Tag Archives: Quinoa

Teff- ‘The New Quinoa’

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My kitchen-sink Teff muffins pack a healthy, hearty, nutritional punch. Guilt-free nibbling encouraged : )

Ethiopian born Tirunesh Dibaba is one of my favorite female distance runners. If you have seen her effortlessly smooth and swift kick at the end of a long distance race, passing other ELITE competitors as if they are jogging, then you know why I admire her so much. She has won 2 olympic gold medals in the 10,000M (First woman to win back-to-back 10,000M olympic races- in 2008 then again in 2012), and a gold medal in the 5000M. She holds the women’s world record in the 5000M- 14:11.15. In 2014, she ran her first ever marathon in London, where she placed 3rd in a time of 2:20:34. How does she do it?? What super food is she eating to fuel her high level of training? While we know there is no secret diet or specific food that will transform our health and performance, it is still fun to learn about what our favorite athletes eat.

For thousands of years, a major food staple in the diets of Ethiopians has been a tiny grain that resembles a poppy seed, called Teff. The naturally gluten-free grain is a nutritional powerhouse often hailed as a superfood for it’s ample supply of minerals including Calcium, Manganese, Phosphorus, Copper, Thiamin, and key for distance runners- IRON. Just one serving of the grain (1/4 Cup dry) supplies 7 grams of protein, 4 grams of fiber, and 20% of the Daily Value for Iron. The grain also provides 8 of the 20 essential amino acids necessary for growth and repair within the body. Unlike other grains, Teff supplies Vitamin C, which improves Iron absorption.

In Ethiopia, Teff is ground into flour then fermented to make a sourdough flatbread called Inerja. The bread, thin like a tortilla, soft, and porous, serves as an edible platter for all dishes. Pieces of the bread are torn off and used to roll up bites of vegetables or other foods being served on it. According to an article by The Washington Post, the Whole Grains council estimates that up to 2/3 of the protein in Ethiopian diets comes from Teff. Ethiopian distance runners credit the grain with their energy and health.

Teff can be cooked on the stove like quinoa as a side dish at dinner, or it can be used as a breakfast porridge. Mix the grain into a salad for an added textural element. Teff flour, made by companies like Bob’s Red Mill, can be used to make pancakes, breads, and cookies.

I had to try Teff for myself so I experimented by concocting an original recipe of my own. I call them my Teff kitchen sink muffins because I threw in pretty much whatever I had in my pantry- miraculously, especially considering the difficulty of cooking with Gluten-free flours, the muffins were a yummy and satisfying success! Here is the recipe:

Dry ingredients: 1C oats, 1C Teff flour, 1C coconut flour, 3 tbsp freshly ground golden flax, 3 tbsp chia seeds, 1/2 tbsp ground ginger root, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1tsp salt, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp baking power

Mix dry ingredients then make a well to pour the pre-mixed wet ingredients into.

Wet ingredients: 2 mashed bananas, 1/3 C honey, 1 tsp vanilla, 2 C goat milk (coconut flour absorbs a lot of liquid and requires more egg), 1/2 C plain kefir, 1 tbsp melted butter, 3 eggs

Stir everything together. Top with sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and diced pecans. Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Yields 12 muffins.

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Ideas for every meal today!

ImageI’ve mentioned it before, one of the top excuses for eating crappy food is a lack of time (aka poor planning). But did you realize that just like you can pick out your outfit for the upcoming day, you can also prepare your breakfast so that something healthy is waiting for you as you head out the door in the morning? You can… and you should! Here is a healthy idea for every meal of the day!

Breakfast: OVERNIGHT OATS

To make basic overnight oats mix 1/2 C oats with 1/2 C milk or yogurt. Then choose whatever add-ins you’d like. Try any kind of fruit (fresh or dried), cinnamon, vanilla, flax/ chia seeds, or nuts. I sprinkled goji berries on mine! Refrigerate overnight, and in the morning you can grab your healthy breakfast in a hurry.

