Quinoa and Raw desserts are sattvic foods I enjoyed during the course. I have included some information and recipes below.
One topic discussed during the lunches of our 200hr teachers training course was the availability of vegetarian sources of protein other than soy. As it is the Year of Quinoa in this post I explore this grain. Organic quinoa may be considered as a sattvic food as a healthy, natural, nutritious product.
Quinoa is a grain grown in South America, and while it does not necessarily have the protein content of beans or legumes, it does contain the 9 essential amino acids, making it a complete protein (like soybeans), which is rare for a vegetable source of protein (often a combination of vegetarian proteins are combined to ensure complete proteins are consumed). Essential amino acids are not synthesized in the body and thus need to be consumed. Quinoa also a good source of iron, calcium, dietary fibre, magnesium and phosphorus and is gluten free.
Recently quinoa has been in the media with media outlets questioning the ethics of the consumption of quinoa. It is noted that with its increased popularity in the West, less people in the Andes are consuming quinoa. The questions raised in articles encourage those who consume quinoa to think about the product they consume and its origins, and as Tom Philpott writes not ‘take it for granted’.
Two of my favourite ways of eating quinoa are:
Raw desserts when eaten in moderation may be considered as sattvic due to the fact that they contain natural sweeteners, fresh and or dried fruits, and nuts.
The two raw recipes we have enjoyed during our yoga adventure are from the blog My New Roots by Sarah Britton. This blog has a range of vegetarian and vegan recipes and really useful nutritional information. My two favourites are:
I recently made a Vegetarian version of Tom Yum Goong, and it is very easy to make. Almost foolproof. Just go to Golden Mile Shopping Centre and you will find a large Thai supermarket on the second storey. They sell nicely packed fresh ingredients specially for Tom Yum Goong. Just buy a packet and some extra chillies and it will work.
The pack consists of these key ‘figures’ such as lemongrass, thai ginger, thai lime and thai lime leaf. What’s missing are the chillies which you have to buy separately. Grab any vegetables and tofu that you like, and throw them into the soup!
Yummy!! If I can cook, so can you!
Anyway, here is a step by step recipe from About.com
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
- 5-6 cups good-tasting vegetable or faux chicken stock (makes 4 servings)
- 1-2 stalks lemongrass , minced (see link below), OR 3-4 Tbsp. frozen prepared lemongrass (available at Asian stores)
- 3 whole kaffir lime leaves (available fresh or frozen at Asian food stores)
- 1-2 cups soft tofu, sliced into cubes
- 1-2 red chilies, sliced, OR 1/2 tsp. dried crushed chili, OR 1-2 tsp. chili sauce
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 thumb-size piece galangal OR ginger, sliced into thin matchstick-like pieces
- 1 cup fresh mushrooms (I used shiitake), sliced
- 2 cups baby bok choy, leaves separated or chopped if large, OR substitute broccoli or bell pepper
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes
- 1/2 can good-quality coconut milk
- 1 tsp. brown sugar
- 3-4 Tbsp. soy sauce (use wheat-free for gluten-free diets)
- 1 Tbsp. fresh-squeezed lime juice
- 1/2 cup fresh basil + 1/3 cup fresh coriander/cilantro, roughly chopped
- Pour stock into a soup pot. If making the stock from cubes or powder, but sure to make it strong (if it tastes good on its own, it will make for a better Tom yum soup!). Now add the prepared lemongrass, plus the lime leaves, chili, garlic, and galangal or ginger. Bring to a boil and continue boiling for 5 minutes, or until broth is very fragrant.
- Add the mushrooms. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 5-8 minutes, or until mushrooms are soft.
- Add the bok choy and cherry tomatoes. Gently simmer 1-2 more minutes (bok choy should remain on the crisp side).
- Reduce heat to low and add the coconut milk, sugar, soy sauce, and lime juice. Finally, add the soft tofu and gently stir.
- Do a taste-test, adding more chili or chili sauce if not spicy enough. If not salty enough, add more soy sauce or a little more stock cube/powder or salt. Add 1 more tsp. sugar if too sour. If too salty or sweet, add another squeeze of lime juice.
- To serve, ladle soup into bowls with fresh basil and coriander sprinkled over. Enjoy!
N.B: I prefer clear Tom Yum Goong, so I didn’t add any milk.
Vanessa’s Mediterranean Vegetables Bruschetta
Ingredients: (serves 4)
1 small French baguette
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small eggplant (230g), sliced thinly
2 medium egg tomatoes (150g), sliced thinly
2 tablespoons fresh baby basil leaves
1 table spoon baby capers, rinsed, drained
- Preheat oven to hot (200-220 degrees Celsius).
- Cut bread, on an angle, into 8 slices; brush both sides with half the oil, place on oven tray. Toast uncovered, in hot oven for 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cook eggplant on heated grill plate/shallow fry until browned lightly.
- Divide eggplant, tomato, basil and capers evenly among bruschetta. Drizzle with remaining oil.
Vegetable Delight on Garlic Bread (www.allrecipes.com)
Ingredients: (serves 5)
1/8 cup olive oil
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 medium eggplant, cubed
1 zucchini, cubed
1 medium tomato, peeled, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon minced oregano (optional)
1 French baguette
4 teaspoons garlic powder
6 teaspoons butter, softened
- Place olive oil and garlic in a large pan, stir frying occasionally over medium heat until the garlic is golden brown.
- Add eggplant and zucchini to the pan, fry until the eggplant is brown and tender; approximately 5 to 7 minutes.
- Add the tomato chunks to the pan, stir the mixture until the tomato becomes a pulp. Mix in salt, oregano and basil. Stir the entire mixture over the heat for 2 minutes, then remove pan from heat and let mixture cool.
- Preheat the oven to 165 degrees Celsius.
- Slice the bread into 12 slices. Distribute garlic powder and butter evenly over the top of each slice. Place the slices directly onto the over rack (bread will be crispier this way). Let bread heat for 3-5 minutes.
- Remove bread from the oven and arrange them on a serving platter. Spread the vegetable mixture over 12 bread slices, distribute the topping evenly as you can. Serve immediately.