Cooking Delights

Friday, July 28, 2006

Quinoa bowl with Alligator Pears

Here are some quinoa bowls I made using the avacado dressing from Vive le Vegan. Alligator Pears is the colloquial name given to avacados. The health benefits of avacados are many. Avocados contain oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat that may help to lower cholesterol. Also, avocados are a good source of potassium, a mineral that helps regulate blood pressure. Adequate intake of potassium can help to guard against circulatory diseases, like high blood pressure, heart disease or stroke. Additionally, avacados contain the highest amount of the carotenoid lutein of all commonly eaten fruits, as well as measurable amounts of related carotenoids (zeazxanthin, alpha-carotene and beta-carotene) plus significant quantities of tocopherols (vitamin E) which has been shown to prevent prostate cancer.

Quinoa is an incredibly healthy grain that is actually a relative of the green leafy vegetables such as spinach and swiss chard! Again, the health benefits of quinoa are many. Not only is quinoa high in protein, but the protein it supplies is complete protein, meaning that it includes all nine essential amino acids. Not only is quinoa's amino acid profile well balanced, making it a good choice for vegans concerned about adequate protein intake, but quinoa is especially well-endowed with the amino acid lysine, which is essential for tissue growth and repair.

I sprinkled this rice bowl with cashews and pumpkin seeds. Nuts sometimes get a bad rap for being high in fat. The thing is, you can eat up, because they are a source of good fat. Not only do cashews have a lower fat content than most other nuts, approximately 75% of their fat is unsaturated fatty acids, plus about 75% of this unsaturated fatty acid content is oleic acid, the same heart-healthy monounsaturated fat found in olive oil. Pumpkin seeds are known to promote prostate health for men. The phytosterols compounds found in pumpkin seeds have a chemical structure very similar to cholesterol, and when present in the diet in sufficient amounts, are believed to reduce blood levels of cholesterol, enhance the immune response and decrease risk of certain cancers.

This quinoa bowl was garnished entirely with raw veggies. This is not only beneficial because it was a hot day but also because the enzymes present in raw food help aid in proper digestion of the food.

The quinoa bowls were realy simple to make. My four year old daughter particularly enjoyed garnishing her own bowl with the toppings that she liked... kind of like an ice cream sunday bar, only healthier!


  • At Friday, 28 July, 2006, Blogger Dori said…

    I love quinoa and this appeaers to be a very helthy meal.

  • At Friday, 28 July, 2006, Blogger Melissa West said…

    Thanks dori! I love your new image. You look so cute holding your fresh veggies in those baskets.

  • At Friday, 28 July, 2006, Blogger KleoPatra said…

    Love the quinoa and LOVE the bowl. That is gorgeous all around!!!

  • At Friday, 28 July, 2006, Blogger Melissa West said…

    Thanks kleo...

    my daughter and I went to get square plates early this week... I was also interested in getting deep square bowls (in white) for rice bowls. My daughter saw these ones and insisted we get them. I kept saying, are you sure, we were planning on getting the white ones. She kept saying, "Yeah, you should get them" in the cutest little four year old inflection you can imagine.

    so... I am glad you like the bowls. funny thing is I am really enjoying eating off my pretty new plates and bowls. today at lunch my daughter asked for rice bowls again... for the second time this week! I love that she is starting to eat food outside the pizza and pasta family!

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