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    Lose and maintain weight PLUS save your life with...quinoa?!
    PetuniaPea posted:
    There's no excuse when it comes to finding quick and inexpensive meals to eat when it comes to eating healthfully!

    Stock your fridge and pantry with frozen veggies, canned beans, or better yet, buy beans in bulk and prepare them yourself. Only buy enough fresh produce that you know you are going to eat, so that way you don't end up wasting money by throwing out rotten or wilted produce later!

    One staple that has helped me to lose and maintain weight is QUINOA! As a vegan, it is a must, as it packs more of a nutritional punch than brown rice. It is considered a complete protein, as it contains all 9 essential amino acids. I've been living off the following recipes (plus others, of course) for a long time now, and I've lost and maintained weight, and I have boundless energy to boot!

    Read more about the wonderful whole grain quinoa:

    Try the following no-cook recipes (5 minutes to prepare!) as an alternative to your meat-laden meal and you will save money...and possibly your life. Dr. Sanjay Gupta states that if you go meatless just one day a week, you reduce your risk for heart disease by 19%! Here's more on Dr. Sanjay Gupta's life- saving advice:

    Recipe #1:

    Fill a single-serving size bowl with one cup, give or take, of pre-cooked quinoa I made earlier in the week. Add to that frozen green peas and frozen baby lima beans, a serving of each, more or less. (Optional: throw on some canned or made-from-scratch garbanzo beans.) Microwave (or you can choose to heat on the stovetop in a small pot with a lid). Add Morton "Lite" low-sodium salt and pepper to taste, and a splash of olive oil for some healthy fat to help with vitamin absorption. Mix the bowl. Voila. Dinner is served. (Maybe I'll have other very easy to prepare veggies on the side as well...sweet potato or baked kale chips; recipes upon request).

    Recipe #2:

    My Spanish flair recipe! Fill bowl with one cup of cooked quinoa. Add canned or made-from- scratch black beans. Microwave. Next, add fresh salsa, a few tablespoons. Add cubed avocado, as much as you want. Sometimes I have a half an avocado, other times the whole avocado, cubed. Add halved mini heirloom tomatoes (from Trader Joes). You can use cherry or plum tomatoes instead if you'd like. Add low-sodium salt to taste, especially if the canned beans don't have any added salt. Mix it up. Another quick dinner is now "prepared!"

    Recipe #3:

    Here's one with an Asian flair: Fill bowl with cooked quinoa. Add one serving of frozen edemame (de-shelled...just the beans, not the pod!), preferably organic as it is guaranteed to be non-GMO. Add in some frozen green peas as well. Microwave or stovetop heat. Simply add 2 teaspoons (for less sodium) or 1 tablespoon (for more sodium) of tamari (gluten-free soy sauce), stir bowl carefully, and enjoy. I usually have home-made baked sweet potato fries on the side with this.

    All of the above bowls take 5-10 minutes to prepare, cost $1-3 per bowl, and are approximately 400-500 calories per bowl! Perfect for the person who wants a quick, inexpensive, nutritious meal AND wants to lose or maintain weight.
    brunosbud responded:
    PP, Thank you for the recipes. Question:
    1. I bought a one pound pkg at Trader Joes for $4. Is this a good price?
    2. Do you make your quinoa in a rice cooker or do you cook it in a pot? How much water would you add to say, 2 cups of grain?
    3. Can you store this stuff, warm, in a rice cooker for a few days (like you would with regular rice), or is best to store in the fridge, instead. Thanks!
    abnersmom replied to brunosbud's response:
    Thanks for asking these questions, Brunosbud. I'm just trying quinoa as well. Also, I had no idea you could store rice for several days in the rice cooker. Does it not dry out? I make brown rice rarely because I'm not particularly fond of it after it's been stored in the fridge.
    brunosbud replied to abnersmom's response:
    Yeah, when you store rice in the fridge for more than a day, it dries out, fast, and becomes somewhat unappetizing. That's where an automatic rice cooker comes in handy...

    I'll make a large pot of brown rice in a rice cooker on Monday and slowly eat until Thursday-Friday while set on the "warm" setting, thru-out. The best rice cookers are Japanese brands...Zojirushi (the best), Sanyo. The best cheap, basic rice cooker are Aroma and Panasonic. I also store sweet potato or yams in the rice cooker, same way. I'll wash them, poke with a knife, microwave for 4 minutes and then toss them into the rice cooker to store alongside the brown rice. Sweet potato will keep even longer than rice.

    Now, along with your frozen vegetables at the ready, you have the basic makings of a very healthy meal, ready-to-go.
    No cooking, no clean-up, no fuss, excuses.

    PS: For years, now, I've been feeding my welsh corgis, brown rice, sweet potato, frozen baby spinach & canned mackerel or tuna. In other words, they eat "people" food (or, I eat dog food). lol

    Other than shots or to put one down, I haven't taken one of my dogs to see a vet in almost 20 years...
    jean4u replied to brunosbud's response:
    BB, great idea to feed your corgis that food. I don't have a dog but that poison dog food was a concern. You solved that concern.

    Thanks for your info on the rice cookers and your use of them. This is really good to know.

    PetuniaPea replied to brunosbud's response:
    That's a pretty good price. Better than Whole Foods Market.

    One pound at Whole Foods is $4.99...BUT if you get the economy size at Whole Foods (FYI, not all Whole Foods sell economy size), a 3.5lb bag is $13- something or other...perhaps $13.99 (hence, making this size comparable to Trader Joes).

    I use a pot with a tight lid. The ratio I use is 1 cup quinoa to 2 cups water. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes (I know the directions say 15 minutes, but based on my stove, it's more like test your timing/stove power, after 15 minutes, you can take a wooden spoon and move the quinoa to see if all the water has evaporated at the bottom, then adjust time accordingly).

    Not sure about your third question as I don't have a rice cooker. I store it in the fridge and it is great for up to a week. I've never experienced dry quinoa, but yes, I have experienced dry brown rice after some days in the fridge. Yuck!
    PetuniaPea responded:
    A few tips when it comes to making quinoa:

    1. Rinse well with a strainer (a fine mesh sieve). Quinoa has a natural, powdery coating that can make it taste bitter if not rinsed. Manufacturers usually get rid of most of it, but you never know. The powdery coating is a natural bug repellant that the plant makes to protect itself...100% safe...but can give a bitter again, rinse!

    2. In most cases--depending on your stovetop and utensils, use 1 cup quinoa to 2 cups water. Cooked quinoa enlarges and you can see the grain/seed expand and the edge break'll see little curly-q's is how I explain it!

    3. Make quinoa your breakfast! Instead of water, use unsweetened vanilla almond milk. Just keep a close eye on the pot and stir occasionally--the almond milk WILL bubble over if you are not careful (water doesn't bubble over, so there's no need to stir or keep a close eye on it when using water).

    4. If there's still water on the bottom after 15-20 minutes, here's a tip from the following website:
    "If the quinoa is tender but there's excess water in the bottom of the saucepan just leave the lid off completely for a few minutes until the water evaporates. When done turn off the heat, put the lid on and let sit for about 5 minutes."
    abnersmom replied to PetuniaPea's response:
    Thanks for all the quinoa tips, PetuniaPea! Great info!

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