VeganMoFo: Quinoa and Tuesday Totals

18 Oct

Quinoa (keen-wah) seems to be one of the trendiest food items of the past few years, and it’s considered a superfood.  People are figuring out that it’s rich in amino acids (read: protein) and a great quick cooking, gluten-free alternative to other grains.

Widely considered to be a grain, quinoa is technically a seed, and a good source of manganese, magnesium, iron, copper phosphorus and fiber.  Quinoa is a “complete protein”, meaning it supplies all nine essential amino acids.  When cooked, quinoa has a fluffy yet crunchy texture, and an adaptable nutty flavor.  1/4 cup of uncooked quinoa will yield about 3/4 cup to one cup cooked, and counts as 4 Weight Watchers Points Plus.

Quinoa is naturally coated in saponins, which can make it taste bitter.  Most packaged quinoas are okay to eat as is, but it’s a good idea to rinse it before cooking.  You can also toast quinoa before adding the cooking liquid to bring out the nutty flavor.  Then you can just cook it like rice – add two parts water or broth, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for 15-20 minutes until tender and fluffy.  During cooking the germ will detach a bit and form a cute little tail around each grain.  Because quinoa cooks so quickly and easily, it’s a great item to keep stocked in the pantry for last-minute meals.

One of my favorite preparations of quinoa is fried, just like fried rice!  Stir-fry some veggies in a little oil in a hot wok with garlic and ginger, then add cold pre-cooked quinoa and soy sauce, sriracha or whatever else you like.  A little sesame oil added at the end of cooking can go a long way.

Quinoa is great in soups or stews, added toward the end of the cooking time.  There is a great Quinoa-Corn Chowder recipe in Viva Vegan.  Quinoa can be a good warm breakfast, mixed with a little non-dairy milk, chopped nuts and dried fruit.

Quinoa pasta is a wonderful alternative for people who can’t ingest gluten or just want to shake up their diet.  My favorite brand is Ancient Harvest.  Be careful not to overcook it, and you’ll have the same al dente bite as regular pasta.  Ancient Harvest also makes other quinoa products such as quinoa flakes and quinoa flour.

Source:  World’s Healthiest Foods

On the subject of Weight Watchers, I haven’t had the best week…again.  I do fairly well from day to day, making good choices, then one day I get a little loose and bam, I’m over my points for the week.  I didn’t go toooo far over this week, but over is over, and it’s no way to make progress.  When I stay under my limit I lose, and when I don’t I usually gain, and I feel like I’ve been waffling for a few weeks now.  Apart from the 5K I didn’t exercise much last week because my new running shoes keep giving me a blister, but that’s just an excuse.  We are going out of town this weekend, but I have plans to work up a sweat even while we’re gone, which will be easier if my dadgummed blister would heal!  I also have plans to book a massage for while we are there, because that is my reward to myself for completing the 5K.

Tuesday, 10/18/11

breakfast – buttermilk-date bran muffin, half a grapefruit
AM snack – apple, coffee with soy creamer
lunch – celeriac & caramelized onion soup with shiitake bacon, grilled Daiya cheddar sandwich on multigrain oat bread
PM snack – multi-grain pretzels nuggets
dinner at a buffet – salad (spinach, romaine, chickpeas, kidney beans, peas, beets, bacon flavored chips, fat free italian vinaigrette), kale sesame salad, cucumber salad, celery sticks with 2 Tbs hummus, 1/2 cup curried squash soup with small slice sourdough bread, 1/2 cup pasta pomodoro, 1/4 cup roasted potatoes, 1/3 cup roasted sweet potatoes, slice honeydew
bedtime snack – two dill pickles, spice tea

exercise – 30 minutes walking

daily points used:  29
non-existent points used:  2

Totals for 10/12/11 – 10/18/11

Daily points used:  201/203
Weekly points used:  66/49
Activity points earned:  17
Activity points used:  17
Points left on the table:  -15

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2 Responses to “VeganMoFo: Quinoa and Tuesday Totals”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. VeganMoFo: Amaranth « The Vegan Weight Watcher - October 24, 2011

    […] first learned about amaranth while I was in the Natural Chef Program at Bauman College.  Much like quinoa, amaranth has been touted as a supergrain.  This “grain” is technically a seed, and […]

  2. VeganMoFo: Millet & Tuesday Totals « The Vegan Weight Watcher - October 25, 2011

    […] much like quinoa and amaranth, is a small gluten free seed with a good protein content.  Unlike amaranth, however, […]

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