Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Quinoa Salad

What is Quinoa? It is an alternative grain that is rich in nutrients and a good source of protein for vegetarians.

Where to find quinoa? Health food stores and organic stores stock this grain.

Is it easy to cook? It can be quite challenging the first time, however you will get the hang of it. It is a wonderful dish to prepare for guests. 

1 cup organic quinoa (mixture of white, red and black)
2 cups water
250g cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup fresh mint, chopped fine
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3-4 cloves garlic, chopped fine
pinch of sea salt and black pepper to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 120 degrees.

2.  Pour 1 cup of quinoa onto a fine sieve and rinse under water, rubbing them between with your fingers to remove the bitter saponins. In a pot, bring 2 cups of filtered water and 1 cup of rinsed quinoa to boil. Reduce to simmer and cook for 10-15mins until the seeds look translucent and the germ spiral emerges. Stir occasionally. Allow quinoa to stand for 5 minutes after cooking. Strain off any excess water from the cooked quinoa with a sieve and place in a big bowl.

3. Place the halved tomatoes onto a baking tray with baking paper. Have the sliced side up. Cook for 10-15 mins.

4. In a separate pan, heat olive oil at low heat with chopped garlic. Brown garlic slightly and allow both ingredients time to cool.

5. To toss: In the bowl of cooled quinoa, add the tomatoes, lemon juice, orange juice, mint, salt, pepper, cooled olive oil and garlic.

6. Chill salad for at least 30 mins in the fridge.

7. Serve and enjoy!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Breakfast, do it right!

Breakfast tips:
So many people skip breakfast, due to the lack of time to prepare it. We miss out on important nutrients by eating unhealthily in the morning. Breakfast gives us the energy to go about our busy day, preventing irregular eating which can contribute to obesity.

Foods high in fibre (e.g. oats) lowers low density lipoprotein (unhealthy) cholesterol levels. This reduces your risk in heart disease. Minimize the intake of dried fruits in commercial muesli, as they are high in sugar. You can do this by halving the amount of dried fruit muesli and increasing the quantity of rolled oats and real fruit.

In order to save time from making breakfast in the morning,  prepare your muesli the day before and place it in the fridge.

Bircher Muesli
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup muesli with dried fruit
1 handful of frozen berries (e.g. mixed berries or blueberries)
1 1/2 cups soy milk (e.g. Pureharvest)
1 tbsp desiccated coconut
1 tsp cinnamon powder
2 tbsp natural yoghurt (e.g. Jalna yoghurt or if vegan, Coyo yoghurt)

Warm Muesli version:
Directions: In a bowl, combine all ingredients except the yoghurt. Leave in fridge overnight. In the morning, take the bowl out and warm muesli in a pot over the stove. Top with yoghurt and consume.

 Cold Muesli version:

Directions: In a bowl, combine all ingredients and the yoghurt. Use a spoon to stir the ingredients evenly. Leave the bowl in the fridge overnight. In the morning, consume.