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Couscous vs. Quinoa: Nutrition, Benefits, and Recipes

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You may be ready to swap out your standard rice dish or pasta salad for something else … zhuzhy. Give quinoa and couscous.

Couscous and quinoa may have similar textures and are comparatively tasty, but they have several important nutritional differences.

What is the difference between quinoa and couscous?

Couscous and quinoa are great to toss a salad or a sub for rice into a dish. However, they have a few key differences:

  • Quinoa is a seed and couscous is a grain.
  • Quinoa is gluten-free, while couscous contains gluten.
  • Quinoa is a complete protein and couscous is not.

Quinoa provides more fiber and protein. But couscous adds fewer carbohydrates and calories to your daily diet.

Which one is “better” for you depends on your health needs, your level of activity and your lifestyle.

Here’s how these two foods stack up against each other and what benefits to expect from each.

Share on PinterestDesign by Viviana Quevedo; Photos from left to right: Alessio Bogani / Stocksy United, Melanie DeFazio / Stocksy United

Quinoa and couscous both contain a nutrient wallop that adds fiber, protein, and a whole host of essential vitamins and minerals to your diet.

But quinoa has the edge on the fiber and protein front. Fiber and protein can help you feel full longer by slowing digestion and keeping your blood sugar stable (whoa, there stable, blood sugar).

The fiber benefits should prick up your ears if you live with diabetes or are at risk for the disease.

The dietary guidelines for Americans recommend consuming 25 to 38 grams of fiber daily, depending on your age group and gender. Read the guidelines to find the amount you should consume.

Quinoa and couscous are considered whole foods, which means they have minimal processing and still have their natural nutritional benefits.

Deciding what is “better for you” also depends on how you prepare quinoa or couscous.

Adding excess salt or saturated fat to your cooking will make these dishes less heart-healthy (although saturated fats can have an unwarranted bad reputation).

However, seasoning quinoa and couscous with vegetables and spices can improve both the nutritional play and the mmmmmmm factor.

It is more important to consider how quinoa or couscous fits into your general eating habits than to judge each food for itself.

Fancy Quinoa: The Powerful Benefits of Quinoa

Quinoa is high in protein and contains all nine essential amino acids (so it’s like the smug kid in the playground who really got all the Pokémon cards).

It’s also a boss source from:

In addition to its abundant fiber, quinoa also contains beneficial plant compounds called flavones. Research suggests that some flavones have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, and protect against damage from harmful free radical molecules.

Free radicals contribute to the development of many types of cancer and other diseases. By providing your body with regular antioxidants, you can help keep your cells healthy and reduce your risk of cancer and other health problems.

Quinoa contains two superstar compounds called quercetin and kaempferol (yes, try saying that with a sip of them). Quercetin and kaempferol keep viruses, bacteria and fungi at bay and help your immune system reduce the risk of infection.

Quinoa not only helps your immune system with these fancy compounds. Its excellent fiber content feeds the “good” bacteria in your intestines – another very important factor in maintaining a strong immune system.

Couscous benefits

Couscous is a tasty way to increase your intake of whole grains. While carbohydrates have got a bad rap, whole grains offer a number of benefits.

In a 2020 study, people who ate whole grains regularly had a 29 percent lower risk of type 2 diabetes than people who ate minimal amounts of whole grains.

A review of the studies in 2016 found that consuming three servings of whole grains per day was linked to reductions in death rates from all reasons, including:

  • Heart disease
  • cancer
  • Respiratory diseases
  • Nervous system disorders

In a 2016 study, 40 adults over the age of 50 followed a diet for 8 weeks. Every aspect of their diet was the same except that one group ate whole grains and the other ate refined grains. After that, they took a much-needed 10-week break and then switched diets for 8 weeks.

The researchers found that the groups lost the same amount of weight and had the same levels of cholesterol. However, those who ate whole grains had a three-fold improvement in blood pressure.

Which is better for bodybuilding?

Quinoa and couscous provide similar amounts of macronutrients. Your calories come mainly from carbohydrates.

Although quinoa contains a little more protein than couscous, most bodybuilders still need additional protein from other sources to increase those gains 💪🏾. Lean meat, tofu, or supplements can help muscle flexors get enough protein to recover from intense weight lifting.

If you’re just trying to build more muscle, a progressive strength training routine is your ticket to Tonk Town. As long as you are consuming enough calories and protein to support your activity level, your body will have enough fuel to build muscle.

Quinoa and couscous can each add nutrients to a successful bodybuilding program. You just need to make sure that the other components of your eating plan provide the rest of the nutrients you need.

Which one is gluten free?

Since quinoa is technically a seed, it’s naturally gluten-free. Quinoa’s texture makes it a handy substitute for dishes with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity in cereal-based dishes. (But if you’re on the paleo diet, quinoa is a no-go.)

