Tuesday, May 15, 2007

from 3/23/2007

First of all, that vegan cooking class at Whole Foods was freakin' awesome! We didn't get to see the kichens (darn), because it was held in one of their conference rooms with a portable stove top and equipment. But, man-oh-man, good food, and the instructor was this guy Matt who was just very knowledgable about food and nutrition and vegan and raw diets. Pretty exciting stuff. And, he, and his sidekick Megan, made some super delicious, healthy food.

We had Quinoa Cakes, a gorgeous fresh salad and Quinoa Pudding. This stuff was *not* low-cal or low-fat, but it was from all-natural, whole ingredients, and the fat was good fat. [Matt told us that in the 1940s farmers tried fattening up their cattle using coconut oil, and the cows ended up losing weight!] So, good fats in your diet can actually help you lose weight. Having fat from coconut or avocados or nuts, etc. bears no resemblance to the industrial hydrogenated oils that you get in lots of processed foods. Also, quinoa is very high in calories, but it's nearly a complete protein and is a whole grain.

I came out of the class with a couple new recipes, and lots of new ideas, and a big list of stuff to google today.

My google list: coconut oil & weight loss; book-Diet For a New America; mucous-reducing foods; raw honey; xylitol; yaccon root; traditionally prepared olives; Bragg's founder; acid mantle on skin; hunza raisins; complete proteins; grass & coconut oil = blood?; acid/alkaline balances in body; drinking cider vinegar; kabucha (?) tea; natto (cheese-like fermented soy product); probiotic beverages (grains & miso).

Quinoa Cakes* (makes about 15 cakes)

4 c. cooked quinoa
1-2 c. breadcrumbs (add enough that it's a good consistency for forming patties)
1 1/2 c. green spring onion, chopped
1 shallot, minced
1 c. fresh parsely, chopped
seasonings (whatever you like, but could be salt & pepper, garlic, etc.)
3 T. olive oil
5-6 sprays of Bragg's liquid aminos (like soy sauce); if you don't have the spray-top kind, I'm guessing it'd be around 1/2 t., but you can add to taste
optional: parmesan cheese (that would make this non-vegan) or vegan topping, grated, parmesan style

Add all ingredients to the cooked quinoa, and mix well. Form into patties, and place on a baking sheet (covered with parchment paper, or lightly oiled). Sprinkle a few breadcrumbs on top (and, I like to spray with an organic olive oil spray because it makes stuff you're baking a little crispier).

Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.

*Matt gave some suggestions of other fillers you could use instead of quinoa, and I can't wait to try them out. In place of the quinoa try one of these (cooked & mashed): cauliflower; beans; rice; broccoli; other grains.

Here's an approximation of the nutrition, but, again, these were all organic ingredients, and sometimes the calculator I use doesn't include all the vitamin content. But, it's a good ballpark:

Calories 390.3

Total Fat 9.0 g

Saturated Fat 0.5 g

Polyunsaturated Fat 0.5 g

Monounsaturated Fat 2.1 g

Cholesterol 0.0 mg

Sodium 107.9 mg

Potassium 85.1 mg

Total Carbohydrate 66.5 g

Dietary Fiber 6.5 g

Sugars 3.0 g

Protein 11.4 g

Vitamin A 7.6 %

Vitamin B-12 0.8 %

Vitamin B-6 1.4 %

Vitamin C 9.6 %

Vitamin D 0.0 %

Vitamin E 2.4 %

Calcium 3.2 %

Copper 2.2 %

Folate 5.5 %

Iron 5.4 %

Magnesium 2.1 %

Manganese 7.1 %

Niacin 5.0 %

Pantothenic Acid 1.0 %

Phosphorus 2.7 %

Riboflavin 3.6 %

Selenium 5.1 %

Thiamin 9.4 %

Zinc 1.7 %

So, we had those delicious cakes with a salad (they used--all organic--lettuce, parsley, avocado, pecans, carrots, onion, cucumber, etc. with a little bragg's, olive oil and bragg's cider vinegar (with the mother!) for a dressing.

And, for dessert we had one of the best things I've EVER tasted: Quinoa Pudding! I think I mentioned that I made a vegan rice pudding recently, and wanted to overhaul the recipe because I wasn't very impressed. Well, here it is. This recipe is off the hook! Again, not low-cal or low-fat, but it's all good, whole foods.

Quinoa Pudding (makes about 15 servings)

4 c. cooked quinoa
1 can lite coconut milk (plus, some water as needed for extra moisture)
juice of young coconut
1 c. fresh dates
1 c. fresh figs (either calimyrna or turkish)
1 c. golden raisins (hunza, if available)
4-8 T. coconut oil
shredded coconut, unsweetened
touch of salt

In saucepan, bring the cooked quinoa, coconut milk (and water, if needed), the juice of the young coconut and the fruit to a low simmer. Cook about 40-50 minutes. Remove from heat, and add the coconut oil, shredded coconut, and a dash of salt. Mix well. Serve immediately, or I hear that it's even better the next day. I didn't get to find out because I could not physically restrain myself from eating the entire thing. Yum, yum, yum. Seriously. This is the most delicious thing EVER.

Here's the nutritional info. Again, this is just an approximation, and doesn't account for all the vitamins we got because everything was so fresh and organic and/or raw.

Calories 549.4

Total Fat 19.1 g

Saturated Fat 11.5 g

Polyunsaturated Fat 0.2 g

Monounsaturated Fat 0.5 g

Cholesterol 0.0 mg

Sodium 34.7 mg

Potassium 362.4 mg

Total Carbohydrate 88.1 g

Dietary Fiber 9.7 g

Sugars 21.5 g

Protein 10.8 g

Vitamin A 2.0 %

Vitamin B-12 0.0 %

Vitamin B-6 6.7 %

Vitamin C 2.9 %

Vitamin D 0.0 %

Vitamin E 3.5 %

Calcium 4.7 %

Copper 5.7 %

Folate 1.7 %

Iron 3.2 %

Magnesium 5.2 %

Manganese 7.7 %

Niacin 2.8 %

Pantothenic Acid 2.9 %

Phosphorus 3.0 %

Riboflavin 3.7 %

Selenium 0.8 %

Thiamin 3.2 %

Zinc 1.2 %

I hope Matt has another class soon. He did one on raw foods (that I didn't go to) last month, and has some other great ideas for classes.

Now I'm starving! I want a refill!

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