This evening, I decided to whip up quinoa vegetable paella found here and scrambled tofu found here. I’ve always loved quinoa and the benefits of quinoa (pronounced as kee-no-wah or keen-wah) are plenty!
1. Quinoa is one of the most protein-rich foods we can eat. It is a complete protein containing all nine essential amino acids.
2. Quinoa contains almost twice as much fiber as most other grains. Fiber is most widely known to relieve constipation. It also helps to prevent heart disease by reducing high blood pressure and diabetes. Fiber lowers cholesterol and glucose levels, may lower your risk of developing hemorrhoids and may help you to lose weight as it takes a longer time to chew than does other foods because it makes you feel fuller for longer and is less “energy dense” which means it has fewer calories for the same volume of food.
3. Quinoa contains Iron. Iron helps keep our red blood cells healthy and is the basis of hemoglobin formation. Iron carries oxygen from one cell to another and supplies oxygen to our muscles to aid in their contraction. Iron also increases brain function because the brain takes in about 20% of our blood oxygen. There are many benefits of iron some more of which include neurotransmitter synthesis, regulation of body temperature, aids enzyme activity and energy metabolism.
4. Quinoa contains lysine. Lysine is mainly essential for tissue growth and repair.
5. Quinoa is rich in magnesium. Magnesium helps to relax blood vessels and thereby to alleviate migraines. Magnesium also may reduce Type 2 diabetes by promoting healthy blood sugar control. Other health benefits of magnesium include transmission of nerve impulses, body temperature regulation, detoxification, energy production, and the formation of healthy bones and teeth.
6. Quinoa is high in Riboflavin (B2). B2 improves energy metabolism within brain and muscle cells and is known to help create proper energy production in cells.
7. Quinoa has a high content of manganese. Manganese is an antioxidant, which helps to prevent damage of mitochondria during energy production as well as to protect red blood cells and other cells from injury by free radicals.
Quinoa Vegetable Paella ingredients:
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1/4 teaspoon saffron, crushed (I skipped this)
- 2 teaspoons Spanish smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- dash cayenne
- 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes (replaced with shiitake mushrooms)
- 1 red or yellow bell pepper, chopped
- 1 14-ounce can light red kidney beans, rinsed and drained (Edamame beans)
- 2 3/4 – 3 cups vegetable broth
- 2 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced (Did not add this)
- 1 cup fresh or frozen peas (Did not add this)
- 1 can artichoke hearts, rinsed and cut into quarters (Did not add this)
First step, put the quinoa into a large bowl. Cover with water and stir well to wash the grain. Pour off the water and then repeat the washing process. You may also put the quinoa into a fine mesh strainer and rinse thoroughly.
Before cooking, boil edamame beans and extract all the beans out separately.
A few hours back, my mum in law made a homemade vegetable stock out of corn, carrots, mushrooms, onions and celery which we will be using for our paella.
Sauté onion and garlic in a deep non-stick skillet with a little water until soft. (I use my deep, 13 inch saute pan for this.) Add the quinoa and cook, stirring, for another 2 minutes. Add paprika, cumin, cayenne, mushrooms, peppers, beans, and 1 3/4 cups vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to very low, and cook covered for 15 minutes.
After 15 minutes, check to see if more broth is needed. If it looks dry, add the remaining vegetable broth. Place the broccoli on top of the quinoa and re-cover. Cook for about 5 more minutes, until quinoa is done. Stir and mix the ingredients well. Add salt and pepper at the table or during the mixing process, if necessary. I think adding salt and pepper is a must as I did not add much and my paella was not as tasty and rich in flavour as I hoped.
Overall a very satisfying and yummy dish with so much protein and greens! Next I went on to create scrambled tofu using the following ingredients:
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Ingredients(for 2 servings):
- 1 block firm or extra firm tofu
- 1/2 Tablespoon olive oil
- 3/4 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder (Did not add this)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder (Did not add this)
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- In a large bowl, mash the tofu with a fork lightly until it’s textured to resemble scrambled eggs.
- Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat.
- Mix the turmeric, salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder in with the tofu until it’s evenly coated.
- Sauté the tofu in the oil until it’s heated through and takes on a vibrant color.
- Remove from the pan and serve hot.
Turmeric gives off a great spice smell and adds colour to the tofu and makes it look eggy.
Our virgin scrambled tofu is now ready! Again we should have added a bit more salt, pepper and some garlic powder to spice things up. We are absolutely happy with how our dishes turned out:)