IMG_0704Lunch: TURKEY-AVO SANDWICH/WRAP w/GREEK YOGURT SPREAD

I used my favorite Ezekiel bread, piled with spinach, turkey, & sliced avocado. I used a thin layer of plain nonfat greek yogurt on each slice of bread as a healthy spread.

Image (1)Dinner: QUINOA, KALE, CORN & BEET SALAD

Begin by rinsing quinoa in a fine strainer under cold water. In a saucepan, cook 1/2 C of quinoa with 1 C water. Bring to a boil then simmer until seeds become translucent and begin to spiral. 1/2 C dry will make about 2 C cooked. For this recipe I used Simple Truth Organic Quinoa, which can be found in the health food aisle of Kroger. Combine 1.5 C chopped kale, 1/2 C corn, 3/4 C peeled and sliced beets, and 1 C quinoa in a medium bowl.

Try this: Quinoa Granola

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I guess I could have included this recipe in yesterday’s post about healthy breakfast variations, but oh well! Like many people I get tired of eating the same foods all the time so trying out new recipes like this is a good way to change it up. This was my first attempt at making homemade granola, but it was pretty quick and easy. The granola came out tasting crunchy and delicious. I found the recipe on Treats With a Twist.

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 C uncooked quinoa
  • 1/2 C raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 C chopped almonds
  • 1/4 C whole flax seed
  • 1/4 C honey
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Directions: Combine all ingredients except honey, cinnamon, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Warm honey in a microwave safe bowl for 20 seconds, stopping halfway to stir. Mix cinnamon and salt into warm honey and pour over dry ingredients in mixing bowl, stirring to combine. Cook mixture on a baking sheet for about 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Stir every 10 minutes throughout the baking process. Let cool & enjoy 🙂

Hearty Post-Run Breakfast

Following a solid 8 mile run this morning, I decided to try out a new breakfast recipe I found on fedandfit.com for egg-stuffed tomatoes.

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What a good idea!! I sliced off the top of the tomato with a knife, then hollowed out the inside with a spoon. I mixed 2 eggs, diced arugula, fresh chopped basil from the garden, and a dash of salt and pepper in a bowl. Next I poured the mixture into the hollowed out tomato. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes. Eggs will be on the runnier side.

I served the tomato on a bed of quinoa and enjoyed a big bowl of watermelon on the side. Some black coffee completed the meal, although it was already pretty hot at 9 am this morning. There was a heat flash that followed. Too bad I don’t like iced coffee!

Summer Officially Begins

Quinoa, black bean, corn avocados

Although finals were over a week ago, I had one more week of running and competing, including 37.5 laps at the Mid-American Conference, to do before I could head home for the summer. The team got home late Saturday night, then I used the rest of the weekend to pack up my room and say goodbye to friends. I finally got back yesterday morning. Ah home sweet home 🙂

After living in a less than organized and definitely not clean college house for a year, coming home to a clean and organized kitchen with all the necessary utensils made the idea of cooking irresistible- an immediate must!

I was doing a lot of pinning during my breaks between studying for finals and on the bus ride to and from MACs, so I had plenty of recipes that I was eager to try. One of my friends came over to help and we decided to make quinoa, corn, and black bean stuffed avocados, inspired by a recipe found on the blog, Bullfrogs and Bulldogs. You can find that recipe here, (although we made some changes) :  http://www.bullfrogsandbulldogs.com/spicy-quinoa-stuffed-avocado/

We sliced four avocados in half and added a dash of salt, pepper, and roasted red pepper flakes. For the stuffing we combined quinoa, black beans, sliced grape tomatoes, corn, juice from 1 whole lime, cilantro, and a little bit of Frank’s hot sauce. We did not measure everything out exactly, just combine the ingredients in the proportions you prefer! There was a lot of extra stuffing, which we served alongside the stuffed avocados. We also served some freshly sliced mango on the side.

Stuffed avocado dinner