I’m not usually one to post recipes. After all, I’m no chef and this isn’t the Good Housekeeping website (although I do love theirs — which is ironic because I remember being a teenager and swearing to my mother that I would “NEVER read such boring stuff”! <<life laughs in my face>>
Today is an exception, because I’m so excited about these 2 dishes that I absolutely have to share them with you. Mainly, I’m excited because they make really healthy ingredients taste yummy. They’re also easy, fast, kid-friendly, and perfect for my favorite meal: the poolside picnic. Either can be used as a side or a main dish — try the quinoa with a fresh salad and the broccoli with a slice of crusty whole-grain bread.
Quinoa is a rare (and vegan!) form of complete protein, meaning that it contains all nine essential amino acids. This stuff is a nutritional powerhouse: besides the protein, there’s also fiber, manganese and magnesium (a possible remedy for certain migraines), lysine (great for rebuilding tissue after tough athletic training), and folate (critical for pregnancy). It’s a whole grain that aids in blood sugar control — great for those with diabetic tendencies. (See more.)
Broccoli and its cruciferous cousins are no slouches either. Broccoli contains calcium, folic acid and iron; cauliflower holds potassium. All these are good for bone, muscle and nervous system development. The green flower even packs a protein punch: 2.82g per 100g serving. With tons of vitamins and antioxidants for only a few calories per serving, these foods are a bargain. Your mother was right: eat your broccoli!
Disclaimer: I don’t measure. That’s why I don’t bake, people. Bear with me and set aside your understandable desire for precision — let creativity take control today! Just put in what looks right — more of what you love, less of the other.
UPDATE, AS OF 4/19/13: I’m now adding Mila to both of these recipes and giving them even more antioxidant, omega-3 power! Yummm!
Big Bowl of Confetti
Fresh broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower
Olive oil (optional), salt and pepper to taste
Girard’s Light Champagne dressing (just a splash)
In a food processor, finely mince the parsley first. I use about 2/3 of a bunch because I love the flavor. Toss in the carrots — either “baby” ones or 1-inch chunks — and give them a pulse or two to get them coarsely chopped. Toss in the florets of broccoli and cauliflower. Give it a few more pulses so that everything comes down to about the size of orzo. As Lisa says, this is critical because the tiny size really changes the texture and palatability of the veggies (especially for people unlike me, who don’t already love broccoli). In your serving bowl, toss the mix with a bit of dressing and a squeeze of lemon; add another dash of oil plus the salt and pepper if you like. Watch your family enjoy the new take on some of the best vitamins, fiber and antioxidants in the garden.
Keen on Quinoa
(inspired by a rice pilaf at Your Dekalb Farmers’ Market)
Cooked quinoa (I used red, but any will do)
Dried fruit of choice (mixed raisins and tropicals are yummy)
Balsamic vinegar glaze
Minced garlic, salt and pepper to taste
Umm — see all those ingredients? Just mix ‘em together, and serve. How simple is that? Yummy either warm or cold!
I love the creative adaptations people make in their own kitchens — how will you switch these up to suit your taste?