Saturday, March 17, 2012

a quinoa kinda girl

I like easy recipes.

I like delicious recipes even more.

And, I like delicious AND easy recipes best of all.

This, my friends, is one such recipe.  Add to the equation that it's also healthy and interesting and rather inexpensive to make and you have a top-notch recipe, if you ask me. 

In addition to deliciously easy recipes, I also have a love of grains.  Just about every day of my life begins with a bowl of oatmeal or oat bran.   

In the process of writing this post, I decided to research exactly what qualifies as a grain.  "Which ones do I eat on a regular basis and which ones have I never tried?," I wondered.  Well, in the midst of my research, I found an article by an anti-grain advocate who insists that grains of any sort, whole grain or otherwise, are unhealthy and unfit for human consumption.  This led me to think of all the other food categories that have fallen prey to similar claims: dairy, meat, soy, gluten, fats, sugar, salt.  Now, I don't pretend to be an expert on any of these topics.  But, I began to think that if all these foods that are deemed by some to be "unhealthy" were cut out of one's diet, there wouldn't be much left to eat other than fruits, vegetables, nuts and beans.  I love fruits.  I love vegetables.  I love nuts and beans.  But, I don't think I could subsist on only that.  And I seriously wonder if it would be healthy to do so.

I lived as a vegetarian for a year. I don't remember any dramatic changes in health or well-being.  I spent a month as a vegan, and while I enjoyed it, I can't say that my body felt all that different.  I've never gone gluten-free or attempted the Paleo diet, but part of me wonders if such a change would actually bring about any major health benefits either.  It seems that there are such widely diverse (and sometimes completely conflicting) opinions about food out there that it's impossible to keep up. 

My dad's always been a proponent of "everything in moderation," and I suppose that's basically the point of view I've taken with food.  We don't eat much meat, but we also haven't eliminated it from our diets entirely.  Since our "vegan experiment," we've reduced our reliance on dairy, but certainly aren't living dairy-free lifestyles.  I limit the amount of oil I use when cooking, but I can't imagine a day when a bottle of olive oil wouldn't be sitting atop my kitchen counter.  Perhaps this anti-grain stance will make me think, but I never intend to rid my days of oatmeal (or of this week's quinoa dish).  But, one thing's for sure, the supporters of the various debates all feel very strongly about their opinions.  I guess I just have to develop an equally strong opinion about being in the just-about-everything-goes-as-long-as-you-don't-go-crazy camp.  That's a long title for something that seems so basic. 

Wow!  Such a serious post for such a carefree, delightful little recipe. I didn't exactly intend for this post to go in the direction that it did.  Hopefully I didn't lose you halfway through.  If, in fact, I didn't, let me assure you that the quinoa salad we tried this week is tasty and simple to make, but with interesting flavors that are bound to keep your tastebuds intrigued.  I've read that quinoa is very high in protein, high in magnesium and iron, and gluten-free and easy to digest.  And that all sounds pretty good to this grain-loving girl.

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