Sunday, September 28, 2008

Healthy Eating With Quinoa (keen-wah) and more solar oven experiments.

Started experimenting with quinoa this week after reading how the over-60 crowd doesn't tend to get enough protein in their diet. I've been buying quinoa in very small quantities for a while, but I never really made the attempt to add it to our diet in a big way prior to this week.

"Quinoa was of great nutritional importance in pre-Columbian Andean civilizations, being secondary only to the potato, and followed in third place by maize. In contemporary times this crop has come to be highly appreciated for its nutritional value, as its protein content is very high (12%–18%), making it a healthy choice for vegetarians and vegans. Unlike wheat or rice (which are low in lysine), quinoa contains a balanced set of essential amino acids for humans, making it an unusually complete protein source.[5] It is a good source of dietary fiber and phosphorus and is high in magnesium and iron. Quinoa is gluten free and considered easy to digest."
Wikipedia on Quinoa.

Made a variation of Quinoa and Black Beans for lunch one day this week as a test to see if Em liked it. I added cayenne, among a bunch of other things based on what I had on hand, and Em likes anything with a little kick to it. A few days later, I made a variation of Shrimp and Quinoa again adding cayenne and substituting cilantro for parsley. We liked the big flavors. This morning, I made myself a breakfast of quinoa, crushed almonds, homemade yogurt, and dried apple. VERY tasty, so I'm sure quinoa will now play a larger role in our diet.

The most I've used for a meal has been 1/2 cup dry seeds for a main course and even going back for seconds, we had a little leftover. For breakfast, I used 1/4 cup.

Friday was Em's first day back to work for this season, and I made a potroast in the sun oven for his before-work meal.


Friday was the first non-cloudy day of the weekSUPPOSED to be the first non-cloudy day of the week. I left the roast out for 3.5 hours because the sun kept going behind a huge rain-type-cloud. I'd scheduled a loaf of bread for Friday, as well, but had to use a different baking method because the roast was in the casserole dish that I use for bread baking.


I'd purchased some new gadgets this past week while ordering dough enhancer. Here's one of them:


I used it to slice the bread after it cooled and would have told everyone to save their money - It was THAT difficult to use, requiring holding the sides, the back, AND the loaf while simultaneously trying to cut the bread. Turns out I'd put it together incorrectly and Em could see where I went wrong, so I corrected my error and it's now extremely solid. :-)

Baked the bread for several hours, but it wasn't quite done with the sun hiding behind those clouds all afternoon. The bottom pie crust on that frozen pie I made last week wasn't quite done, either, for the same reason. Both problems were corrected with a short time in the house oven.

My flour is quite old, but I'm trying to use it all up (at least the whole wheat) before I start grinding my own wheat. Should only be a week or two of baking bread at least once/week before that happens.

Did you know you could take your own picture while baking?

Photobucket :-)

Here's another TV ad that's almost ready for prime-time:

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