I'm not a big tofu fan. And as both a foodie and a Weight Watcher I demand that my food tastes exceptional. At the same time, it need be unprocessed and healthful. A tall bar to cross.
I have started collecting and tweaking healthful recipes, then found myself going on mini-manias for solo ingredients. Then I feed them to my long-suffering friends...Right now I'm experimenting with the amazingly healthful and tasty butternut squash! The internet and Pinterest are great sources of recipes-- why purchase a cookbook when recipes are available free? And I've taken out a lot of the work, as I've chosen the best, and eliminated the compost donations for you!
Truly, these recipes are my favs for these ingredients-- so fire up your stove and enjoy!
Click on the photo to download the PDF book, my gift to you.
My obsession with quinoa came about after reading T. Colin Campbell’s provocative and scary book “The China Study”, and deciding that I was eating far too much animal protein, including my beloved milk-based breakfast smoothies. I was trying, and with the assistance of Weight Watchers and my WW buddies, succeeding-- in becoming healthier. But perhaps I was putting myself at unanticipated health risk by pursuing the uber-high protein path! (BTW, if you’re going high protein, Campbell’s book is worth a read).
I had heard that the seed quinoa was a complete vegetable protein. I made a couple quinoa recipes, and due to inadequate rinsing, couldn’t see what was so hot about this bitter grainy material. After a quinoa-savvy buddy recommended I put some muscle into rinsing the bitter soapy saponins off, I was still left with a bland neutral substance. Ugh.
However, I’m also a search engine junkie as well as a food hacker. Could I find various flavor profiles that worked with quinoa? Yes indeedy, I could! Thus you have here Asian, Mexican, Italian, Curry, even Buffalo chicken flavors, all hacked to taste even better. These quinoa recipes work great for supper, for lunch boxes, for pot lucks; I’ve even included a cookie recipe that received both confusion and acclaim at last year’s Christmas cookie exchange!
“Is it worth the points?”
These quinoa recipes are. Use them as your own jumping off point for quinoa--- and hack away at them to suit your tastes. Someday I may choose to tackle tofu, but for now I’m happy in the land of quinoa!
Quinoa tips for the newbie: (Don’t be skeerred!)
- Say it like you know it; it’s pronounced “KEEN-wah”. Only those not in the club say “keen-OH-wah” or “KWIN-oh-ah”.
- It comes in several colors. White is pretty neutral, and works well in things where you expect white, like Asian or Italian dishes replacing rice or pasta. The red variety has a nutty flavor. I have a precious bag of black quinoa, which I haven’t tried yet.
- If you decide to play with quinoa, buy a large bag from BJs, Costco, etc. The tiny yet expensive boxes at your supermarket will just frustrate you. You can even buy your quinoa online!
- Rinse it generously, even the ones that say on the bag or box that they have been rinsed. If the instructions call for dry quinoa, test a pinch on your tongue to see if you detect bitterness first. (BTW, did you know that all areas of your tongue can detect bitterness?). Invest in a fine wire mesh strainer, as the large- holed one you’ve used for your pasta won’t do.
- When cooking rinsed quinoa, be aware that it takes in moisture as it rinses. Usually the proportions are 1:2, that is 1 cup dry quinoa to 2 cups liquid. If you’ve rinsed, reduce the fluid by as much as a quarter. I’ve put the proper volumes for fluid in these recipes.At the end of this cookbook, I’ve inserted several ‘abstracts’, or summaries, of medical articles about quinoa. Obesity, cholesterol, inflammation, glucose control...quinoa is an interesting seed whose health benefits we are just beginning to grasp.
If you are of a certain era, your experiences of vegetables were of frozen veggies boiled or steamed until limp, or drenched in a butter or cheese sauce. You may never have used the words tasty and vegetables in the same sentence.
Three events occurred to put me on a quest to find at least one amazing vegetable recipe for each easily purchased vegetable in the American supermarket:
- I joined Weight Watchers, and if I failed to plan I occasionally needed to enjoy a ‘point-limited’ dinner, that is, mainly vegetables.
- I read the book “The Smarter Science of Slim”, at amazing work by Jonathan Bailor. Evidence suggests that we should be eating as much as >10 servings a day of non-starchy vegetables for optimum health. As a serving standard is a half cup, we’re talking over five cups daily. I simply needed delicious vegetable recipes that I could look forward to consuming in quantity.
- I joined my local CSA, which stands for “Community Sponsored Agriculture”. For a set price at the beginning of each growing season, I would drop by my local farmers market weekly with two canvas bags, and pick up an odd smorgasbord of local seasonal produce. I then would need to figure out what to do with them. Sized for a family of four, as a solo I needed to strategize my produce consumption.
Thus, what I’ve provided here are my favorite recipes for several common vegetables, those you can drop by Sam’s Club, BJs, or Costco and purchase in bulk. I hope that by exploring these recipes, you may become fond of veggies too.
In this cookbook, I’ve inserted bonus articles about trying to eat right to prevent diseases you might be prone to; after all, it’s important to know when to choose a blueberry muffin (family history of dementia) verses a banana nut muffin (personal history of high blood pressure).
Take this opportunity to explore the amazing variety of vegetables.
What are the health benefits of butternut squash? from http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/284479.php
Butternut squash is one of the most common varieties of winter squash. According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, one cup of cooked cubed butternut squash contains 82 calories, 0 grams of fat, 22 grams of carbohydrate (including 4 grams of sugar and 6.6 grams of dietary fiber) as well as 1.8 grams of protein. One cup of butternut squash provides a whopping 437% percent of your vitamin A needs for the day, as well as 52% of vitamin C and 10% or more of vitamin E, thiamin, niacin, vitamin B-6, folate, pantothenic acid, magnesium and manganese. Butternut squash is an excellent source of potassium, bringing in 582 milligrams per 1 cup (cubed) - more than a banana (422 milligrams for a medium sized)!