February 21st, 2012

3 Healthy Foods with Weird Names

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3 Healthy Foods With Weird Names Groovy Green Livin

When my kids were really small, we had a lot of fun with the pronunciation (or mispronunciation) of these three foods.  Edamame was called “ate-a –mommy” for many years. Quinoa was pronounced “king-wop” and Tempeh was “that stuff”. We have come a long way and I think we finally have the pronunciations down pat. While working through the correct food speak, we also worked hard to incorporate these three foods into our eclectic and healthy diet.

Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah)

organic quinoa

As much as quinoa looks like a grain, it isn’t actually a grain. It is a seed from a broad-leafed plant that is closely related to beets and spinach. Quinoa contains more protein than any other grain. It’s also perfect for those on a gluten free diet.  It’s high in iron, magnesium, phosphorus and zinc, and is a source of calcium, B vitamins and fiber. It can be prepared in many different ways. The most simple is preparing it in a similar fashion to rice.

Taste

The taste and texture of quinoa is a bit like brown rice crossed with oatmeal and a hint of nuts.

Tempeh

Organic Tempeh

Tempeh is relatively new to those of us in the west, but it’s been a staple for hundreds of years for many living in Asia. Tempeh is made from cooked and slightly fermented soybeans and formed into a rectangular patty. The consistency is similar to that of a  veggie burger. Many use it as a meat substitute in dishes. I’ve used it in chili, stir-fry and on the grill. As with any soy product, it should be eaten in moderation.

Taste

Tempeh has a textured and nutty flavor. I like to add tempeh to my favorite marinade and stir fry them together.

Edamame

Edamame

Edamame is by far one of my kid’s top side dishes-probably because they are so much fun to eat. Edamame is just a fancy name for boiled soybeans. They technically aren’t considered a vegetable, they’re a legume. The beans are boiled in their thick pods and a little coarse salt is sprinkled on top. After they are cooked the green edamame are popped out to eat. Sometimes they can fly pretty high-depending upon who’s doing the popping. Edamame are chock-full of protein, fiber and Vitamin A and C.

Taste

The soybeans are crunchy and delicious. Add a little coarse salt to taste and you won’t be able to stop eating them. As with any soy product, edamame should be eaten in moderation.

Have you tried edamame, tempeh or quinoa? What’s your favorite way to eat them?

Disclaimer: Before adding any soy to your diet please check with your physician to make sure it’s appropriate for you.

[Photos used under Creative Commons from Amina Elahi, Stacy and Sweeetonveg, The Unseasoned Wok/Flickr]


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