Dinner Tonight: Gluten-Free Chicken Fingers

chicken-fingers2Gluten is a protein in grains such as wheat, rye and barley. Eating gluten gives many people symptoms including diarrhea, gas, cramps, bloating, fatigue, headaches and irritability. These symptoms are common to both celiac disease and gluten sensitivity, and they tend to worsen the more gluten we eat.

Celiac disease and gluten sensitivity have been on the rise, with the prevalence of celiac disease doubling in the past 25 years. Celiac disease is a chronic autoimmune disease triggered by consuming gluten, Continue reading “Dinner Tonight: Gluten-Free Chicken Fingers”

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Dinner Tonight: Quinoa Tabbouleh

cukeandtomatoMy parents’ garden is overflowing with tomatoes, cucumbers, parsley and mint – all ingredients that go into tabbouleh. Tabbouleh is a Middle Eastern dish traditionally made of bulgur wheat, finely chopped herbs, and spices. Tabbouleh is thought to have originated in Lebanon, where it is the national dish, but it is now enjoyed all over the world, particularly in vegetarian or vegan cuisines or as a refreshing summer treat. Tabbouleh is one of those dishes that lends itself to improvisation, so I swapped out the traditional bulgar and replaced it with quinoa.

Quinoa is a seed and not a grain, and its high protein content and balance of amino acids make it an ideal addition to meatless diets, as well as gluten-free diets. Combined with the bounty provided by my parents’ garden (or your garden, or your CSA, or your farmers’ market!), this side dish is a vibrant, fresh-tasting salad, packed with antioxidants, protein and overall deliciousness. Continue reading “Dinner Tonight: Quinoa Tabbouleh”

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Quinoa: A Super Grain

Quinoa is a seed that is related to beet, chard, and spinach plants. It is considered a grain and a tasty choice for those who follow a wheat or gluten-free diet. It comes in a variety of colors and is a very nutritious food. Quinoa has a slightly nutty flavor and when cooked is fluffy and creamy, but still a little crunchy. Actually, it was quite the staple for South American Native Indians, and the Incas called it the “monster seed.” Also known to give strength and stamina, it was the called “the gold of the Aztecs.”

Quinoa is a great source of magnesium and manganese, plus a good source of the minerals iron, phosphorous, copper and zinc. It also contains B2, vitamin E and fiber. Quinoa has all of the essential amino acids, which makes it an excellent source of protein.

Easy to prepare, this grain is a tasty accompaniment to any meal. For perfectly cooked quinoa, simply add 1 part grain to 2 parts liquid. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat. Cover and let summer for about 15 to 20 minutes. The quinoa should look translucent at the end of the cooking process. You can dress it up any way you like. Here are some quick serving ideas to try.  Continue reading “Quinoa: A Super Grain”

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Lentil Quinoa Burgers with Hemp Pesto

It’s grilling season, and if you are a vegetarian, hamburgers aren’t high on your list for a fun summer meal. A great alternative is this recipe, which is chock-full of protein, fiber and omega-3’s.  The fiber will keep you feeling full, and the protein in the lentils will help balance your blood sugar. Hempseeds are a great source of omega-3’s, which provide cardiovascular benefit.  Hempseeds can be found at any healthfood store and add a nutty flavor to the burger.  I made extra pesto and found that it was tasty on a variety of sandwiches.  You can also freeze it for future use.

Quinoa is an ancient, gluten-free grain that contains all of the amino acids, so it is one of the few non-animal proteins that is an actual complete protein. Quinoa is light, tasty, and  easy to digest. It is not sticky or heavy like most other grains, and  it has a delicious flavor all on its own.

Even meat eaters will love this delicious burger!

1 cup dried green or brown lentils
1/2 cup quinoa
1 cup cilantro, packed Continue reading “Lentil Quinoa Burgers with Hemp Pesto”

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