Tag Archive | quinoa

Bacon Causes Cancer. So What’s for Breakfast?

Here are 3 Super Healthy Breakfast Ideas!

We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Yet, it is also the easiest meal to skip, usually for one of two reasons: 1. You don’t feel hungry when you wake up, or 2. You are in too much of a rush to prepare it. Well, I can give you two good reasons as to why you should not skip breakfast: 1. Studies have shown that those who eat breakfast consume higher levels of important micro-nutrients, such as calcium, protein and dietary fiber, than those who skip breakfast. 2. Eating breakfast aids in weight loss. Studies have shown that breakfast eaters are less likely to snack and over-eat later in the day than breakfast skippers.

Unfortunately, many of the foods that are considered “breakfast foods”, such as bacon, ham and sausage, have recently been declared by the World Health Organization as carcinogenic.   Eating less than two slices of bacon a day, for example, can increase your risk of developing colorectal cancer by a significant 18%. Read more here.    So then, what to eat?   For cancer prevention, weight management, and overall good health, there is no doubt that plant based breakfasts are the best choice. Here are three of my favorites.

The Breakfast Cookie

breakfast cookie

Breakfast cookies are my go to breakfast choice, and they actually taste as good as they sound. They are easy to make, packed full of nutrients, and they freeze well, making it easy to just grab and go in the morning. Also, you can mix and match the ingredients to suit your taste. Here’s how to make them:

In a bowl, combine dry ingredients:

1 cup rolled oats

1 cup flour of your choice (I like spelt flour which is much healthier choice than bleached white flour)

1 teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder (make sure your baking powder is aluminum free for a healthier choice)

Set aside and in another bowl mix the wet ingredients

2 over-ripe bananas, mashed

½ cup of almond butter OR peanut butter. (Hint: when buying nut butters, check the label to make sure that nuts are the only ingredient. Kraft brand peanut butter, for example, contains 7 ingredients, most of which you can’t even pronounce.)

¼ cup organic apple sauce (Apples are well known to be one of the most pesticide laden fruits on the market. When buying apples or apple sauce, always look for organic. For more information on which foods are heavily laden with pesticides, check out this link.

4 tablespoons of pure maple syrup (make sure it is pure and not sugary “pancake syrup”)

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons coconut oil (or canola oil)

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix well. Then add:

1/3 cup of nuts or seeds of your choice, such as walnuts, pecans, or pumpkin seeds

1/3 cup of dried fruit such as raisins, cranberries or blueberries (if you have a sweet tooth, you can use chocolate chips in the place of fruit. Dark vegan chips are my faves.)

Optional: For a chewier version of this cookie, you can also add 1/3 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut.   For a chocolatier version, add ¼ cup of pure cocoa powder.

Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Spoon 10-12 large spoonfuls of the mixture onto a baking sheet and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until the edges are brown.  Let cool.

Anything Goes Green Smoothie

green smoothie

BAM! In less than 5 minutes you can have 5 servings of fruits and veggies, plus calcium and healthy omega 3’s in one big delightful glass, which you can drink on the run. The actual color of this smoothie will vary, depending on the ingredients, but I call it “green” because it contains “greens”, such as spinach, lettuce or kale. Here’s how to prepare:

In a blender combine:

1 cup of mixed frozen fruits and/or berries of your choice (remember, the darker the berry, the more anti-oxidant power!)

½ cup greens of your choice, such as kale, spinach or green lettuce

½ banana OR ½ avacado for creaminess

1 tablespoon chia seeds (just one tablespoon of chia seeds gives you the omega 3 equivalent of 5 fish oil capsules!)

½ cup low sugar juice, such as cranberry juice or orange juice

1 cup almond milk (note: almond milk contains the same percentage of calcium as cow’s milk, with no unhealthy cholesterol. Why would you even think about getting your calcium from cow’s milk when there are healthier, plant based alternatives? Make sure when you are buying almond milk that it is unsweetened and does not contain an ingredient called carrageenan, which can be destructive to the digestive system and cause inflammation in the body. My favorite brand is So Nice Organic.)

Blend on high speed until smooth.

Nutty Cinnamon Quinoa

breakfast quinoa

“How do you get your protein?”, is a question that is often posed to people who choose a plant based way of eating.   Well, vegans get their protein in the same place that cows and horses get their protein…..from plants!   One of the most protein rich plant foods is quinoa (pronounced keen-wah). One cup of cooked quinoa contains 8 grams of protein, which is 16% of your recommended daily allowance. Not only is it rich in protein, but quinoa is one of the few plant based foods that is considered a “complete” protein, meaning that it contains all of the essential amino acids that our bodies need.   Try this nutrient rich and delicious quinoa breakfast cereal:

1 cup almond milk or coconut milk

1 cup water

1 cup quinoa (rinse quinoa before cooking)

2 cups fresh fruit or berries

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/3 cup chopped pecans, toasted

4 teaspoons of sweetener, such as agave, honey or pure maple syrup

Combine almond milk, water and quinoa in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer 15 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed. Turn off heat; let stand covered 5 minutes. Stir in fruit/berries and cinnamon; transfer to four bowls and top with pecans. Drizzle 1 teaspoon sweetener over each serving. Serves 4.

