My pre-wedding diet has consisted of cutting out sugars, including the hidden sugars in everyday processed foods (like sliced bread) and even the starch in potatoes which converts to glucose when it's digested. The advisor I saw recommended 5 days of no sugar and 2 days allowing myself a small amount of sugar - in other words, not scoffing a bar of Dairy Milk in front of the TV but being allowed to eat carbs with something sweet if I do really want it.
So I've been experimenting with all sorts of new recipes and eating a fair bit of quinoa (pronounced keen-wa). The health benefits of quinoa are explained thoroughly on this BBC Good Food site; it’s full of protein, wheat free, a good source of vitamins and fibre – the list goes on.
I decided to make a risotto using quinoa as the base instead of rice. You need to rinse quinoa (unless you buy it as part of a ready-made product), to remove something called saponin which can make the quinoa taste bitter. I wasn’t sure how I was going to do this as the seeds were so small they would go through my sieve, so I put the quinoa in bowl, filled it with water and swished it around. I carefully poured the water out of the bowl and found the density of the quinoa meant it stayed at the back of the bowl while I poured the water out so I didn’t lose any – but the water had turned very cloudy! So I did this a couple of times until I was happy the water was clear.
To cook quinoa the basic ratio is 1 cup of uncooked quinoa to two cups of liquid, so I used vegetable stock. Bring to a boil then simmer for 15-20 minutes until the liquid has been absorbed and fluff up with a fork.
I roasted some cubes of butternut squash in the oven, to use partly in this and partly in a salad the next day, so added the squash, some sliced spring onion and some fresh herbs on top. Finally I added some cubes of feta cheese. It made a filling, tasty and healthy meal which would also be good served cold as a salad.
I’m sharing this with Meat Free Mondays, hosted by Jacqueline at Tinned Tomatoes
And with No croutons required, a challenge for vegetarian soups or salads, hosted this month by Lisa's Kitchen as well as Jacqueline at Tinned Tomatoes.