Monday, November 21, 2011

Quinoa - A Miracle Food for Meatless Monday

For the past month I've been following an eating plan (NOT A DIET, yeah right!) based on the Glycemic Index.  I'm including this link in case you'd like to check it out for yourself. In a nutshell, if you eat foods that are low on the glycemic index chart you will feel full longer because they digest more slowly. "Cool beans" as my daughter would say. As a comparison think of slow-cooked oatmeal (LOW G.I.) as opposed to Cornpops (HIGH G.I.), or dark chocolate (LOW G.I.) vs jelly beans (HIGH G.I.).

The proof is in the pudding so they say, or in this case the oatmeal - I've been eating oatmeal every morning at 6:30am and having NO problems making it til my lunch time (11:30am) without snacking. The chart is my bible. I've discovered things about food I never knew before.

For instance, apples are very low on the index, whereas watermelon is very high. Who knew? Not me! So guess who's eating an apple everyday for her after school snack?? YUP - me, that's who! I've been learning about complete proteins (meat, eggs and dairy) as opposed in incomplete proteins (grains, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes). If you're not eating meat, eggs or dairy every day you're not getting all of the essential  amino acids your body requires! Shame on you!  There are, however, two plant-based foods that are complete proteins: quinoa and soybeans. 

Since I've discovered quinoa I've been eating it almost every day! I add it to my homemade soup and put a couple of tablespoons on my salad. I really LOVE the chewy crunchiness of it and besides, it looks really CUTE!  Just look!

 Awwwww, it IS cute!!

So, it's possible to have a meatless meal (which is good for you AND the environment) and still have a complete protein! That's the good news. The great news is this link for one of my favourite quinoa recipes: Puy Lentil Quinoa. With this recipe not only do you get to enjoy quinoa, you also get another of my fave food - LENTILS!! Let's hear it for LENTILS -YAY!!  I have modified this recipe by adding any old veggies kicking around in the bin that need to be used mushrooms.  So when you're browning up the onions add some diced mushrooms, broccoli or whatever. This recipe is DELICIOUS!! I kid you not.

Here's an extra benefit - quinoa and lentils keep in your pantry for a really long time. And they're CHEAP! Especially the lentils. The quinoa is costly until you look at the price spread over the length of time you have it in your pantry. I paid $17.00 for a bag of the red quinoa from the Bulk Barn back in September (the white is cheaper and there is NO difference in the quality) and I still have lots left! And NOT eating meat a couple of times a week will also save you money. Your body will thank you for it on a regular basis:)

So, quinoa is a complete protein, it tastes great, it keeps you full longer so you don't eat so much snack food, it's fairly frugal AND it's cute! What more could you ask in a food??


Anonymous said...

We love Quinoa here! A co-worker introduced me to it about a year ago when I said I wanted to up my protein intake.

One way I like to cook it is in beef, chicken or veggie broth. Then I add some green onion, garlic, diced tomatoes, and feta cheese...yummy goodness!

~Carla~ said...

I think pretty much every food I eat is low G.I. and it really does "work" to keep you satiated. I can go all day without eating after eating a high protein breakfast, which is good because it's hard for me to eat out. Quinoa is great & there are Sooo many awesome recipes for it to!! :)

Mark said...

I'm really hoping that Cookies and Cream Ice-cream made your list.

Canadian Saver said...

Jane, thanks for the info! this is something I need to look into, I am not very good at "guestimating" cuz I would have assumed apples were higher on the list than watermelon!!!

I ate the yummiest lentils in my cooking class and we got the recipe, I hope to make them soon mmm

Out My window said...

We grow the majority of the US lentils where I live. We have a lentil festival every year and I have a great lentil chili recipe if you want it!

Anonymous said...

mmm, I should buy some for Martin to vary his oatmeal regimen.

SonyaAnn said...

I love quinoa! You are just so helpful. I bet that you are doing great on your not diet and riding. You are going to be in perfect health!

Lindy Mint said...

Thanks for sharing the lentil recipe, I'll have to add it to my files. I've never ventured into the world of quinoa, I've always assumed it was too...complicated. Glad to know it's not!