Summer produce in South Florida
Put your pesto sauce to work
All about asparagus
You say tomato?
The number one question vegetarians get asked is probably, “If you don’t eat meat, than what DO you eat?” Well, it’s not just veggies! Vegetarians have a different definition of what a dinner plate should look like and it doesn’t have to be the predictable combo of meat/vegetables/carbs. Veg-heads rely on a diverse array of produce, grains, beans and dairy to round out their diets. The good news is that products once labeled as “health food” staples at specialty stores are now making appearances in neighborhood markets.
Quinoa is a protein-packed seed that has a nutty flavor, with a slightly creamy and fluffy texture. This “ancient grain” was widely used in by the Incas in South America and is slowly but surely making a comeback. Quinoa (pronounced “KEEN-wah”) is a wonderful source of protein for vegetarians and vegans and is also high in magnesium and iron – three nutrients that can be hard to get your daily intake of with a meat-free diet.
Quinoa is super-versatile and is cooked up right on the stovetop similar to brown rice. The most important tip when cooking with quinoa is to rinse the seeds with cool water thoroughly before cooking – this will get rid of the bitter taste and ensure that you’re left with a nutty, hearty flavor.
Here are a few easy ways to get started with quinoa:
(1) Amp up the protein in your dinner and serve vegetarian chili over quinoa
(2) Mix with chickpeas, feta cheese and chopped olives (and maybe some spices such as cumin or oregano) for a quick, healthy lunch
(3) Fill a sun-dried tomato wrap with quinoa, veggies, cheese and your favorite salad dressing for easy picnic fare
(4) Mix a bowlful of quinoa with honey or maple syrup and some fresh fruit for a filling, warm breakfast
Read all about quinoa, including its origins and the many health benefits.
Ready to cook with quinoa at home? South Florida Costco warehouse stores often have Earthy Delights Organic Quinoa in stock.
Want someone else to cook quinoa for you? Try Kevin’s Special at Juice & Java Natural Food in Boca Raton. The organic eggs, quinoa, tomatoes, portabella mushrooms and spinach make for a hearty weekend breakfast.
For more great vegetarian recipes, cooking ideas and restaurant suggestions, follow the Boca Raton Vegetarian Food Examiner by subscribing at the top of the page.
Join my Facebook group!