Long Live Quinoa

Living in a youth obsessed culture makes it difficult not to be influenced by all the subliminal and some not so subliminal messages that bombard our surroundings.  I have been told many times that I don’t look my age and my ego always swells a little when I hear this.  I think next time someone says I look younger I will say, “Oh, I wish I looked older.”  Then there will be awkward silence………..yes just like this.  On second thought, my strict proper Asian upbringing won’t permit me to be ungracious, so I will just have to say, “Good genes”.

I would like to change how I view people who may be considered old.  Even just typing the word “old” is not comfortable for me right now.  We have come up with ways to avoid using that word, “more experienced”, “golden years”,”senior years, “women of a certain age” (or does this mean women in their middle years).  Working in a retail health food store gives me lots of opportunity to have fantastic conversations with all sorts of people and I especially delight in my exchanges with the older customers.  Hearing about their life experiences, sharing their knowledge, is so very enriching to me.  “Old people know stuff!”

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers from Kake2kale.com

A superfood that is old, actually more like ancient, and deserves our respect is Quinoa.  It has been a food source for about 3000 years originating in South America.  Quinoa was introduced to the western world about a decade ago and was declared in 2013,  by The Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, as “The International Year of the Quinoa”.  Is the party over for quinoa now that it is 2015?  Has it been surpassed by chia, chaga mushrooms, and kefir?  Or has it become a staple in our pantries?  I’d like to think the latter.  Its many health benefits and versatility make it indispensable in my kitchen.

This mango quinoa salad is an adaptation on a quinoa recipe that I found in an Oprah magazine many years ago.  I have put my own spin on it with an Asian dressing. If you want to dress it up and turn it into a main dish then add some grilled prawns or chicken to it.

Superfoods in this recipe:
Golden Berries – These are the berries that usually adorn fancy desserts in restaurants. A gold coloured berry still has its husk attached and has a wonderful tart sweet flavour. Contains vitamins A, C, B complex and protein. I like to have dried ones on hand and sometime toss them into to a stir fry as they give a nice tart contrast to the usual soy sauciness of this dish.
Mango – High amounts of vitamins C, A and potassium. High in beta carotene, good for eye health. May help against cancer and hardening of the arteries.
Green Onion – Contains sulphuric compounds that may help with lowering blood pressure, and destroy cancer cells.  Allicin, one of these compounds in green onion is not only anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal, but research has shown that allicin helps your body to neutralize dangerous free radicals.
Lime – Contain vitamin C, folic acid and a range of phytochemicals (under the antioxidant family).
Quinoa – This nutrient dense powerhouse contains a range of minerals, fiber, and is a significant source of vitamin E, plus has many anti-inflammatory phytonutrients, such as kaempferol  (a strong antioxidant) and quercetin (a natural anti-histamine).  It also has a small amount of the anti-inflammatory Omega 3 fatty acid and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Perfect for vegetarians as it contains all 9 essential amino acids making it a complete protein.

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers from Kake2kale.com

Mango Quinoa Salad serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 1 c. uncooked quinoa
  • 1/3 c. dried golden berries
  • 1 mango finely diced
  • 3 green onions chopped
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp sesame oil
  • Juice of two limes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 slices candied ginger finely diced (optional)

Directions:

  • In a saucepan add 2 cups water to the quinoa, cover and once it reaches a boil, turn the heat down and continue cooking for 12-15 minutes or until the quinoa grains have opened and you can see little tails.    Let cool.
  • Once the quinoa has cooled, in a large bowl, add the rest of the ingredients, mix well.
  • Serve in a hollowed out bell pepper as I have done, or any other vegetable that you could hollow.  If not, just serve on top of a bed of greens.

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers from Kake2kale.com

Eat Superfoods, Live a Superlong life! {Kake}

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers from Kake2kale.com

One thought on “Long Live Quinoa

  1. so well written and it looks yummy. will try this one for sure! thanks!! also for your comments on “older” as I definitely fall into that category!

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