Tag Archives: Food for the Brain

Quin-who?

It looks like a grain, it is cooked similiar to a grain, but guess what…it’s NOT a grain!  That’s right!  Quinoa is not a grain but rather a seed; which is great news for our gluten-intolerant friends.  Quinoa is quick and easy to cook – just simmer 2 parts water/broth : 1 part quinoa, for 15-20 minutes, or until quinoa is soft.  More importantly, quinoa is jammed packed with all 9 essential amino acids, making quinoa a complete protein.  Did you know that amino acids from proteins help your brain cells communicate and network?  Who knew enhancing your understanding could be as simple as eating some quinoa?

Sweet Potato Quinoa Cakes

It is no secret that a healthy diet can boost your learning potential.  Check back each week for quick and healthy recipes and fun food facts!

 SWEET POTATOES

Don’t let their sweetness fool you, sweet potatoes are considered a super food and packed with significantly higher nutritional value than most other foods.  In fact, “the sweet potato is one of the oldest known cultivated foods in the Americans, going back over 9,000 years, and is packed with vitamins, minerals and fiber.  Its sweet flavor has been shown to satisfy the palette, while at the same time curbing ones appetite longer by stabilizing blood sugar levels.  Sweet Potatoes are also rich in antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties.”  Mitzewich, John, “Five Native American Super Foods for Better Health and Delicious Dining.”  About.com. <http://americanfood.about.com/od/keytipstechniques/a/5superfoods.htm>.

Try this quick and easy recipe for some tasty Sweet Potato Quinoa Cakes.
(What’s Quinoa?  Check back next week to find out!)

Ingredients:
-1 medium sweet potato (~6oz), peeled and chopped
-1/2 red onion, diced
-1/2 tsp. salt
-1/2 tsp. pepper
-2 garlic cloves, minced
-1 T. olive oil
-1/2 c. cooked quinoa
-1/4 c. fresh soft bread crumbs
-1/4 c. parmesan cheese
-2 T. fresh parsley, chopped
-2 T. fresh basil, chopped
-1 large egg, beaten

Directions:
1. Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat and add 1/2 T. olive oil.  Add diced sweet potato, onion, 1/4 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. pepper, stir, cover, and cook for 10-12 minutes, or until potato soft.  Remove lid, add garlic, and saute until garlic becomes fragrant (~30 seconds).

2. Transfer potato mixture to large bowl.  Slightly mash potato with a fork.  Add quinoa, breadcrumbs, cheese, herbs, remainig salt and pepper and mix well.  Once combined, add in egg and mix until moistened.

3. Form 4 equal sized patties and bake in oven @350, for 10 minutes, turning cakes half-way through. 

ENJOY!