Quinoa is incredibly popular for many reasons; it’s tasty, versatile and delivers a wide range of beneficial nutrients. The original recipe can be found here and is absolutely delicious! It also freezes very well, if you don’t gobble it up right away.
- 1/4 cup quinoa
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 white onion
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 package of lean ground turkey
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tbsp Tabasco sauce
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 egg
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 tsp water
- Preheat the oven to 350°.
- Bring the quinoa and water to a boil, cover and simmer on low heat for 15-20 minutes.
- Heat olive oil in a pan and add chopped onion. Sauté for 3-5 minutes, or until tender.
- Add the garlic to the onions and cook for another minute.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the ground turkey, cooled quinoa, onions, tomato paste, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, egg, salt and pepper.
- Place on greased baking sheet and form into a loaf shape.
- In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce and water together.
- Cover the loaf with this paste.
- Bake for 50-60 minutes and then let cook for 10 minutes before serving.
Quinoa is often referred to as a super grain because of its enormous nutritional value, but in truth it is not a grain at all. It is actually the edible seed from the fruit of a flowering plant (Mastebroek, et al., 2000). Consumption of quinoa has become increasingly popular in recent days, however, many are unaware that it has been a staple food for thousands of years. The Inca of the Andes cultivated quinoa and it was said to give their warriors power and stamina (Repo-Carrasco et al., 2003). This pseudocereal comes in multiple varieties which was an important trait to these ancient peoples because it allowed them to grow a highly nutritious plant in vastly different climates, altitudes and soil types (Jancurova, et al., 2009). One cup of cooked quinoa contains 8.14 g of protein, 5.2 g of dietary fibre contributable amounts of healthy fatty acids and zero cholesterol. These nutritional traits in combination with a high complex carbohydrate content cause quinoa to have a low glycemic index value (Jenkins, et al., 2008). The relatively high volume of fibre and protein has also been shown to aid with cholesterol reduction and improved blood sugar regulation (Repo-Carrasco et al., 2003). Furthermore, within that one cup of quinoa there are notable amounts of calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc and vitamins A, B and E (USDA, 2012). Notably, quinoa’s calcium concentration is double that of most other grains and its high protein concentration further improves the absorption of this vital bone mineral (Polsi, 2011). In addition to quinoa supporting your skeletal system, its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties have noted cardiovascular and digestive benefits (Pasko, et al., 2009). Overall, this seed contains a winning blend of nutrients and essential amino acids that most typical grains cannot compete with (Jancurova, et al., 2009). Interestingly, the upcoming year has been officially proclaimed “The international year of the quinoa” by The Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO, 2012). So get ready for 2013 by enjoying more quinoa in your diet.
With the temperatures starting to plummet, there is no better time to make a large pot of chili full of healthy and colourful vegetables! This recipe is based on Jamie Oliver’s Chili Con Carne (Jamie’s Food Revolution), with a few modifications of my own. It is super quick to prepare and makes for a hearty lunch for the rest of the week.
- 1 ½ tbsp olive oil
- 1 white onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 13 baby carrots
- 2 celery stalks
- 1 red pepper
- 1 yellow pepper
- 1 large sweet potato
- ½ tsp paprika
- 1 tsp cayenne powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- Salt & pepper
- 1 can chickpeas
- 1 can white kidney beans
- 1 can (28 fl oz) whole tomatoes (low sodium)
- 2 cilantro stalks
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- Garnishes: fresh guacamole, plain yogurt, cilantro and a wedge of lime
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot.
- Add to the pot all roughly chopped vegetables; onion, garlic, carrots, celery, red pepper, yellow pepper and sweet potato.
- Add the paprika, cayenne powder, cumin, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Stir so that all vegetables are evenly coated with the spices.
- Cook on medium heat for approximately 10 minutes, stirring a few times.
- Drain and wash the chickpeas and kidney beans. Add to the pot.
- Squash the tomatoes with a potato masher, or your clean hands and add entirety of the can to the pot. As well, fill the can ¾ of the way with water and add to the pot.
