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My favorite seed: Quinoa


It’s NOT a grain.

Not related to wheat at all, this nutrition superstar is related to Swiss chard and spinach. Does it really matter to argue about it? No – because typically it can substitute for any grain in a recipe.

This “new” (have you been living under a cheeseburger?) food comes from the Andes Mountains of South America. It is thought to have served as a source of sustained energy for the Incas, and one of the few staple crops that was grown at these altitudes.

It’s pronounced keen-wah

Nutritional highlights

  • Complete protein – meaning that it contains the nine essential amino acids. Amino acids are those nitrogen containing building blocks that form proteins. Over 20 exist, however there are 9 that must be obtained from the diet (your body cannot make them, hence they are “essential”).

    So what is so exciting about this complete protein thing? Typically you need to seek various food groups throughout the day* in order to obtain all nine essential amino acids so your body can form complete proteins. However quinoa delivers all nine within a single bite! Not only is quinoa a complete protein, quinoa is relatively high in protein. One cup cooked provides approximately 8g of protein!

    *Side note - the notion that you must select complementary foods (beans and grains for example) within a single meal is inaccurate; rather you need to seek various complementary foods within a single day.
  • Hypoallergenic – It doesn’t contain gluten, so it serves as a wonderful alternative for people sensitive to gluten or are gluten-intolerant. For a girl like me with a gluten-intolerant gut, this is great news!
  • Headache and cardiovascular benefits:

Energizing Quinoa Breakfast

A healthy start to your day, full of fiber to keep you powered for hours without weighing you down!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8-1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • ½ cup berries (blueberry, raspberry, blackberry or strawberry)
  • 1 tablespoon hempseeds

Directions:

Patient Appreciation Day Today at Swedish/Issaquah

Today's the day! Or at least one of the many days that fun things are happening at Swedish.

Today is one of our Patient Appreciation days from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Swedish/Issaquah.

If you live or work on the Eastside, we hope you'll have a chance to stop by. Our friends at Coho Café will be providing free samples of a heart-healthy dish and two Swedish dieticians will be on-hand to provide heart-healthy eating advice. (But even if you can't come in person, you'll find over 100 tasty heart healthy recipes that are dietitian approved here. If you try one out, come back & share in the comments if you liked it!)

We’re also offering 200 free blood pressure screenings on a first-come-first-serve basis. Free stress-relieving massages will also be given throughout the event.

Speaking of stress, if you're stressed that you can't stop by, you can still participate in the fun online. Between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m.(Pacific Time), find and tweet the answer of this question to @Swedish:

“What is the American Heart Association recommendation for healthy blood pressure?”

Remember, you need to include "@Swedish" in your tweet so we can see your response! We'll provide the answer at noon, and one person who answers correctly will be randomly selected and awarded a Gene Juarez gift certificate for a 60-minute, stress-relieving massage. (You'll need to be local and willing to pick up the gift card in person - make sure you're following @Swedish on Twitter so we can DM you if you win!).

Focus on the Positive

This February for Heart Health Month, let's focus on the positive.

Too often when discussing eating for heart health we focus on the things we should be decreasing (sodium, saturated fat, trans fat, added sugar) rather than focusing on the many positive things we could be adding to our diets.

So what can you add to your food intake for heart health?

We know from national surveys that the majority of Americans are not consuming recommended amounts of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, diary, seafood, and heart healthy oils. This translates to a lack of important nutrients, such as Vitamin D, potassium, calcium, and fiber.

Think of one healthful item from each category above that you could add into your diet over the month of February. Here is a list of one of my favorite foods from each category to give you some ideas.

Simple, heart-healthy Super Bowl recipe and advice from a cardiologist

It's heart month, and with the Super Bowl this weekend (and suggestions from the media that sporting events may trigger heart attacks), I decided to whip up my low-fat, smokey, heart-healthy three-cheese fondue, as well as ask cardiologist Mark Reisman, MD, for some tips.

Low-fat, smokey, three-cheese fondue (serves 6)

Ingredients

Zingy Roasted Vegetables

When you look in your refrigerator and see an overabundant harvest, then you know it’s the time for roasted vegetables. Use what’s on our list or invent your own. What makes this particular dish so tasty are our secret ingredients–horseradish sauce and cider vinegar. These should be staples in your kitchen because they can add a zing to almost any dish–including this one. Serves 4.

Ingredients

  • 2 large carrots
  • 1 medium parsnip
  • 1 medium turnip
  • 1 medium rutabaga
  • 1 medium yam
  • 2 small red potatoes, quartered
  • ½ large red onion, sliced into 4 wedges
  • 2 large mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 large sweet red pepper, seeded and cut in 8 equal strips
  • 1 small zucchini cut in 1" slices
  • ½ teaspoon each dried oregano, thyme, rosemary, black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon each bottled horseradish sauce and cider vinegar

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425°.
  2. First five ingredients, remove skins with vegetable peeler and cut into large bite size pieces (1 inch cubes). Then place with potatoes on large cookie sheet lightly sprayed with canola oil. Roast uncovered for 20 minutes.
  3. Remove from oven. Turn with spatula. Vegetables should still be firm but beginning to color. Add onions, mushrooms, pepper and zucchini, and sprinkle with herbs and pepper. Roast 15 more minutes or until all are tender.
  4. Combine horseradish sauce and vinegar, and spoon over vegetables.
  5. Toss and serve.

Per serving of vegetables: 192 calories, 5 gm protein, 44 gm carbohydrate, 1 gm fat, 0 gm sat fat, 0 gm mono fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 9 gm fiber, 71 mg sodium

THE SEASONED COOK This dish is very versatile and can be served alone or with many kinds of meat, chicken, or fish. Try low-fat chicken sausage as pictured (3 ounces per serving). Cook according to directions on package. And remember that you can substitute any of your favorite vegetables for the ones here. Just think colorful!

Click here to see more recipes from this collection, or on the 'recipes' tag below.

Wraps To Go with Chutney and Curry

Wraps are a fun and fast way to dine— perfect for today’s busy families. This simple and savory recipe is inspired by East Indian flavors. Serves 4.

Ingredients

Spread

  • 4 ounces fat-free cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tablespoon mango chutney
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder or to taste

Wraps

  • 4 8-inch whole wheat tortillas
  • ¼ pound cooked protein, such as shrimp, sliced turkey, or sliced chicken
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro
  • 4 teaspoons chopped peanuts
  • 2 cups baby spinach leaves
  • 1 cup thinly sliced cucumber

Directions

  1. Mix together the cream cheese, chutney, and curry powder.
  2. Place tortillas on a work surface and spread ¼ of the cream cheese mixture on each.
  3. Divide the wrap fillings equally among the tortillas.
  4. Roll and eat with gusto!

Per serving spread on tortilla with chicken: 131 calories, 12g protein, 24g carbohydrate, 1g fat, 0g sat fat, 0g mono fat, 12mg cholesterol, 2g fiber, 644mg sodium.

THE SEASONED COOK The suggested amount of meat invites portion control—a little bit goes a long way. Presented buffet style, everyone can build their own wraps.

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