(While the quinoa cooks, roast the pecans in a 350F degree toaster oven for 5 to 6 minutes.)

So there you have it, folks, 3 delicious and healthy ways to start your day. For optimal health, don’t be a breakfast skipper!

 

 

 

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5 Weeks To Healthier Eating Challenge. Week 2: Quinoa

 

Here’s the challenge: 5 weeks, 5 super-foods, and 5 ways to prepare them! We all want to eat healthier, right?   However, the secret to healthier eating is NOT to obsess about all of the foods you CAN’T eat, but rather focus on adding new, health promoting foods to your existing diet. For 5 weeks, I will be presenting one food a week for you to try….or to try in a new way.   All you have to do is try just one of the five recipes presented each week and decide….is this a food I can live with?

If you missed week 1, “Hail to the Kale”, click HERE.

 

Week 2: Get Keen on Quinoa

The first thing you should know about quinoa is how to pronounce it. Repeat after me: KEEN-WAH. Yes, that’s it, keen-wah! The next thing you should know is that quinoa is packed with good nutrition. In our book, 100 Perks of Having Cancer Plus 100 Health Tips for Surviving It, my smart and witty co-author, Susan, devotes a whole chapter to quinoa (p. 267). Here are some interesting facts taken from there:

1. One cup of cooked quinoa has 222 calories, which is similar in calorie count to white rice (242 calories per cup). However, as you will see below, quinoa is much richer in nutrients and therefore a healthier choice. Try serving your next stir fry on a bed of quinoa!

2. One cup of quinoa contains 8 grams of complete protein, meaning that it contains all of the building blocks necessary for cell growth and function.

3. Quinoa contains ZERO cholesterol. (Did you know that only food from animals….meat, eggs and dairy…contain cholesterol?)

4. It contains 5 grams of fiber, which is 20% of the recommended daily allowance, or RDA. (Did you know that meat, eggs and dairy contain ZERO fiber?)

5. One cup of quinoa gives you 15% of the RDA for iron, which is necessary for healthy blood; 19% of the RDA for folate, which is an important B vitamin; 58% the RDA for manganese; 28% of the RDA for phosphorus; and 30% of the RDA for magnesium…all of which are important for strong bones.

So there you have it, five good reasons to make quinoa a part of your healthy eating plan. Now here are five of my favorite ways to eat it (Remember to always RINSE quinoa well before cooking it):

1. Cheesy Mexican Fiesta Casserole

quinoa 2

If you have a taste for Mexican, you will love this casserole! The sauce is so cheesy, you will never believe that it is dairy-free. I use the leftovers to make quesadillas, served with guacamole and salsa on the side. This is my favorite quinoa recipe.

 

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1 clove chopped garlic
  • 1 chopped green pepper
  • 1 chopped tomato
  • 3 tablespoons flour of your choice avoid white flour and experiment with healthier choices like chickpea flour or brown rice flour
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne careful not to make it too hot!
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

(Here’s a cheat: rather than combine these spices, you can use a package of Old El Paso Taco Seasoning)

  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast. If you are making the switch to plant based eating, this is a necessity in your cupboard!
  • 2 cups unsweetened almond milk, or plant based milk of your choice
  • 3 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 19 oz. can well rinsed black beans

Directions

First cook quinoa: bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add one cup of quinoa, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes until water is absorbed (as you would cook rice). Transfer to large mixing bowl. Next sauté onion, garlic, green pepper and tomato in 1 tablespoon olive oil for 5 minutes. Transfer to bowl with quinoa and add cooked black beans. Stir all ingredients.

Now it is time to make your cheese sauce: Put 2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium saucepan on medium heat. Add flour, spices, and nutritional yeast, stir to combine. Add in milk and bring to a boil, stirring constantly until sauce thickens.

Add your cheese mixture to the bowl of ingredients and mix well.

Transfer to a casserole dish, top with a sprinkle of paprika, and bake for 20 minutes.

Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve with salsa and/or guacamole!  Use leftovers to make quesadillas.

2. Warm and Nutty Cinnamon Quinoa

quinoa 1

Eat quinoa for breakfast? You sure can!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond or coconut milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans
  • 4 teaspoons agave nectar OR honey OR pure maple syrup for sweetening (for overall good health, ditch the white sugar)
  • 2 cups fresh blackberries or other berry of choice, organic if possible

 

Directions

Combine milk, water and quinoa in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer 15 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed. Turn off heat; let stand covered 5 minutes. Stir in blackberries and cinnamon; transfer to four bowls and top with pecans. Drizzle 1 teaspoon agave nectar, or honey or pure maple syrup over each serving.

