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Quinoa is SUPER

24 Apr

Not only is quinoa delicious, it is high in protein, fiber and iron, and it’s gluten free.  Quinoa has every one of the nine essential amino acids. These nine essential amino acids are the ones that your body cannot synthesize in quantities sufficient to sustain good health, so they need to come from food sources.  It is also reported to help migraine headaches, because it is a great source of magnesium, a mineral that helps relax blood vessels, preventing the constriction and rebound dilation characteristic of migraines.  Low dietary levels of magnesium can also lead to hypertension, ischemic heart disease, and heart arrhythmias.  Quinoa is good for the heart.

Many people think that quinoa is a type of grain, but it’s not. Quinoa is actually the seed of a plant related to spinach. This food staple is grown in the mountains of Ecuador and was once called “the gold of the Inca’s” because it increased stamina. At that time, the Incas didn’t know about quinoa’s nutritional facts or amino acids.

So now that you know how super quinoa is for you, try one of these unique recipes.

Pineapple Quinoa Boat

1 1/2 cup fresh pineapple, diced

4 cups cooked quinoa

1/2 red onion, diced

1 cup Shiitake mushrooms

1 cup kale, shredded

1/4 cup nutritional yeast

1/2 tsp dried jalapeno

1/2 cup finely diced pineapple

2 Tbsp mint, chopped

2 Tbsp Tahini

3 Tbsp pineapple juice

to taste: splash of tamari, fine black pepper, and pinch of salt

  • Cook your quinoa. I used 1 1/4 cups dry quinoa + 1 cup water + 1 cup veggie broth + pinch salt. Set cooked quinoa aside.
  • Put Quinoa, diced pineapple (not the finely chopped), red onion, shiitake mushrooms, 1 Tbsp mint, kale, nutritional yeast and jalapeno to the pan with a splash of safflower oil. Turn heat to high and cook for about 3 minutes – moving quinoa around so it cooks on all sides. A few crisped bits of quinoa is a good thing. Add a splash of tamari, black pepper and salt to taste. Transfer the fried quinoa to a bowl. Set aside.
  • Quickly sauté the 1/2 cup finely diced pineapple to add as a garnish later. Just brown the edges a bit. The pineapple will pick up the flavor left in the pan. Set aside.
  • Mix the tahini, pineapple juice, and chopped mint for the sauce, and set aside.
  • To plate you spoon in the quinoa mix into a pre-hollowed pineapple. Then add the pineapple garnish over top. Sprinkle 1 Tbsp fresh chopped mint on top. You can serve with the dressing on the side or you can add right over top this dish.

Italian Quinoa Cakes

2 cups cooked quinoa

1 flax egg (1 tbsp of ground flaxseed with 3 tbsp of hot water)

1/2 cup almond flour

2 green onions sliced thinly

2 Tbsp sun-dried tomatoes, chopped

8 fresh basil leaves, chopped

1/2 cup Daiya mozzarella Cheese-Style Shreds (or “real” mozzarella if that floats your boat)

1/2 tsp sea salt, 1/2 tsp black pepper and 1/2 tsp cayenne

1 tsp olive oil, for cooking

  • Place all ingredients in a large bowl and stir well to combine.
  • Form compact cakes with about 1/2 cup of the mix per cake.
  • Heat a frying pan over medium heat with 1 tsp olive oil.
  • Place quinoa cakes in the pan and cook about 4-5 minutes per side, until golden brown.
  • Serve over a bed of salad.

 

Quinoa Brazil Nut Paella

 

1 cup whole grain quinoa

1 1/2 cups vegetable broth

1/2 orange, juiced (about 1/4 cup juice)

1/2 orange de-seeded and diced

2 tsp orange and lemon rind zest

1 lemon, juiced

1 bag frozen mixed organic veggies (peas, corn, carrots)

1 large onion, chopped

2 white button mushrooms, chopped

7 cloves garlic, chopped thickly

1/2 Serrano pepper, roasted, de-seeded and chopped

1/2 cup Brazil nuts, chopped

2 Tbsp olive oil

2 Tbsp vegan buttery spread

2 bay leaves

1/4 teaspoon saffron strands

1 tsp cayenne

generous black pepper

sea salt to taste

Prep:

  • Rinse and dry quinoa with cold water. Set aside.
  • Juice, chop and zest the orange.
  • Juice and zest the lemon.
  • Chop onion, garlic, mushrooms and Brazil nuts.
  • De-seed and slice Serrano pepper. Roast strips of pepper.
  • Microwave frozen veggies for two minutes (or thaw on counter prior to use)

In soup pan:

  • Add oil, vegan spread, a pinch of salt and pepper.
  • Turn heat to high-until oil sizzles.
  • Add onion, garlic, pepper, Brazil nuts and bay leaves.
  • Saute for a few minutes, on medium heat.
  • Add chopped orange and orange zest.
  • Saute uncovered for an additional few minutes.
  • Fold in 3/4 package of frozen veggies (thawed or warmed).
  • Add lemon juice.
  • Saute on medium-high for five minutes, stirring constantly.
  • When all ingredients are cooked through and slightly browned, remove 1/2 of veggies from pot. Set aside, covered.

Quinoa:

  • Turn heat to high and add veggie broth, cayenne, saffron and orange juice.
    Bring to boil.
  • (Yes, half the portion of veggies will still be in the pot.)
  • Add dry quinoa and stir.
  • Reduce heat, cover pot, and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  • Stir occasionally.
  • When quinoa has absorbed all the liquid, remove cover and fold in remaining veggies to pot.
  • Re-cover and allow to cook on low heat for five minutes. (This should add a nice browning effect to the bottom layer of quinoa.
  • Fluff finished quinoa with fork.
  • Remove bay leaves before serving.
  • Serve hot. Garnish with grated/chopped raw Brazil nuts.

 

Thanks to http://kblog.lunchboxbunch.com/2009/03/recipe-vegan-quinoa-brazil-nut-paella.html for the paella recipe. 

 

Starbucks Crushed Beetles – Just the Tip of the Iceberg

4 Apr

I heard today that the CEO of Starbucks has announced they will most likely stop using crushed beetles as a dye for their Strawberry beverages – due to the huge uproar they received.  My immediate (inner monologue) reaction was, “Who cares about little crushed beetles when people are eating beaver anal gland secretions in their ice cream, beef fat in their twinkies, and ammonia in their cheeseburgers?”  Now, I’m not saying beetles deserve to be raised just to be crushed for dye. That’s not cool at all. What I am saying is it’s a lesser evil when considering all the other repulsive additives in our food.  Here are a few of my favorites:

  1. Castoreum, otherwise known as anal secretions mixed with urine from a BEAVER, is a common FDA approved food additive found commonly in vanilla & raspberry flavored candies, drinks, and desserts such as puddings…as well as perfume.

  1. Lanolin, otherwise known as ‘sheep secretions,’ is used in order to soften chewing gum mix.

  1. Ammonia in meat and cheese.  Yes, the same ammonia used to clean ovens and floors.  A hot topic recently with the uproar over what the meat industry calls “finely textured beef” and what a formerU.S. government scientist first called “pink slime”.

  1. Gelatin, which is used to make jello, marshmallows, cream cheese, etc. – is derived from pig & cow skin and bones.

  1. Beef Fat in your hostess treats! That creamy center in your twinkie is made of animal shortening that contains beef

  1. Rennet, which is the fourth stomach of a young cow, is an ingredient in many cheeses.  The production of rennet is disturbing to me: Natural calf rennet is extracted from the inner mucosa of the fourth stomach chamber (the abomasum) of slaughtered young, unweaned calves. These stomachs are a by-product of veal production.  Dried and cleaned stomachs of young calves are sliced into small pieces and then put into saltwater or whey, together with some vinegar or wine to lower the pH of the solution.  GROSS! In theUK, all cheeses are labeled as either suitable or not suitable for vegetarians. In theUnited States and most other countries, people are left to guess about the stomach-content of their cheese.

  1. L-Cysteine is an amino acid used to soften the dough of mass-produced bread. Where does it come from? Human hair. Sometimes duck feathers. About 80% of the L-cysteine on the market comes from human hair (although McDonald’s uses the duck-based variety for its baked goods). Is this technically cannibalism, or just gross?

 

Real Milk Comes From What?

22 Feb

Which Milk is "Real" ??

The California Milk Processor Board has launched a new ad campaign asking consumers to guess which milk is real on their Got Milk homepage.   I don’t know of anything more real than plants.  The ad makes fun of plant based milks with snide comments like, “This came from a cow? Please.”  I’m not sure anyone believes soy milk comes from a cow, so this is an insult to the intelligence of Americans.

Now I can go on and on about how unnatural it is that humans drink the breast milk from other species.  I could go into detail about how unhealthy cow milk is for our human bodies; i.e. sucking the calcium right out of our bones, creating allergies, causing respiratory problems, and increasing the incidence of cancer, especially prostate cancer and breast cancer.  I could remind everyone the purpose of cow breast milk is for baby cows to become full grown cows as quickly as possible, to gain hundreds of pounds within 6 months; it’s quite fattening – DUH!  But I don’t need to obviously, because this ad shows that the dairy industry is scared; scared of losing their profit because people are realizing the truth and striving to be healthier.  Their mud slinging is a sign of something to be celebrated my friends.  Americans are learning and accepting that factory farming is just simply: bad.

Below is an edited version of that ad, provided by My Vegan Journal.  When you play the real milk game, the Milk Processor Board fails to inform the consumer of the icky things in their cow’s milk.  My Vegan Journal was kind enough to help them be honest.  Shame on them for trying to hide the truth!

6 Reasons to Not Drink MilkThis video by Dr. Mark Hyman is quick and loaded with facts regarding the dangers of dairy.  Check it out if you have any doubts or you need a refresher of the facts.  

Cure Yourself

17 Jan

An amazing movie (documentary) claims the degenerative diseases that afflict us can be controlled, or even reversed, by rejecting animal-based and processed foods.  Quit the meat, quit the dairy, and you can cure yourself?  Watch Forks Over Knives.

I am a believer, and I have been since 1997 when I went Vegan.  My sources back then were not as well prepared and entertaining as Forks Over Knives.   This movie is so easy to watch; it flies by.

Myths, old-wives tales, and greed driven propaganda are dispelled so absolutely it will blow your mind.  Degenerative diseases like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and even several forms of cancer, could almost always be prevented, and in many cases reversed, by adopting a whole foods, plant-based diet.   But do you want to believe it?  I bet you don’t, because it’s just too hard….to give up your meat.

(Forks Over Knives is currently showing on HBO, as well as free-streaming on Netflix.)

Wishing you happy enlightenment my friends.  Be good to yourselves.

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