Although some might call quinoa a fad by now, it really has its place in an anti-inflammatory kitchen. It just so happens that the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization has deemed 2013 the “International Year of Quinoa,” so I guess it’s doing something right.
It’s cooked and served as a grain, but quinoa is really a seed, and therein lies the secret to its nutritional value. Like most seeds, it contains everything needed to grow a new plant: it’s like the plant version of stem cells. According to the Year of Quinoa site, the seed has several advantages over traditional grains: it’s higher in protein, calcium, healthy fats, iron, zinc, vitamin C, vitamin E, beta carotene, and vitamins B2 and B3 than your everyday whole wheat. Continue reading
If you haven’t noticed, I’ve been trying to take advantage of healthier foods lately, and what better way than to cut back on meat? By now, you may have heard of Meatless Mondays, a movement encouraging Americans to cut out meat one day a week. If Mario Batali can do it, why not the rest of us?
Two meatless superfoods that have recently become popular are quinoa and kale. Quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) is a complex carbohydrate that looks like a grain but is actually a seed. Aside from the usual health rewards of whole-grain carbs (high in antioxidants, minerals, and fiber), quinoa has the added benefit of being a rare, excellent source of plant-based complete protein, containing all nine essential amino acids. And I’ve already hopefully sold you on the benefits of kale when I used it in my lentil soup. Continue reading