#FromScratch chronicles Stephie’s nutrition [r]evolution as she switches her thought process from “where should I eat” to “what should I eat”. Follow her series as she braves the supermarket, starts to cook and explore a new way of eating.
Let’s begin with pronunciation.
Quinoa, where quin is pronounced ‘keen’ [and] noa is pronounced ‘wah’: ‘Keen-Wah’: WHAT?!
[That’s just phonetically wrong!]
Now, what is it [and] why should I eat it?
Like me, you might think that quinoa is a cereal grass, right? WRONG!
Quinoa is a member of the Swiss chard, spinach, and beets family.
[This just blows my mind based on appearances alone; nevertheless, it’s true.]
One little quirky, yet big impact fact about quinoa is that, unlike other grains, it is a complete protein: can you say superfood?! Quinoa contains enough lysine and isoleucine to offer 3g of protein/serving size and only 180 calories. Cool, huh? I agree.
[Hold on: time to up the nutritional ante!]
Quinoa offers a tremendous anti-inflammatory benefit when added to one’s diet. The anti-inflammatory elements found in quinoa include the phenolic acids, members of the Vitamin E family, and cell wall
polysaccharides [AND] it has antioxidant properties to boot.
[This is where my inner science geek breaks through; bear with me as we talk inflammation!]
Inflammation is a double-edged sword. Inflammation is necessary to heal wounds [and] to ward of [or] scavenge infectious elements; however, inflammation gone chronic is never a good thing.
David Servan-Schreiber, author of AntiCancer: A New Way of Life, refers to cancer as a wound that does not heal describing that while inflammation is necessary to healing, it can also serve as fuel for a malignant process within the ‘terrain’ of our bodies.
[Common sense tells me [and you] that if we can do something to optimize the ‘terrain’, we should: shouldn’t we?!]
I chose to introduce quinoa to my tastebuds this week largely because of Kirstin Nussgruber’s article, ‘Quinoa and Cancer‘, but also my mom ate a lot of quinoa because of her celiac disease [and] we know from my last post that food is emotionally charged.
[I miss my mom; she was a force and reminders of her bring me JOY!]
Integrate quinoa into at least one meal this week, preferable 2 or 3 to give it a chance to impress me.
Here’s what I did: [easy peasy]
1) 1 cup of quinoa plus 2 cups of chicken stock: bring to a boil, reduce heat, and cover for 12-15 minutes; turn off heat source, let stand for 5 minutes, and fluff with fork.
[As an aside, quinoa has a beautifully translucent [and] oh so dainty when prepared. I LOVE cute and dainty, small and mighty, tiny and fierce; you get my drift…]
2) I collected and sliced carrots, zucchini, mushrooms, and red pepper, drizzled them with EVOO, and popped them in the oven for 30 minutes tossing them after 15 minutes.
Time to YUM: 15 minutes prep and 30 minutes cook time.
Note: If I had leftover quinoa and roasted the veggies from the weekend, this would have been a POOF! 3-5 minute lunch.
Lessons I Learned:
- I still don’t know where to find everything in the grocery store [and] I am likely to leave without the main ingredient: ha!
- Prepping and making meals makes my heart smile
- Quinoa is good for me, but it is also really good
- If I can do this, you can too.
For further reading: