5 January 2011
Cooking Light Virtual Supper Club Takes on New Food for the New Year.... Quinoa with Roasted Garlic, Tomatoes, and Spinach
As we continue into our second year we are so glad you have decided to join us once again for our Cooking Light Virtual Supper Club. This is a monthly event where 5 ladies in two neighbouring countries get together to create a delicious meal with a theme in mind. We are now in our second year and continue to share a love for Cooking Light magazine which has an emphasis on healthy eating and living. This is a team effort where we combine what Cooking Light readers like best...good food with great company!!! Every month millions of readers turn to Cooking Light for recipes, advice on nutrition and fitness.
I am a little late on the bandwagon but I was happy to introduce myself to this amazing "new" food. Quinoa (pronounced keen-wa), is a grain that comes from the Andes Mountains of South America. Quinoa's origins are truly ancient. It was one of the three staple foods, along with corn and potatoes, of the Inca civilization. Quinoa was known then, and still is known, with respect, as the mother grain. It is a recently rediscovered ancient "grain" once considered "the gold of the Incas."
Quinoa contains more protein than any other grain; an average of 16.2 percent, compared with 7.5 percent for rice, 9.9 percent for millet, and 14 percent for wheat. Some varieties of quinoa are more than 20 percent protein. It is a complete protein, with an essential amino acid balance close to the ideal ... similar to milk! This article from Whole Foods will give you the "skinny" on all the benefits of this "Super grain of the Future."
Our newest member Mary Ann of Meet Me in the Kitchen started us off with two ingredients she has never tried before farro and chestnuts. Farro Minestrone with Brussels Sprouts, Butternut Squash, and Chestnuts was a stunning beginning to our menu. Thanks for choosing this months theme Mary Ann!
Next Sandi of The Whistlestop Cafe wowed us with a dish that I have also been wanting to try from the pages of Cooking Light... Rösti Casserole with Baked Eggs... I hope she thoroughly enjoyed her first experience with Rösti. I know I would have loved this dish!!!
As previously mentioned by new food is Quinoa. I brought Quinoa with Roasted Garlic, Tomatoes, and Spinach from the pages of Cooking Light.The tiny, beige-colored seeds have a nice crunch. The seeds have a fluffy, creamy, slightly crunchy texture and a somewhat nutty flavour when cooked. It's cooked and eaten like rice and other grains.Quinoa is light, tasty, and easy to digest. It is not sticky or heavy like most other grains, and it has a delicious flavour all its own. Be sure to give it a good rinse before cooking, or it may have a bitter taste. I loved the texture, the flavour...pretty much everything about this dish. I paired it with a "not so new to me" salmon steak.
Jamie of Mom's Cooking Club wowed us with a new food to her Fontina cheese. Her Onion and Fontina Beer Batter Bread sounds phenomenal!!!!
Helene of La Cuisine de'Helene wowed us with dessert this time virtually making a "new to her" flan. Your Vanilla Caramel Flan made such a tasty ending to the menu Helene.
What foods have you never tried before that you could introduce in 2011? Perhaps there is a preparation that you have never tried? If you would like to share this month join in below with a "new to you food" you have tried. Join in with a healthy dish from the pages of Cooking Light, from your archives or any another dish that would fit the "light" theme. Next month we will be celebrating Heart and Stroke Month with Red Foods so get your thinking caps on.
On to the recipe.....
**Quinoa with Roasted Garlic, Tomatoes, and Spinach**
1 whole garlic head
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon finely chopped shallots
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon dry white wine
1 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup baby spinach leaves
1/3 cup chopped seeded tomato (1 small)
1 tablespoon shaved fresh Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350°.