Quinoa Power

Quinoa -- You'll love this ancient power seed.
Quinoa — You’ll love this ancient power seed.

I’ve been eating a lot of quinoa lately.   It started when I cooked up a couple of extra batches for a gluten-free bean burger recipe I was testing for a client.  I had plenty of leftovers to play with.  So, I did.

I love quinoa.  It’s so easy.  The cooking method is similar to brown rice, but much quicker.   I cook it in home-made vegetable stock instead of water.  Delicious.  Then, I use it pilaf-style, stir-fry style, or plain as a side dish.

My new favorite breakfast is quinoa, eggs, and kimchi.  ( I’ll write about kimchi another time. )

Besides delighting my taste buds, Quinoa fuels my energy.  It’s slightly alkaline – which means it’s not an energy drag.  It’s easy to digest, and it promotes balanced blood sugar.  And, it is considered to be a complete protein.   So, it’s perfect for vegetarians and vegans.

A tiny little grain (actually  a seed) – with so much to give.  Ancient Incans considered it as valuable as gold.   They used to increase the strength and stamina of their warriors.

So, you may ask, how do I make it? It’s easy, but there’s a trick to avoid the bitter flavor it can have.   Here’s a basic recipe.

BASIC  EASY QUINOA

1½ cups quinoa, rinsed with boiling water, drained in a fine mesh sieve
2  cups water or vegetable stock
Pinch of salt

1.       Rinse the quinoa in boiling water. This will help remove the bitter outer-coating.

2.       In a heavy-bottomed stock pot, bring water or vegetable stock to a boil.

3.       Add quinoa.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce to simmer.

4.       Cook over low heat for 20 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Fluff with a fork.

If you want my recipe for quinoa pilaf, email me at marian@goodfoodsolutions.com for a free recipe.

And, share this with anyone you think might want to try quinoa.

Questions  about quinoa?  Do you have a favorite quinoa recipe?   Let me know.  Post your comments below.

Cloves to The Rescue

Cloves -- Nature's tiny energy booster.
Cloves — Nature’s tiny hero.

About a week ago I came down with a strange little virus.  I had a very sore throat, along with a number of canker sores in my mouth.  Yuk, not pleasant.  I was weak, tired, and I felt like I could sleep for-ever. But, because it was the day before my daughter Rosalie’s 16th birthday,  I was determined to get better FAST.

So, I loaded myself up with Kombu-Shiitake Stock, EmergenC,  and Umeboshi  Plum —  anything to boost my immunity.  Unfortunately, none of this was helping my throat — or my mouth.    And that’s when I remembered   —   CLOVES.

Back in the old days, before ibuprofen and novocaine, cloves were used to soothe tooth aches.  They are very effective at numbing pain.  I knew this, so I decided to try some clove tea, a remedy I’ve used before as an afternoon pick-me-up.

It worked!  After a couple of cups, my throat and mouth felt much better.   I kept it up, got lots of rest and drank quarts of Kombu stock.  And I got better  –  just in time for Rosalie’s birthday celebration.

Clove tea is super easy to make.  Put a pinch of whole cloves, approx. 5 or 6, in a tea ball or filter.  Put the tea ball in a cup, fill with boiling water, and steep for 3-4 minutes.  You can add honey to taste, although it tastes good without.

As I said, I’ve also used Clove Tea as a pick-me-up.  I got the idea from my friend and teacher,  Herbalist  Letha Hadady, www.asianhealthsecrets.com.  Cloves are fabulous for boosting energy.  They warm and energize the adrenal glands, enabling them to provide you with more energy.

According to Ancient Chinese Medicine, cloves also relieve nausea, hiccups, and even impotency.  Who knew something so tiny could have so much power?

So next time you need a rescue, go for the cloves.

Feel free to share this with anyone who might appreciate a kindly recue right about now.  And, tell me about your own home remedies.  I’d love to know what works for you!

Be Well and Energized,

Marian

Happy Cows, Green Tea

happy cow

I just got back from a trip to  Vermont with my husband Tom, and  two daughters, Annika and Rosalie.  Vermont, land of green mountains, is truly vibrant and green – with lush green fields, and lots of happily grazing cows.  I love cows, happy cows especially.

We stayed in Burlington, (home of the irresistible health food store City Market).  On our last day, Annika, our 19-year-old tea-lover, brought us to the Dobra Tea Room http://www.dobratea.com.  After a couple of cups of delicious Assam Brahmaputra, an Indian tea perfect for long journeys , we left with a box of Extra Gunpowder Green Tea.  I’m drinking a glass of it right now, from sun tea I made earlier this morning.

