NuttyYogi — Quinoa

Marrying Ayurveda to Modern day Diets

Marrying Ayurveda to Modern day Diets 0

Marrying Ayurveda to Modern day Diets 

There is no denying that currently we are on a roller coster ride full of new diets and fads. These include diets of cleanse, superfoods, clean eating, detox and the list can go on. What we forget is that Indian Ayurveda had known and practised this science generations ago and there is a vast treasure of knowledge what we have had all along. Ayurveda, an age-old Indian science, has secrets to clean, healthy lives that don't need you to spend excessively on every new health fad, and can be accessed through one's everyday kitchen.

Ayurveda talks about elements our body is build of air, water, fire, ether and earth and the misbalances these elements get into - the doshas - Vata, Pitha and Kapha! The key is to eliminate or reduce the dosha and achieve a state of harmony. All foods many not suit us despite being inherently healthy and safe to consume. So how to do we really figure whats good for us. 

There are two simple choices in front of us. We go to a Ayurvedic practitioner and get our dosa checked and go as per recommended diets for the same. Or better still start listening to our bodies. Is the red rice we just had, actually made us feel lighter or heavier. How did we emotionally feel after consuming a particular food group at the time of the day. If we felt lighter, energetic, happy. We can listen to our internal gut system. 

Going on a diet should not be a mind game but mindful eating would actually lead us to the bliss we are looking from a healthier body…..


Pearly Barley Risotto

Pearly Barley Risotto 0

From this point forward, barley will be your new best friend. Unlike plain white rice, pearl barley is an excellent source of fibre and protein, to keep you full and energised longer.

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1/2 Cup Diced Shallots or Onions
2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
1 cup mixed Mushrooms of all the types available.
1 Teaspoon Nutty Yogi Italian Seasoning or mixed herbs of your choice
1/2 Teaspoon Himalayan Pink Salt
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
1 Cup Pearl Barley (soaked overnight and par boiled)
4 - 4 1/2 Cups Vegetable Stock
2 Tablespoons Balsamic, Apple Cider, or Red Wine Vinegar
1/4 Cup Nutritional Yeast (for vegan options) // Parmesan

Place a large saucepan over medium heat and add the olive oil. Once melted or shimmering, add onions and saute until softened and translucent; about 5 - 6 minutes.
Mix in all the herbs and seasonings, followed by the barley. Stir thoroughly and saute for 4 - 5 minutes longer to gently toast the grains. Gently pour 4 cups of the stock in, followed by the vinegar. Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low, and let cook for 30 - 35 minutes, until the grains are tender and the liquid has almost entirely been absorbed.
Add the cheese cooking for just a minute
Turn off the heat and stir in the creamy finish of your choice. Serve hot!

#nuttyyogi #risotto #barley#healthyeating #healthyliving #italian#nuttyfood
Quinoa - the Super seed

Quinoa - the Super seed 1

I picked up my first packet of quinoa a few years back after I read an article screaming about its goodness. The packet sat pretty in my pantry for a few months! I would look at the packet and wonder about it and then decide that is it too much of a bother to cook and anyway I am not sure if I will like the taste, if the family would like it – and isn’t it easier to make pasta for dinner? I forgot about its existence and it stopped niggling my conscience (it was expensive!). I finally threw it out when I was moving countries – the expiry date long gone!

When we moved into Dubai, it took a while to get the kitchen set and we were either eating out or ordering in for close to a month.

Zomato helpfully gave us a list of restaurants and we happily experimented with cuisines and dishes! We tried quinoa biriyani, quinoa tabbouleh, quinoa risotto and loved it!

We were converts!

I decided that something that tasted so good cannot possibly be healthy – and went fact hunting! To my surprise – I found that it is not just healthy – it is super healthy!!

Here’s a list of what I found:

  1. Quinoa is pronounced keen-wah not kwin – o – ah!
  2. Quinoa is not a grain!! It is what is called a pseudo grain. We eat the seed of the quinoa plant. It belongs to the Goosefoot family and is related to other filled with goodness plants like Spinach and Chard.
  3. Quinoa is naturally gluten free and it is a complete protein. It provides all of the essential amino acids which the body needs. It is rich in Iron, magnesium, Vitamin E, potassium and fiber. It is a great source of proteins for vegetarians
  4. Quinoa is not a modern day seed – it has been the staple food from pre – historic days! The ancient Incas cultivated it in the Andes region of South America.
  5. It comes in different colours. The colours just add to the variety and all of them are equally nutritious!

Cooking Quinoa

With its nutty flavor and fluffiness, it is a versatile seed and lends itself to any recipe. It can be used in salads, baked dishes, risotto, biriyanis, dosas, cookies, pancakes… the list is endless and the limit is your imagination! It pairs well with most vegetables and gives a nutritious boost to all your dishes!

Basic Recipe

First things first! Rinse your quinoa well! Nature has given the seeds a bitter coating to deter birds.. but we cannot let that deter us! Soak the quinoa in cool water for 5 – 7 minutes and rinse well. I use a large tea strainer or a fine meshed colander to help me rinse it!

Quinoa is cooked the same way as rice. Pour 2 cups of water in a pot and add 1 cup of quinoa to it. Let it simmer for 12- 15 minutes till all the liquid has been absorbed. Do not stir while simmering. Once the water has been absorbed – remove from heat and gently fluff up the quinoa with a fork. Ta da! Your quinoa is ready! ( If you are like me and use a pressure cooker for everything – pressure cook 1 cup of quinoa with 1 ¾ cups of water for one whistle). Salt is optional. Don’t be grossed out by the little curly string that will come out of cooked quinoa- it is just the germ of the seed and is edible! 

    • Pallavi Gupta
    • Tags: Quinoa


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