When you’ve got kids, you barely notice kid-speak…. multi-syllable mistakes like Booger King, pasghetti and penisbutter are irrelevant to up, down, MINE, stop and NO!  And having babies can turn previously articulate intellectuals into slurring illiterates. After four children, my sister still isn’t sure if it’s Gerber or |J|erber babyfood… Ask her…and enjoy the pause…

On date night, I enjoy ordering Bruschetta and a glass of Beaujolais, but I’m not going to be a”gyro”(hero???) and lead with that! My index finger to the menu speaks for itself! My favorite proverb is “Better to be thought of a fool than to open your mouth and prove it.” SILENCE PLEASE!

But it’s human nature to smile coyly when a fellow friend stumbles into unfamiliar linguistics.  Just because we saw the movie “Sideways” and now order Pinot Noir with confidence doesn’t make it easy to suppress a condescending giggle when we hear “Penut Nor”…..With every new level of global integration comes an often imperceptible raise of the pinky. Only a reTARD would order fah-gee-tahs with their sakee, but who among us doesn’t say expresso? (btw: it’s espresso…)

So don’t feel bad if you’ve stuck with tofu products simply because you can pronounce it. I’ve spent the first year of my vegan existence proudly announcing my loyalty to “satan”.  And I’ve appreciated all the prayers that have come my way.  They’ve worked, as I’ve recently discovered that seitan is actually pronounced SEYtan. So I’m subtly phasing in the correction with my family and friends as though it’s their hearing that is questionable, and not my speaking skills or spiritual health.

Quinoa and Veggies seasoned in shoyu and topped with Gomasio is what’s for dinner tonight. As the Bible says, “Ask and you shall receive”, so if any of those words leaves you tongue-tied, grab the Merriam-Webster dictionary phone app or google away.

Preparing and pronouncing quinoa /keen-wah/ correctly is the key to enjoying this essential staple in the vegan/veggie diet. Quinoa is actually a seed, but it cooks up like a grain that is light, slightly crunchy and has a subtle flavor. (Rinsing the quinoa is key! When this step is skipped, there is a bitter flavor. I not only rinse, I soak for 5-10 minutes. Notice the screen-like colander…a pasta drainer won’t work as the holes are too big. I place the strainer in a mixing bowl, soak and re-rinse about 3 times.)

The quinoa goes in the rice cooker. My cooker calls for 2:1 water to grain, and I add a tablespoon of organic peanut oil.

 Why Qunioa?

     * It contains all 9 essential amino acids.

     *Is close to one of the most complete foods in nature because it contains amino acids, enzymes, vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants and phytonutrients.

     *It acts as a prebiotic that feeds microflora (good bacteria) in your intestines.

     *It is easily digested for optimal absorbtion of nutients.

     *It is gluten-free and safe for those with celiac disease and gluten intolerance.

     *It’s a superfood! It helps regulate blood sugar, enhance elimination, contributes to heart health.

See the link below for further information and links to more in-depth information.

Into the skillet goes 2 bulbs of chopped garlic (oh yeah, that’s bulbs, not cloves!) and a large vidalia onion. A few tablespoons of Bragg Liquid Amino (just an organic soy sauce…and organic is important with soy! My three favorites are pictured…) and Mirin, which is rice cooking wine. Next, a can of organic northern beans, which are packaged in sea salt and eliminates the need for adding any extra. I dice a yellow bell pepper, 2 celery stalks, 2 carrots, a head of broccoli, and sliced shitake mushrooms.

I put a lid on the skillet and lowered the heat to a simmer for about 20 minutes, until the veggies were soft.

I mixed with the quinoa in a serving dish and topped with gomasio (toasted sesame seeds). It was AWESOME.

Quinoa: An In-Depth Guide to the Amazing Health Benefits, Uses, and Other Darned Interesting Facts of this Beloved Body Ecology “Grain”

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