Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is a gluten-free grain that comes from the Andes Mountains of South America. The Inca civilization considered this one of their staple foods, besides corn and potatoes. It is considered an ancient super-grain delivering many nutritional benefits.
Quinoa is the one and only high protein grain, averaging 16.2% compared to rice which contains 7.5%, millet 9.9%, and wheat 14%. There are other varieties of quinoa that contain 20% or more of protein. The super-grain’s protein is of high quality, delivering a complete protein because it is rich in 9 essential amino acids, containing lysine, methinonin and cystine which are typically low in other grains. It also provides oils high in essential linoleic acid, fiber, minerals (calcium and iron), starch, sugars, and vitamins (E and B’s) and is low in sodium.
Quinoa is quick and easy to prepare, resembling tiny sprouted seeds. Once rinsed to remove a bitter tasting powdery residue , it cooks in 15 minutes. It tastes light and fluffy and is easy to digest. You can substitute it for other grains in any recipe or you can mix it with other grains to bring in the healthy benefits of this super-grain. You can enjoy eating quinoa for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Consider getting your protein intake with quinoa, a vegetarian meat (vegan) substitute that any vegetarian kid or adult would enjoy. Use it in any of your healthy vegetarian recipes to boost protein and other nutritional benefits. This grain can be eaten hot, warm or cold, as an oatmeal alternative, a base for a grain salad, or in place of a side of rice for dinner. The white variety is most common, but it also comes in red and black.
This relative of the beet, spinach and Swiss chard family is gluten-free and easy to digest. It is also a nutritious superfood high in magnesium, iron, copper, phosphorous, vitamin B2 and other essential minerals.
Quinoa can be found in most grocery and natural food stores.
1 box of Farfalle bow-tie pasta
splash of olive oil
dash of salt
1 TBL Earth Balance
8 TBL Silk Original (use 1-2 TBL more after adding cheese if you like sauce thinner)
1/4 cup Daiya yellow shredded cheese
1/4 cup Daiya mozzarella shredded cheese
Fill a large pot with water for the pasta and bring to a boil. Add in olive oil, salt, and pasta. Cook according to directions or a few minutes longer if you do not like al dente. Once pasta is done, drain and set aside until ready to use.
When pasta is almost done, make the cheese sauce. In a small pan, warm Earth Balance and Silk over low-medium heat. Add in Daiya cheese and stir until melted and combined.
Add cheese sauce to pasta and gently toss. Plate and garnish with parsley. Salt to taste.
1 Medjool Date
1 TBL Veg Cuisine Soy Bleu cheese, crumbled
Make a slit lengthwise in date. Carefully remove pit. Stuff date with crumbled bleu cheese. Top with walnut.
Makes 1 stuffed date
4 ears of corn on the cob, husks removed and cleaned (white corn is my favorite)
2 limes (1 lime will be reserved for garnish and cut into 4 pieces or wedges)
1/2 stick of Earth Balance soy butter
1 TBL cilantro, finely chopped
salt for the finished corn *optional
In a large pot, lay in corn on the cob pieces, fill with water, and bring water to a boil. Once water starts to boil, boil for 5 minutes.
While corn is on the stove, make the cilantro lime butter. Place Earth Balance in a zip-lock baggie. Cut 1 lime in half, squeeze the juice into the butter zip-lock baggie and cut off some of the lime pulp after squeezing and add to the baggie. Toss cilantro into baggie and zip shut, except for a tiny corner to let the air out. Gently massage the baggie to combine the butter, lime and cilantro. Once combined, unzip, turn the baggie inside out to lay the mixture on a sheet of saran wrap plastic wrap (note, there will be lime juice that did not mix in with the butter, keep this together with the butter in the plastic wrap). Fold up the plastic wrap to enclose the butter and loose lime juice and roll into a small log. Stick in freezer until ready to use (less than 15 minutes).
