did it:

I greased my crock pot with coconut oil, filled it with 7c of water and 2c of oats, turned it on warm, and let it cook overnight.  If I change anything next time I will put slightly less water.  We like ours a little thicker than what it was.  FYI: We feed a family of 6 and there is some left over for tomorrow.

By the way:

I read the suggestion to use my crock pot on brownthumbmama I really enjoy some of the practical suggestions on her blog.

If you are interested in learning more about inflamation or the benefits of oats you could check out Dr Weil’s website.