Heart disease strikes when we least expect, sometimes the result is devastating. New research discovered preventive measures for a healthy heart. Substituting fish and plant-based protein instead of red meats (i.e. beef and lamb), and processed meats (i.e. hot dogs and luncheon meat) prevents cancer and heart disease.
Most people think of protein as meat so what are plant-based proteins? One of the more famous plant protein sources are legumes, in other words beans like kidney beans, fava beans, soy and many others. Legumes only represent some of the plant-based proteins, quinoa is another high quality plant protein. Quinoa is actually a gluten free seed rich in protein, fiber, iron, and calcium. These are very unique qualities for a plant. Researchers call quinoa the newest super food. So how do you prepare quinoa and where do you find it?
Quinoa can be used in salads instead of bulgur and it can be added to just about any salad for an extra crunch. You can serve it in place of rice and you prepare it the same way you make rice. If you are wondering where to purchase quinoa, you can find it in most grocery stores in the healthy foods section.
Below is my favorite quinoa recipe. It is based on a Turkish salad called Eatch which uses bulgur but here we substitute the bulgur for quinoa.
Preparation time: 30 minutes
1 cup quinoa
1 small can no salt added tomato sauce
1/2 teaspoon all spice
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Salt to taste
Juice of one lemon
1 medium sized tomato diced
1/2 small onion diced
1/2 bunch of parsley chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses or one tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Put tomato sauce and 1/2 cup water in small pot then add all spice, pepper and salt. Now put the pot on high heat, once the liquid boils add quinoa and bring pot back to a boil. Cover the pot and turn heat down to medium for 15 minutes. Turn off heat, add lemon and one tablespoon olive oil, then stir and cover the pot again. Let the pot stand for about 10 minutes.
Now put all the vegetables in a large mixing bowl, next add the quinoa and stir in olive oil and pomegranate molasses or balsamic vinegar. This dish tastes great with fresh lettuce. Scoop salad into small lettuce or cabbage boats for a nice finger food appetizer. This salad also tastes even better the next day so feel free to make it in advance and store it over night in the fridge.
Calories: 300 per cup serving
Fiber: 9 g or 37%
Protein: 10 g or 19%
Fat: 17 g or 27%
Vitamin A: 29%
Vitamin C: 133%