Super Foods to the Rescue

Eating clean and healthy is a cinch if you make sure to add these super foods to your diet!  I won’t list every food that claims to be SUPER, but here are a few that you’ll see over and over again!  I think I’ll do 3 per post to get us started.

OATMEAL:  You all know about my love-hate relationship with oatmeal.  No matter how hard I try, I just can’t love it, even though I’m learning not to hate it!  But why all the fuss?  Well, its simple, oatmeal is amazing!  Not only are oats good for your heart (helping lower cholesterol by up 20%) but its also good for your blood sugars.  Oats are packed with antioxidents, nutrients and FIBRE.  Its high soluble fibre count helps to keep you feeling full longer and keeps your blood sugar levels from spiking too quickly or dropping too much.  There are countless ways to enjoy a bowl of oatmeal everyday.  You’ll get the most benfits from real oats so toss out those sugar-laden instant oatmeal packages, and get creative with your own flavour combinations.  Keep your portion sizes in mind and ENJOY!

BERRIES:   YUMMY!  Berries are an excellent source of vitamin C.  They are also full of antioxidents, and even some minerals like calcium, magnesium, folate and potassium.  Their bright colours aren’t just for show either, they contain alot of phytochemicals (things like beta carotene and lutein) making them good for your eyes, your skin and hair, and great cancer fighters!  They are especially super for us PCOSers as they are a great way to curb our cravings for sweets, and have a relatively high portion size to calorie count.  (Notice, I put berries right after oatmeal?  Coincidence?  I think not 😉 )

QUINOA: (KEEN-WAH) It doesn’t matter if you can’t pronounce it, all you need to do is find it, use it, LOVE IT!!!  Quinoa is a high source of complete protein (meaning it has balanced essential amino acids, YAY!).  Its also a great source of fibre, amongst other nutrients.  Despite being lumped in with grains alot of the time, quinoa is actually a seed, and is more closely related to things like beets.  It is a perfect “meatless meal” food and should be found in every pantry.  The Inca’s even considered it to be sacred because of its high nutritional value.  You cook it just like rice, with a manditory pre-soak to get any grit or left over shell out (which can make it bitter).  Because of its neutral palate, it works well with just about any flavour.  Whether served hot, as a side dish, cold, in a salad, or even baked into cupcakes, quinoa is one super food that makes it to my table several times a week!

Here is a quick and easy Quinoa salad that is perfect as a side dish, lunch, dinner, and picnics!!!

  •  1 1/2 cups quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked black beans, rinsed if canned
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked corn (cut from about 2 large ears)
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
  • 2 pickled jalapeño chilies, seeded and minced (wear rubber gloves)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh coriander

For dressing

  • 5 tablespoons fresh lime juice, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cumin, or to taste
  • 1/3 cup olive oil

Prep:

In a bowl wash quinoa in at least 5 changes cold water(* I usually only rince mine about 2 times or so, until the water runs through them clear) , rubbing grains and letting them settle before pouring off most of water, until water runs clear and drain in a large fine sieve.

In a saucepan of salted boiling water cook quinoa 10 minutes. Drain quinoa in sieve and rinse under cold water. Set sieve over a saucepan of boiling water (quinoa should not touch water) and steam quinoa, covered with a kitchen towel and lid, until fluffy and dry, about 10 minutes (check water level in kettle occasionally, adding water if necessary).(* after I let my quinoa boil for about 10 minutes, I don’t strain it out of the water, I let it stay in the water to absorb, off of the heat, covered with a lid-the ratio is 2 cups of water for every 1 cup of quinoa so this recipe takes 3 cups of water!  I’ve never tried it the way the recipe says, but I plan on it and will let you know ).  While quinoa is cooking, in a small bowl toss beans with vinegar and salt and pepper to taste.

Transfer quinoa to a large bowl and cool. Add beans, corn, bell pepper, jalapeños, and coriander and toss well.

Make dressing:
In a small bowl whisk together lime juice, salt, and cumin and add oil in a stream, whisking. (* I prefer my dressings more vinegar-y than oily so I add more lime juice and less oil, its completely up to your own tastes though so feel free to adjust)

Drizzle dressing over salad and toss well with salt and pepper to taste. Salad may be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Bring salad to room temperature before serving.

Read More http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Quinoa-and-Black-Bean-Salad-12245#ixzz1PYUQgMwD

I’ve made this recipe a few times, adding things, changing things and just playing around with it!  Its yummy, and simple to make 🙂  I found it at Epicurious.com

Hope you enjoy these super foods!  Have a great weekend, take care everyone 🙂

I’m Happy, I’m Healthy, I’m Fertile, ttfn, xo

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