Quinoa Makes A Great Whole Grain Breakfast–Here’s How

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I ‘ve written about quinoa before, and included it in several recipes, but I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned what a great breakfast cereal it can be. As far as I’m concerned, it’s just about everything you’d want in a morning meal–it’s light, quick to cook, digestible, high in fiber and high in protein (18%), with a good balance of essential amino acids. And for those of you with gluten sensitivities, it is gluten free. Unconvinced?  Trying adding a tablespoon of raisins for sweetness, a tablespoon of toasted sunflower seeds for crunch, and a little milk of your choice for moistness. All in all, a good way to start the day.

To cook quinoa: bring 2 1/4 cups water to a boil in a small sauce pan, add a pinch of salt. Measure one cup of quinoa into a fine mesh strainer and rinse well under running water. When the water boils, add the quinoa and cover. As soon as it boils again, turn down heat to low. Cook 20 minutes. Fluff up. Serves four. Quinoa will keep well in the fridge for two to three days. When reheating, add about a quarter cup water for each cup of cooked quinoa and warm over medium heat four to five minutes. Read more about quinoa, and see my recipe for quinoa-potato sauté here.
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Menu of the Week: Comfort Food

From top: Quinoa, Rice and Lentil Loaf w/ Caramelized Onion Gravy, Mixed Greens and Sprout Salad, Mashed Sweet Potatoes and Carrots

To the extent that there is a theme to this menu, it would be comfort food. There is a meaty loaf  with gravy, mashed potatoes and a salad. Are we comfortable yet?  The meal began with onion miso soup with watercress and dulse, included rye bread and smoked tofu cheese and ended with a trail mix cookie.  More complete descriptions of this meal after the jump… Continue reading

Menu of the Week: Quinoa-Potato-Tempeh Cutlets

Quinoa-Potato-Tempeh Cutlets, with (from left) Braised Root Vegetables, Cabbage and Caraway Sauté, Crisp Cucumber Salad

My original inspiration for this menu was Eastern European, and I’d intended to use kasha (toasted buckwheat groats) as the grain in the cutlet.  But as sometimes happens, I changed my mind and substituted quinoa for the kasha.  Although I’d never tried the quinoa-potato combo before, I reasoned they’d go together well because both originated in the Andean cultures of South America. The side vegetables were meant to provide contrast in flavors and cooking styles: long, slow cooking for the braised vegetables, quick cooking for the cabbage sauté, raw in the case of the cucumber salad. We served lentil soup as a first course and date-walnut muffins for dessert.  More detailed descriptions of these dishes after the jump… Continue reading