Once the corn in done, place each piece on its own plate, spread with the cilantro lime butter and sprinkle with salt. Cut a slice of the butter and lay on top for garnish. Add a lime wedge to the plate for garnish and serve.
Tip: To get my corn water to come to a boil faster, I use some water from my hot water dispenser. If you have one, use half of the water from here so it comes to a boil quicker. You can place a lid on the pot until it starts to boil, but always leave ajar, slightly tilted off so the water does not boil over. Remove cover once boiling.
2 cups fresh strawberries
3 TBL lemon juice
1 12 or 14 oz package soft silken tofu (I use House Foods brand)
2 cups Silk Vanilla (Very Vanilla is my favorite)
3 TBL Agave Nectar (I like light over amber) (use maple syrup if preferred)
1/2 cup crushed ice
Put all ingredients in blender. Blend and puree for 1-2 minutes until smooth.
Garnish with fresh mint or a strawberry.
Optional: add in 1 TBL ground flax seed.
Makes 4 servings
12 large Tuscan kale leaves, rinsed, dried, cut in half lengthwise removing center ribs and stems (also known as dinosaur, lacinato, palm tree, or black kale)
1 TBL olive oil
1 tsp lemon juice (optional)
sea salt and pepper to taste
Soya Kaas parmesan soy cheese (optional – tastes good without soy cheese)
Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. In a large bowl toss the kale leaves with the olive oil. Season lightly with salt and pepper and sprinkle with soy parmesan cheese. Arrange leaves in single layer on 2 large baking sheets. Bake until crisp, about 30 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to cool and soak up any excess oil.
Nutritional benefits: Tuscan kale is highly nutritious. One cup provides more than 100 percent of the daily value (DV) of vitamins A and K, and 88 percent of the DV for vitamin C. Kale is a rich source of organosulfur compounds that have been linked to cancer prevention. High in fiber, kale also contains more easily absorbed calcium than milk.
This recipe is a great starter or side dish to lasagna.
2 cans (14 oz each) artichoke hearts in water, rinsed, drained and coarsely chopped
½ cup Veganaise
¼ cup parmesan cheese (Soya Kaas), plus more for topping
1 TBL fresh lemon juice
1 clove garlic (press through garlic press)
Preheat over to 450 degrees. In food processor or kitchenaide stand mixer, place half the chopped artichokes, veganaise, ¼ cup parmy, lemon juice and garlic. Process until smooth.
Add scallions and remaining artichokes. Pulse or blend for 30 seconds to combine. Transfer to 1 quart baking dish or use individual ramekins. Top with a light sprinkling of parmy.
Place baking dish on cookie sheet to prevent spills. Bake 35 minutes until golden and bubbling. Serve with Stacy’s Pita chips or crudités
(bell pepper is my favorite). Any leftovers heat up well in the
microwave the next day (try 30 sec intervals).
1 loaf sliced French bread (13-16 oz, about 20 slices)
8 eggs (use Bob’s Red Mill Egg Replacer 8 TBL with 24 TBL water whisked together)
2 cups Silk Soy Creamer Original
1 cup Silk Soy
2 TBL sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
Dash of salt
Praline topping (see recipe below)
In a large bowl, whisk together 8 eggs (use replacer and water). Once mixed, add Silk Soy Creamer, Silk Soy, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and beat with a hand blender or whisk until blended but not too bubbly. Dip each slice of bread into the liquid mixture and layer in a 9×13 greased baking dish. You will have 2 rows of layered bread with overlapping slices. Pour remaining liquid mixture over layered overlapping slices of bread in baking dish. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.
The next day, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make below praline topping to spread evenly over the wet bread.
Praline Topping for casserole
½ lb Earth Balance (softened)
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup chopped pecans
2 TBL light corn syrup
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground nutmeg
Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and blend well. Spread evenly over the wet bread.
Bake 50 minutes, or until puffed and lightly golden.
This is a favorite for a holiday morning or when you have house guests! Assemble at night and bake the next morning.