Try your hand at quinoa taboulehBy now you've surely heard the extolling of quinoa, a nutrition-packed seed that is prepared and eaten like whole grains. But if you've somehow missed it, here are a few of its virtues: Quinoa is perfect for people who don't eat a lot of meat, because it offers a complete protein, meaning that it includes all nine essential amino acids, among many other nutrients including fiber, magnesium and iron. It's been said to help relieve postmenopausal symptoms and migraines, regulate blood sugar and increase heart health. So, why not make it a staple in your diet?
Here are two new recipes from the upcoming book by husband and wife team Andy Larson, MD, and Ivy Larson. The book, Clean Cuisine: An 8-Week Program that Will Change the Way You Age, Look & Feel, is due out from Penguin-Berkley in January. Visit their website for more about them and lots of healthy recipes (cleancuisineandmore.com).
Note: You can also make this recipe without using any brown rice by simply increasing the amount of quinoa to 1 cup.
4 cups organic vegetable broth
1 leek, stems trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces and washed thoroughly
2 whole carrots, cut into chunks
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
Unrefined sea salt, to taste
½ cup short-grain brown rice
½ cup quinoa
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 teaspoons fresh thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried thyme)
1/4 cup chardonnay
1 can (15.5 ounces) organic diced tomatoes (look for BPA-free brands)
2 cups frozen organic corn kernels, semi-thawed
1/2 cup shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano
1/2 cup pecans, processed into "crumbs" using a food processor
1. Bring the broth to a boil in a small saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to maintain a steady simmer.
2. Place leeks in a food processor and shred. Repeat with carrots. Set aside.
3. Heat the oil in a large, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat; add garlic and sauté 30 seconds. Add shredded leeks and carrots and sauté 3-4 minutes, or until tender. Season vegetables lightly with salt. Add the rice and quinoa to the saucepan and cook, stirring constantly, for about 2 minutes.
4. Sprinkle the pepper and thyme on top of the grains. Add the chardonnay; stirring until liquid evaporates. Ladle 1/2 cup of the hot broth into the pan with the grains and add the tomatoes, stirring constantly. Continue adding the broth, 1/2 cup at a time, and continue periodically stirring until the liquid has been absorbed before adding each subsequent 1/2 cup of water. Cook the grains over medium heat for about 25 minutes, or until all liquid is absorbed, stirring frequently so the grains do not stick to the pan.
5. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the semi-thawed corn kernels; cover the pan and let the risotto sit for 15 minutes before serving.
6. Optional: top risotto with shredded cheese or pecans (or both).
Baked Quinoa-Spinach Cakes
Organic coconut oil or cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil, for oiling baking pan
1 organic, pastured egg
2 tablespoons white whole-wheat flour
2 tablespoons raw almond butter (or tahini)
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon raw apple cider vinegar
1½ cups cooked quinoa
1 small package (10 ounces) of frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed very, very dry with paper towels
¼ cup Spanish onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, crushed
½ teaspoon unrefined sea salt
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil a large baking pan.
2. In a large bowl combine the egg, flour, almond butter and vinegar; mix well. Add in the quinoa, spinach, onion, garlic and salt. Stir until all ingredients are well combined.
3. Use a ¼ cup measuring cup to measure each quinoa-spinach cake; use your hands to gently shape and press the quinoa cakes together. Arrange quinoa cakes on the baking pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until just golden and firm. Serve warm.