- Thoroughly clean the stalks of cilantro and chop into small pieces. Add the stems to the pot and reserve the leaves for garnish.
- Add the balsamic vinegar and stir thoroughly.
- Bring to a boil and then simmer on low with the lid slightly askew for 1 hour.
- Stir every so often.
- Salt & pepper to taste and serve by itself or on a bed of your favourite rice.
- Garnish with fresh guacamole, plain yogurt, cilantro leaves and a wedge of lime.
Chickpeas are referred to by many different names depending on where you reside; Garbanzo beans, Bengal grams and Egyptian peas to name a few. This legume is one of the earliest cultivated foods, originally farmed in the Mediterranean Basin (Saxena, 1990). Presently, it continues to be an important food in the Middle East and is favoured because of its buttery texture, nutty taste and year round availability. Chickpeas are a great food for weight loss or management because of their high fiber and protein content paired with their low fat concentration. This winning combination allows you to feel full longer while also aiding with blood sugar regulation (Balanza, et al., 2010). Chickpeas contain no cholesterol and have actually been shown to improve cholesterol levels by decreasing LDL cholesterol (Bazzano, 2008). A study by Pittaway et al., (2006) followed participants for five weeks who were randomized to either a fibrous diet supplemented with chickpeas or wheat. Comparatively the group ingesting the chickpea supplemented diet had a significant reduction in both serum cholesterol and LDL cholesterol. Furthermore, the association between increased legumes, specifically chickpeas, in the diet and a reduction in the risk of cardiovascular disease is very strong (Leterme, 2002) and warrants further research. This vegetable’s amazing nutritional content includes important minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc. As well, chickpeas are great sources of healthy fatty acids and vitamins A, B, C, E and K (USDA, 2012). Best of all, it is easy to incorporate chickpeas into your diet since they can be found in a wide variety of recipes such as soups, salads and curries. Additionally, if you have intolerance to gluten there is high protein chickpea flour, referred to as garam, which can be used as a wheat flour substitute in many recipes. So just remember that no matter what you call this universally tasty and versatile legume it comes packed with a multitude of health benefits.
Tzatziki is a traditional Greek and Turkish cold sauce served with bread or meats. This delicious and refreshing recipe pairs brilliantly with lamb, beef, chicken or pork. It’s very easy to prepare and last for a few days in the refrigerator. Once you get a handle on the basic recipe, it’s easy to alter to best suite your own palate.
- 3 cups 1% plain yogurt
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 1/2 cups English cucumber
- salt & pepper
- In a mixing bowl whisk olive oil and lemon juice into yogurt.
- Add finely chopped garlic.
- Grate the cucumber and squeeze over the sink to remove as much juice as possible.
- Add grated cucumber to the yogurt mix. Salt & pepper to taste.
Cucumbers are another one of those fruits that you probably thought was a vegetable. It is considered a fruit because it is the ripened ovary of the seed-bearing vine plant from which it grows. Cucumbers are native to India and are one of the most farmed fruits in the world since they thrive in both temperate and tropical environments (Huang et al., 2009). Three varieties exist which are slicing, pickling and burpless, and each type ranges in size, colour, shape and texture (Ariana and Lu, 2010). Although there is a lack of research on the direct nutritional benefit of cucumbers, its genome has recently been sequenced by Huang et al. in 2009.This member of the gourd family contains vitamins A, C, E and K, as well as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, folate and several phytonutrients (USDA, 2012). The high concentration of vitamin K is known to promote bone formation and improve bone density (Bugel, 2008). Furthermore, extensive research has shown that calcium and magnesium rich diets are vital for good bone health (Ishimi, 2010). The cucumber also aids in weight maintenance since it is a very low calorie food (only 15 kcal/100g), full of important dietary fiber and considerable amounts of water (USDA, 2012). So this summer be cool as a cucumber with this cold sauce which contains a winning combination of vitamins and minerals.