As a recovering coffee addict, I switched over to green tea about 5 years ago.  (Okay, I confess, I cheat.  Mostly on weekends.  )  Coffee, sad to say, is very hard on the adrenal glands, and mine were shot.

Green tea has much less caffeine than coffee (30-60mg compared to 100 mg in coffee).  This means less stress on the adrenals, and in the end, MORE ENERGY.  Adrenal glands pump out the hormones responsible for lifting energy.  When they’re overworked by coffee and other stimulants, they eventually give up.   After a while, those daily cups of coffee will just make you tired and wired.

Tea has theanine, an amino acid which actually helps to counteract the adrenal-whipping effects of caffeine.  Theanine helps you relax by increasing alpha waves in your brain.  It also increases GABA, the neurotransmitter responsible for relieving stress and anxiety.  Don’t worry, tea won’t relax you enough to make you fall  asleep.  Theanine works synergistically with caffeine to boost your focus and cognition.

Bottom line, the more relaxed you are, the less energy you’ll waste on stress and anxiety.  Tea, especially green tea, is kinder to your adrenals.  Just like happy grass-fed cows give better milk, happy adrenals give better energy.

To learn more about foods to make you feel great, come to Good Mood Foods on October 28.

Stay tuned for effervescent tips to slay your slump and bust your funk.

Be Well!

Marian

Rejuvenate with Coconut Water

Young green coconut water is nearly identical to human blood plasma.  It was used iduring WWII for emergency plasma transfusions.
Young green coconut water is nearly identical to human blood plasma. It was used during WWII for emergency plasma transfusions.

I love coconut water.  Especially when it goes on sale.

A few years ago I began drinking coconut water as a revitalizing after-work-out-sports-drink.  It’s perfect for replenishing electrolytes lost through sweat.   According to David Wolf, author of Superfoods, coconut water is one of the highest sources of electrolytes in nature.

This is great news.  Electrolyte depletion causes lethargy, fatigue, and weakness.  When you replenish your electrolytes, you boost your energy.

Coconut water is  a much healthier choice than the sugary, artificially colored and flavored sports drinks.  I like it because of its gentle, nutty flavor.  It’s like drinking a magical healing potion.

The best way to enjoy coconut juice is straight from the young green coconut.  Look for them in health food stores and Asian markets.  Or, on a Caribbean beach.   Also available in cartons and cans, there are a number of new products on the market.  Be sure to check the ingredients. — some brands actually have added sugar.  Coconut water is naturally sweet and needs no sugar.

Coconut water is the perfect ingredients for my morning smoothies.  And, I love making coconut juice kefir.  More on this later…

Stay Cool,

Marian

Green Revival

Yummy Green
Yummy Green

Going green means many things – recycling, hybrids, organic cleaning products… When I talk about going green, I mean eating green.  The color green, that is.  Eat green to fight fatigue.

Green was my favorite color as a child, but I didn’t much like it on my plate.   “Eat your greens” was a command I resisted, like most of us did.  Many still do.

Despite any resistance you may have, I’m going to tell you to  EAT AND DRINK YOUR GREENS to slay your sick-and-tired slump.

Green, chlorophyll- and mineral-rich foods help alkalize your system.  This means they will help you maintain a slightly alkalized body chemistry, which is the basis of good health and vibrant energy.  Alkaline-forming foods include most vegetables.

Refined carbs, sugar, protein rich foods, coffee, and alcohol,  (you know, all of our favorite comfort foods) are  acid-forming foods.  Too many acid foods combined with too much stress will deplete your body’s  minerals and zap your energy.

When my energy begs for a boost, I turn to my trusty jar of concentrated greens.  I like Garden of Life Perfect Food, but there are a number of excellent products out there.  Look for a product with a variety of algae, grasses, and sea vegetables.

Stir one scoop into water, stir and drink.  Some of you might not like it too much, but do it anyway.  One, or even two, servings a day is one of the best ways I know to shift out of a de-mineralized, acid-induced fatigue.

It’s also a great way to ‘eat’ greens, for those of you who have a hard time getting enough vegetables.

Every day life can be extremely acid-forming for our systems, making us sick and tired.  Sometimes a concentrated boost of alkalizing  greens, is just what we need to break free of the slump.

You be amazed at how good you can feel.

Stay tuned for more funk-busting, slump-slaying  goodies.