Main Meals

 

 

Quinoa and lentil pilaf 

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Description:
Canada's Food Guide recommends that you make half of your grain servings whole grain. The Incas, who first cultivated quinoa in the Andes, called quinoa (pronounced keenwa) the mother of all grains. The Guide also suggests that you eat legumes such as lentils often.

Quinoa is actually a seed from a plant that is related to Spinach and Chard. You can eat the leaves as well as the seeds.
Quinoa is a complete protein. It is full of good nutrients and vitamins. This means that while you are eating quinoa you are ensuring that your body is getting good quantities of the right minerals to keep you healthy while you are on a reduced diet. It makes an excellent breakfast because the carbohydrates in Quinoa are slow releasing you do not get a rush of energy like with other foods but instead gives energy all morning.


Ingredients:
1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil
1/2 cup (125 mL) onion, diced
1 cup (250 mL) celery, diced
1 tsp (5 mL) curry powder, optional
1/2 tsp (2 mL) ground cumin
1/2 cup (125 mL) canned lentils, rinsed
1/2 cup (125 mL) quinoa
1/2 cup (125 mL) water
1/2 cup (125 mL) sodium-reduced vegetable stock
1 tbsp (15 mL) lemon zest
1 tbsp (15 mL) lemon juice
1/4 cup (50 mL) red pepper, finely diced
pepper to taste


Directions:
In a medium sauce pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions, celery and curry powder and cook 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
Using a strainer, rinse quinoa under cold water and drain well. Add cumin, quinoa and lentils to the vegetables and stir for 1 minute.
Add water, stock, lemon rind and lemon juice and bring to a boil.
Cover and reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Or until liquid is absorbed. Stir in red pepper.
Season with pepper and serve.


Servings: 4


Nutrient Information:
per serving (1/2 cup/125 mL) Calories: 237 Protein: 9 g Fat: 6 g Saturated fat: 1 g Dietary cholesterol: 0 mg Carbohydrate: 38 g Dietary fibre: 5 g Sodium: 139 mg Potassium: 563 mg Developed by Nadine Day, RD. The Heart and Stroke Foundation.


Notes: This can be a main meal as quinoa is a whole protien and serve it with a mixed green salad or have it as a side dish instead of rice or potatoes.


Special Diet: Gluten Free, Vegetarian, Low Sodium, High Protein, High Fibre, Diabetic - Low Carb


Category: Main Meals

Submitted By: OK In Health



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Tuscan Leek & Bean Soup
Category: Soup
Description: Welcome those crisp winter days with a pot of hearty Tuscan bean soup. Leeks are a unique combination of flavonoids and sulfur-containing nutrients, the allium vegetables belong in your diet on a regular basis. Like their allium cousins, onions and garlic, let leeks sit for at least 5 minutes after cutting and before cooking to enhance their health-promoting qualities.
A good source of dietary fiber, leeks also contain goodly amounts of folic acid, calcium, potassium, and vitamin C. Easier to digest than standard onions, leeks have laxative, antiseptic, diuretic, and anti-arthritic properties.
Leeks contain many noteworthy flavonoid anti-oxidants, minerals, and vitamins that have proven health benefits.
Leeks are low in calories. 100 g fresh stalks contain 61 calories. Further, their elongated stalks provide good amounts of soluble and insoluble fiber.
Laboratory studies show that allicin reduces cholesterol production by inhibiting HMG-CoA reductase enzyme in the liver cells. Further, it also found to have anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal activities.
Allicin also decreases blood vessel stiffness by release of nitric oxide (NO); thereby bring reduction in the total blood pressure. It also blocks platelet clot formation and has fibrinolytic action in the blood vessels, which helps decrease overall risk of coronary artery disease (CAD), peripheral vascular diseases (PVD), and stroke.
Leeks are great source of minerals and vitamins that are essential for optimum health. Their leafy stems indeed contain several vital vitamins such as pyridoxine, folic acid, niacin, riboflavin, and thiamin in healthy proportions. 100 g fresh stalks provide 64 µg of folates. Folic acid is essential for DNA synthesis and cell division. Their adequate levels in the diet during pregnancy can help prevent neural tube defects in the newborn babies.
In addition, leeks are one of the good source of vitamin A (1667 IU or 55% of RDA per 100 g) and other flavonoid phenolic anti-oxidants such as carotenes, xanthin, and lutein. They also have some other essential vitamins such as vitamin C, K, and vitamin E. Vitamin C helps body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals. Further, its stalks have small amounts of minerals such as potassium, iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, and selenium.
Often overlooked in leeks is their important concentration of the B vitamin folate. Folate is present in leeks in one of its bioactive forms (5-methyltetrahydrofolate, or 5MTHF) and it is present throughout the plant (including the full leaf portion, not only the lower leaf and bulb).
Fresh leeks should be stored unwashed and untrimmed in the refrigerator, where they will keep fresh for between one and two weeks. Wrapping them loosely in a plastic bag will help them to retain moisture.
Tips for Preparing Leeks - Cut off green tops of leeks and remove outer tough leaves. Cut off root and cut leeks in half lengthwise. Fan out the leeks and rinse well under running water, leaving them intact. Cut leeks into 2-inch lengths. Holding the leek sections cut side up, cut lengthwise so that you end up with thin strips, known as the chiffonade cut, slicing until you reach the green portion. Make sure slices are cut very thin to shorten cooking time. Let leeks sit for at least 5 minutes before cooking.
With a more delicate and sweeter flavor than onions, leeks add a subtle touch to recipes without overpowering the other flavors that are present. Although leeks are available throughout the year they are in season from the fall through the early part of spring when they are at their best.
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