Quinoa ‘Rice’ Pudding

Serves 2

Vegan; no gluten, dairy, egg, cane sugar; with options for soy

My daughter grew up as I did with a fondness for homemade rice pudding. More recently, my baby granddaughter tried this dessert quinoa-style and gave her approval. Versions of rice pudding are found in most cuisines. Possibly first developing in Persia, it was mentioned by the Romans, Confucius, Shakespeare and the Buddhist sutras. Sometimes different grains were used but the principle was the same.

This version is just as sweet and delicious as one using white rice and highly refined sugar. Quinoa is high in protein and along with dried fruit and cinnamon creates a relationship between parts that helps regulate blood sugar. Any left-overs make a great breakfast served hot or cold. Read more

Israeli Chermoula (sort of like pesto) with Chermoula Stuffed Vegetables and Quinoa ‘Tabbouleh’ with Chermoula

Makes about 1 cup of chermoula
Vegan and Paleo; no gluten, dairy, egg, soy or other legumes, potato or tomato

No wonder the people of the Mediterranean have such great health statistics – as well as so many diners eager for their classic dishes.

Chermoula is an Arabic word used to describe a North African fresh herb, lemon, olive, nut and spice mixture used as a marinade or topping for fish, meat or vegetables. My hearty version was inspired by reading the sigh-inducing and internationally popular cookbook Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi. The book is also a touching memoir by these two men who lived in the western and eastern parts of the city and met later in London. These districts have been embattled with each other, but the authors say the food and hospitality practices, culturally unify them.  Read more

Italian Polenta and Quinoa “Polenta”

Serves 2-3 as a main
(No gluten, dairy, legumes, egg, or nightshades)

Polenta is the Italian word for coarse cornmeal and also the dishes made from it. This is made with maize, which grows like corn on the cob, but is chosen for its starchiness rather than sweet eating properties and mostly ground into flour. Traditionally, yellow maize is seasoned and cooked in stock like a savoury porridge. It is then served as a side dish similar to a vegetable mash. Or the porridge is poured into an oiled square or round dish and chilled until firm. Immaculate golden slices can then be sliced and baked or fried, forming a satisfyingly crisp, toast-like crust with tender interior. These are consistently popular. Some restaurants slice polenta into baton shapes and serve them like chips. Read more

Quinoa ‘Risotto’ and Quinoa Pilaf

Serves 3

No gluten, dairy, nightshades or legumes

Quinoa (pronounced ‘keen-wah’) is a seed from Peru. It is high in protein and fibre while low in starch; a good source of manganese, magnesium, folate, flavonoids, some Omega 3 and other anti-inflammatory factors. It has a mild nutty taste; resembles and is used like a grain such as rice. Many people who are grain-sensitive (often to the gluten-containing grains) can do well on quinoa as it is not a member of the grass family. Whole quinoa (looks like bird seed) and flaked quinoa (resembles rolled oats) are in most supermarkets.

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