Today, on this world health day, I would like to talk about the super food “quinoa”. Diabetics being the prime most concern; over 30 million Indians have been diagnosed with diabetes, it is time for us to wake up and spend some time thinking about what we consume. That eat as you wish attitude is costing us our health and financially, hospital bills too.
This locally grown ingredient (Yes, locally grown, no more importing) is a super seed which can be consumed as a grain. The first project of growing quinoa was started by a farmer in India with the aid of our Government as a testing ground to see if this seed can be grown in a similar way as millets are commonly grown. The success of one farmer encouraged forty others to grow quinoa in the same region. This is a big change and this new revolution will not only help to provide farming with less water belts or drought laden area with a new crop, but will also encourage consumers to include it in their diet. This is a great news for Indian market, however the high price is still catering to the urban market. It is believed that as the demand rises and more and more farmers believe in the product there will be a huge change in the diet of several health affected Indians. Lets keep our fingers crossed.
Quinoa is a seed, the size of a millet. On cooking, it becomes translucent and the germ of the seed uncoils to form a little tail. Its leaves are not only fit for human consumption like any other green leafy vegetable but the excess of it can also be used as a fodder for cattle.
i2cook Quinoa is close to amaranth (millet) in terms of nutritional value. Here is the comparison between i2cook quinoa and amaranth seeds. However, it is difficult to use amaranth seeds in salads or pulav due to its sticky or non fluffy nature. i2cook Quinoa works great in salads and in pulav!
i2cook Quinoa can be cooked in a similar way as rice 1:2 ration, 1 cup of quinoa : 2 cups of water with a dash of rock salt in a pressure cooker (cook until one whistle) or in a pot, cook for 13 minutes. Quinoa from i2cook can also be sprouted to enjoy maximum anti oxidants.
i2cook Quinoa can be used as a substitute to your rice dishes or salads or in pretty much everything. I enjoy one bowl meal during summer and like to use quinoa as a base accompanied by lots and lots of vegetables. We recently made a burrito bowl for lunch and it made a nice wholesome and a lite meal. We served only 2 tbs of quinoa per person which was enough to take care of our daily nutrient in take.
i2cook Quinoa is grown without pesticide, non GMO and the main advantage of our quinoa is that you don’t have to rinse it many times as it does not contain any saponin which imparts a bitter taste if not rinsed several times.
Minestrone, a thick Italian soup is one of my favorite. Minestrone is so easy to make and the best part is that you can add any seasonal veggies. A perfect weekday one pot meal which can be had with a nice crusty bread. It can be prepared well in advance and refrigerated up to a week. I had mine for two consecutive days after long working hours.
There is no real recipe for this thick soup. The basic thumb rule is to use lots of veggies, beans and pasta or rice. I’ve used kale & mushroom to give a different twist to my soup. I’ve also used black rice pasta which not only adds color to my pasta but also makes my soup gluten free. This recipe can also be vegan if garnished with some nutritional yeast flakes as a substitute for vegan cheese. I’ve used some local artisan Parmesan coming all the way from Auroville.
Jamie Oliver gives some handy tips on prepping up for minestrone.
1 packet mushroom (250gms), chopped finely
50 gms kale, stems removed & chopped finely
1 small red onion, chopped finely
2 tomatoes, skin removed, de seeded and finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 cup cooked black eyed beans
1 cup uncooked black rice pasta
1/2 tbs olive oil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
500 ltr water
salt & pepper to taste
pesto & cheese for serving
- Heat oil in a heavy bottom pan. Add garlic and chopped onions. Sauté until translucent.
- Add chopped mushroom, kale, water & salt. Allow it to cook on medium flame for about 15 minutes.
- Add chopped tomatoes and uncooked pasta. Cook for about 10 minutes.
- Add cooked black eyed peas, oregano, freshly ground pepper and some salt if needed. Let it simmer for 10 minutes.
- Serve hot in individual bowls with a dollop of homemade pesto swirled through and some grated Parmesan.
More about black rice pasta & nutritional yeast flakes.