Thursday, August 4, 2011

Quinoa 365 - The Everyday Superfood: A Book Review

A few months ago I was introduced to the wonderful world of cooking with Quinoa, and I haven't looked back. This wonderful, gluten free food choice gives my family and I a break from the mundane task of eating either pasta or rice to get our grains in for the day. It is truly one of my new favorite foods and can be cooked for every meal and in so many ways.

Recently I had the opportunity to review a fantastic cookbook that any fan of Quinoa would love and I can't wait to tell you all about it!

About The Book:

Quinoa 365 is the first definitive cookbook featuring this new gluten-free superfood, with a host of delicious recipes to enhance everyday cooking with superior nutritional value.
One of the world’s healthiest foods, quinoa contains a perfect balance of all eight essential amino acids, and is a great source of protein, making it an increasingly popular food choice for those looking to incorporate superfoods into their everyday diets. Gluten-free, wheat-free, and nutrient-packed, quinoa is ideal for those who are health-conscious, vegetarian, or physically active, as well as for those with gluten intolerance, wheat allergies, and other digestive disorders. But that’s not all; you can eat quinoa guiltlessly knowing it’s free of cholesterol and trans fats, contains natural antioxidants, and is a source of vitamin E, calcium, potassium, iron, and magnesium. In Quinoa 365 sisters Patricia Green and Carolyn Hemming show you how to use this miraculous superfood in all your favorite dishes. 

One of the most remarkable things about quinoa is its versatility. It is compatible with almost everything you eat throughout the year. Soups, salads, entrĂ©es, and desserts all taste great with quinoa, and thanks to Patricia and Carolyn’s easy-to-follow recipes, they’re also simple to prepare, regardless of your cooking ability. In recipes ranging from Blueberry Flax Hot Cereal to Thai Cashew Chicken & Broccoli on Quinoa, Quinoa 365 is a go-to guide for using quinoa in all the dishes you already love. 

Why not try adding quinoa to your everyday menus? Savour Patricia and Carolyn’s healthy versions of:

•    Pumpkin Pancakes
•    Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Soup
•    Mango Chicken Quinoa
•    Outrageously Quick & Easy Pizza Crust
•    Quinoa Crusted Chicken with Sage
•    Tomato & Basil Crustless Quiche
•    Chocolate Cheesecake Brownies
About The Authors:
Patricia Green is a health-conscious mother, balancing family and career while constantly creating nutritious meals tasty enough to please her husband and two active children.
Patricia's post-secondary studies include nutrition, marketing and geography.
"I love the versatility of quinoa. I can use it in so many different dishes, packing extra nutrition in every meal my kids eat."
Residing just outside of Toronto, Canada, Carolyn Hemming is dedicated to eating right and being physically active.
Always busy balancing career & fitness goals, whether she is travelling on business or training for a marathon, Carolyn seeks foods that provide the right balance of energy and nutrition.
A sociology and communications graduate, Carolyn's critical perspective causes her to evaluate every bit of healthy information.
"Nothing compares to the complete nutrition of quinoa. Plus, it cooks fast and I can take it anywhere."
My Review:
First things first, this is officially my new favorite cookbook from 2011! I am so excited that I have found a cookbook that is not only visually appealing (it is full of stunning photos!), but it offers a ton of recipes using Quinoa, from breakfast to baby food and everything in between.
The first ten pages is a wonderful introduction to the world of Quinoa and all its various health benefits and history. Then there is a legend for the recipes that shows you whether recipes are gluten free, kid-approved, or vegetarian. Many of them are either all three, or a combination. Each recipe is extremely easy to follow, using many everyday ingredients. This is very important to me in a cookbook. I don't like to use ones where the recipes call for ingredients that a) I can't read, b) can't find or c) cost a fortune! You will not find that in Quinoa 365! It is perfect for any household trying to eat healthier and try new foods. In fact, my kids love Quinoa and so getting this book came at the perfect time. 
For the sake of review, I personally tried out a couple of recipes and honestly, they were fantastic! Not only did I find them super easy to make, but my kids LOVED each of the ones we tried (three in total). Here is one that we tried for breakfast last week:
Raisin Spice Cereal
1 Tbsp sliced almonds
2/3 cup water
3 Tbsp quinoa
1 Tbsp raisins
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch ground nutmeg
2 Tbsp quick-cooking rolled oats
2 Tsp brown sugar or maple syrup (I used Splenda Brown Sugar Blend and it worked great)
1/4 cup milk, soy milk half and half cream or vanilla yogurt (optional) (I did it with the yogurt)
The above serves 1 (I modified the recipe to serve five of us - with no issues)
Toast the almonds in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring frequently until fragrant, about 3-4 minutes. Remove the almonds and set aside.
Combine the water, quinoa, raisins, cinnamon, and nutmeg in the same small saucepan and bring the mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Stir in the oats, replace the cover and cook for an additional 6 minutes. Add the almonds and sugar. Top with milk, soy milk, cream or vanilla yogurt (if using). Serve immediately.
The above recipe was delicious! My kids even had seconds and thirds! Which does not happen typically at breakfast. The house smelled so good while this was cooking, and it was quick to prep, cook and easy to serve. 
If you are the parent of an infant or know one, you need to check out the last chapter of this book, as it gives 10 recipes perfect for introducing your child to solids for the first time, and for introducing new foods as they reach 12 months and older. This would be a fantastic baby shower gift for the healthy conscious new mom!
If you are a fan of Quinoa and looking for new and exciting ways to cook and bake with it, I highly recommend Quinoa 365 - The Everyday Superfood! I give this book a huge thumbs up!
BUY IT: You can purchase Quinoa 365 - The Everyday Superfood at your favorite bookseller from Whitecap Books
***I received a complimentary copy of this book, courtesy of Whitecap Books, for the purpose of review on this blog. All opinions expressed are my own, and I have not been compensated in any other manner***

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