 

3. Best Veggie Burger In The World

quinoa 3

Yields 8 burgers

One of the things I missed most when I switched to mainly plant-based eating, is hamburgers. I tried various veggie burgers, but could not find one I really liked….until I met the quinoa burger! Trust me, even the carnivores in your life will love this one!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup uncooked red quinoa if you can’t find red, white will do
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 cup finely diced onion
  • 2 cups finely chopped mushrooms of your choice
  • •1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning (Add other seasonings of your choice to spice it up the way you like it…unlike meat burgers, you can try the mix “raw” and season to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 flax egg mix one tablespoon ground flax seed, with one tablespoon warm water and allow to set 5 minutes
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 cup whole pecans toasted, then finely chopped (use a food processor if you have one) To toast, put in oven on 350 degrees for 7-8 minutes, turining once
  • 1/3 cup rolled oats
  • 2 Tablespoons prepared salsa OR organic ketchup OR barbeque sauce

Note: If mix is too soft, add a little flour so that it can be made into patties.

 

Directions

Combine water and quinoa in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and set aside to cool.

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until starting to soften, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms, garlic, and seasonings; cook, stirring, until the mushrooms are tender, about 5 minutes. Let cool for about 5 minutes.

Prepare flax egg. Add the quinoa, mushroom mixture, nutritional yeast, pecans flax egg, and oats; stir to combine. Scoop 1/2-cup portions of the mixture and shape into 8 patties, about 3 inches wide. Roll the burgers in flour to hold them together for cooking.

Heat olive oil in frying pan, and fry the patties, about 5 minutes per side OR bake for 30 minutes on greased sheet, turning once, OR cook on BBQ as you would regular burgers.

4. Sweet and Sour Neatballs

quinoa 5

(I apologize, I don’t have a more appetizing picture…this is a pic I took myself…trust me, they taste better than they look here!)

“Neatballs” are my version of meatballs. You might notice that the recipe for making them is exactly the same as my burger recipe, but you form them into balls rather than patties.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup uncooked red quinoa if you can’t find red, white will do
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 cup finely diced onion
  • 2 cups finely chopped mushrooms of your choice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning (Add other seasonings of your choice to spice it up the way you like it…unlike meat burgers, you can try the mix “raw” and season to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 flax egg mix one tablespoon ground flax seed, with one tablespoon warm water and allow to set 5 minutes
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 cup whole pecans toasted, then finely chopped (use a food processor if you have one) To toast, put in oven on 350 degrees for 7-8 minutes, turining once
  • 1/3 cup rolled oats
  • 2 Tablespoons prepared salsa OR organic ketchup OR barbeque sauce

Note: If mix is too soft, add a little flour so that it can be formed into balls.

 

Directions

Combine water and quinoa in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and set aside to cool.

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until starting to soften, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms, garlic, and seasonings; cook, stirring, until the mushrooms are tender, about 5 minutes. Let cool for about 5 minutes.

Prepare flax egg. Add the quinoa, mushroom mixture, nutritional yeast, pecans flax egg, and oats; stir to combine. Form mixture into balls, and roll in flour to hold them together.

Heat olive oil in frying pan, and fry the balls for about 5-7 minutes, turning to brown on all sides.

Here’s how to make the sauce:

Ingredients

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons ketchup
  • Thicken with 1 tablespoon corn starch or tapioca starch dissolved in 1/4 cup of water

 

Directions

Bring water to a boil. Add honey, vinegar, and ketchup. Stir until combined. Stir in corn/tapioca starch mix and stir until sauce thickens. Remove from heat and pour over neatballs. Bake 15-20 minutes on 350 degrees.

 

5. Honey Quinoa Salad

quinoa 4

No tribute to quinoa would be complete without a quinoa salad. There are lots of quinoa salad recipes out there, but this is my favorite. I like it cold, but it can be served warm.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked quinoa
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/3 cup honey roasted peanuts
  • juice of one fresh orange (or 3 tablespoons orange juice)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh orange zest
  • 2 scallions thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

 

Directions

Bring 3 cups of water to a boil. Add 1 1/2 cups quinoa. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes, until water is absorbed. (In the same way you would cook rice) Remove from the heat and transfer to a large bowl. Add honey and gently toss to combine. Set aside and cover for 10 minutes allowing honey to soak. Add all remaining ingredients. Transfer to serving bowls and serve warm or chilled.

 

So there you have it folks, 5 great recipes to choose from to get you back on track with your healthy living plan.

 

If you like these recipes, and you would like to learn more about eating for cancer prevention, please sign up for the Free 4 day Cancer Plan 4 Life Kickstart Program.  Just click below.  Bon Appetit!

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