Getting started

Where to start? I guess with hello and thank you for reading! My original name for this blog was going to be ” The Quinoa Chronicles” (sadly already taken by a man in France!), but I will go ahead with one of my favorite foods to kick this off.

Quinoa (pronounced something like “keen-wah”) is an ancient grain and a pretty hot topic right now. It is a whole grain and contains all the essential amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks our body uses to build protein. Our bodies can make many of the 20 amino acids we need, but we have to eat the essential ones via food for our bodies to have the materials to make all 20 amino acids. I kept reading about quinoa and felt it would be the perfect food for me. You see, this is my second period of being a vegetarian. The first time in my 20’s lasted a year. I gave it up because I felt I needed more protein, and quickly! I was busy working, single, and training for marathons. My vegetarian cooking was frustrating and literally unsatisfying. I gave up.

Fast forward to 2011, vegetarian again for about 18 months, and the quinoa I thought I wanted to try was sitting on my pantry shelf for months. Filled with trepidation, I finally cooked it with vegetable broth dissolved in the water. I loved it! It can be eaten alone, in place of rice, or combined with any vegetables. Here is how I have done it…boil 2 cups water in a small saucepan. Drop in veggie broth cube intended for 8 oz water (or skip this if you like). Stir to dissolve the cube, add one cup quinoa, reduce to simmer, cover and cook 15-20 minutes or until water is just absorbed. So easy! And if you belong to Costco, they have a nice price for a large bag. I know I can’t live on it, but it feels like insurance that my body can make all the amino acids it needs with quinoa here and there and a varied diet. I have also learned through research in the last 2 years that our bodies don’t need as much protein as we tend to think. More on that to come!

My new goal in addition to posting here at least once a week is to prepare a new vegetable every week. It can be one I have eaten, just have not prepared. This past week I roasted brussel sprouts. Good stuff.  I’ll tell you about that later.

Have a great week!