Superfoods Kale and Quinoa Pack Nutritional Punch

Superfoods Kale Chips

Kale Chips. Photo: Bill Milne

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Superfoods Continue to Be All the Rage

Superfoods pack more nutrition than other foods. And Kale may be at the top of the list. The combination of vitamin C and antioxidants is a killer duo for your skin, boosting brightness and tightness. On top of that, kale possesses more calcium than milk, making it wonderful for those who cannot ingest lactose or simply want to boost bone health.

Stephanie Pedersen, author of Kale: The Complete Guide to the World’s Most Powerful Superfood (Union Square and Co/formerly Sterling) discovered the wonderful attributes of kale through her research, “Along the way, I learned a few wonderful things firsthand: Kale can make your skin look phenomenal due to its high content of skin-beautifying omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and vitamins A, C, and E … Kale provides a sustained energy and increased physical stamina due to the omega-3 fatty acids.”

Other pluses for kale, Pedersen reports, include helping your joints feel better, high fiber content to make you feel full, high beta-carotene content for better eyesight, and the ability to help your body get rid of toxins and old wastes.

The cookbook has a fabulous recipe for kale chips, a healthy way to get your snack fix. Her Baked Kale Chips are so easy to make that even the most finicky eater will become a kale lover.

Another idea from Pedersen to include the healthy kale leaf into your snacks is her Garlicky Kale and Spinach Dip.

Quinoa, which comes in a variety of colors and has a nutty, wholesome flavor, is a delicious and healthy addition to anyone’s diet.

“There’s a reason this South American seed is at the top of so many superfood lists,” Lutz said. “One cup of cooked quinoa has 8 grams of complete protein and 5 grams of dietary fiber.”

Superfoods quinoa

Quinoa Salad with Roasted Vegetables. Used with permission from Skyhorse Publisher

Have You Tried The Superfood Quinoa?

Quinoa is touted as a superfood, because it is considered a complete protein, meaning it has all of the nine amino acids essential to health.

According to The Quintessential Quinoa Cookbook author Wendy Polisi, “One reason that quinoa has gained so much attention is that it is particularly rich in lysine. This essential amino acid is required for cellular repair and also plays other important roles in the body, such as aiding in the adsorption of calcium and helping collagen develop. Do you suffer from cold sores? If so, you want to pay careful attention to your lysine intake because new evidence suggests that lysine may help prevent outbreaks.

Quinoa is available in a variety of forms, including seeds, flakes, flour, pasta, and polenta. There are some 1,800 varieties of quinoa, often available in white, red and black colors.

The grain is nutritious thanks to its richness in manganese, magnesium, fiber, calcium, phosphorous, zinc, potassium, copper, and iron. One cup of cooked quinoa has 222 calories.

Quinoa’s uses are limitless. To start your day on a healthy note, try quinoa breakfast porridge, sweetened similarly to oatmeal, with ingredients like cinnamon, maple syrup, raw honey, and vanilla.

Two delicious salad recipes from Polisi’s book are Quinoa Salad with Roasted Vegetables and Spicy Quinoa Salad.

Baked Kale Chips

Makes 4 servings

1 bunch kale

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon seasoned salt

Preheat an oven to 350° F.

Line a non-insulated cookie sheet with parchment paper.

With a knife or kitchen shears carefully remove the leaves from the thick stems and tear into bite size pieces. Wash and thoroughly dry kale with a salad spinner. Drizzle the kale with olive oil and sprinkle with season¬ing salt.

Bake until the edges brown but are not burnt, 10 to 15 minutes.

Reprinted with permission from KALE: The Complete Guide to the World’s Most Powerful Superfood, by Stephanie Pedersen © 2013 published by Sterling, paperback

Quinoa Salad with Roasted Vegetables

Makes 6 servings

2 cups quinoa, rinsed

3 cups of vegetable broth

2 heads of garlic, broken into cloves

2 zucchini, diced

2 carrots, diced

2 red onion, sliced small

2 red pepper, diced

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

Sea Salt

Fresh Ground Black Pepper

1 tablespoon tomato paste

¼ cup lemon juice

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/8 cup crushed red pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

3 oz feta cheese, crumbled (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees

In a saucepan, mix quinoa and vegetable broth.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer covered for 15 minutes.  Remove from heat and allow to remain covered.

Toss garlic with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil.  Salt and pepper to taste and place in a small dish.  Cover with foil.

Meanwhile, place zucchini, carrot, onion and pepper on a large baking sheet.  Drizzle with all but 2 tablespoons of the remaining olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Toss carefully.  Add to the oven and roast for 45 minutes.

Remove vegetables and garlic from oven and allow to cool.

Toss quinoa with tomato paste and fold in the roasted vegetables.  Squeeze garlic from cloves and add to the quinoa and vegetables.

In a small dish combine remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, lemon juice, minced garlic and crushed red pepper.  Season with mineral salt and ground black pepper.  Toss with quinoa and cooled vegetables.

Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Used with permission from The Quintessential Quinoa Cookbook by Wendy Polisi, published by Skyhorse.
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