Couscous is made from semolina obtained from durum wheat. People who cannot eat gluten should avoid it.

Gluten Klaxon! Be careful with quinoa

When replacing couscous with quinoa, be sure to check the label for gluten-free certification.

Some establishments that process quinoa also process grains that contain gluten. Cross contamination is possible and you don’t want to poke the gluten bear.

🚨 reading. Those. Labels. 🚨

Bulgur is another hearty whole grain that can be easily swapped for quinoa and couscous.

Similar to couscous, bulgur is made from wheat (meaning it’s not gluten-free – quinoa has the advantage here). Traditionally, bulgur has played a leading role in Middle Eastern cuisine, including dishes such as tabbouleh and kibbeh.

Compared to couscous and quinoa, bulgur is exceptionally high in fiber and contains 8 grams per cooked cup. Bulgur, however, contains slightly less protein at 5 grams per cup.

Bulgur’s texture isn’t all that different from that of couscous and quinoa. You can add bulgur to couscous or quinoa dishes for more texture and a little nutritional variety. You can also submit it for other grains to swap things over.

Diversity is the spice (and grain) of life.

Use couscous as a base for stir-fry by adding other nutritious ingredients. Try sprinkling this mixture on top:

Or get creative with a salty and sweet Mediterranean-inspired couscous salad with:

Try cooking couscous in vegetable broth and mixing it with red beans and tomatoes to add flavor to rice and beans.

You can even add sweet potatoes, peppers, celery, carrots, and zucchini for added nutrients, color, and flavor.

Incorporating couscous into vegetable-based soups or using it as a salad topper can result in a heartier, more robust dish. Couscous is very versatile and goes well with many different dishes. Get it, couscous!

Quinoa is also super versatile.

It serves a nutty and chewy texture that mixes well with other ingredients. You can incorporate it into sweet or savory dishes.

Popular ways to cook quinoa include:

If you like the taste of quinoa, there are creative ways to easily add it to most of your favorite dishes. Anytime a recipe calls for rice, pasta, or oatmeal, there’s likely a way to toss quinoa into the mix.

Both quinoa and couscous offer a number of benefits as part of a nutritious meal plan.

Experimenting with flavourful dishes from around the world can help you find new ways to enjoy these healthy ingredients.

Try using new spices, vegetables, and cooking methods to add variety and excitement to your plate.

Recipes with Whole Wheat Pasta

Bringing People Together with Easy to make Russian Comfort Food

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Russia has a long history of droughts and famine. Although there has been no famine since 1947, there have been many food shortages in the former Soviet Union. When the Soviet Union was on the verge of collapse, many common foods were rationed.

There were only rotten vegetables on the shelves, butcher counters offered pathetic remains of bones and fat instead of sausages, chops and roasts. Only last year, Russia stopped exporting its wheat because there were again fears of bottlenecks.

So it might seem like an odd choice when it comes to talking about cuisine, home cooking, and culinary arts. But the advent of the multicooker has made it easier than ever to try new recipes at home, and Russian food has a lot to recommend.

Why Russian Food?

Because it’s comforting, this question is the easiest answer. Russian weather can be harsh at times, and some areas are bitterly cold. If you’re from a country that enjoys a whole spectrum of seasons, you’ll understand that when winter comes, sometimes all you want is a proper comfort meal.

Russian cuisine can deliver dishes that are full of carbohydrates, fill the bellies, and generally satiate and protect from the cold. If you were from England you would probably describe Russian food as a meal that sticks to your ribs.

However, if the English think they eat a lot of potatoes, then comparing them to the Russians, think again. Mashed potatoes are perhaps the ultimate comfort food and are served all over Russia. Okay, maybe not in a pizzeria or McDonald’s. In fact, McD’s made a mashed potato burger, but chose to market it in China rather than Russia.

But the truth is, Russian food can be very satisfying, and while it may not be nutritionally friendly, it can be heartwarming and is often about family and friends. Much Russian food is homemade and shared with families. An interest in Russian culture and history could help bring people together in all walks of life, especially if enjoyed with some pelmeni.

Why are people now more interested in foreign kitchens?

Last year came the Covid pandemic, which is currently still ongoing. This resulted in bans, self-isolation and quarantines, not to mention far more serious consequences. The effects of Covid are still being felt in Europe and around the world. It could take years to return to a real sense of normalcy.

Due to the restrictions put in place, people were unable to visit restaurants and their travel plans were restricted. For many, that meant taking the problem into their own hands and finding a solution. The answer for some was to take up cooking as a hobby and try different recipes.

Cooking at home during the lockdown meant finding a new hobby, making better use of the time, and exploring knowledge of other cultures through the medium of food. The success of one or two kitchen appliances also contributed.

What is a multicooker and can they really help someone cook?

A multicooker is a device with different cooking modes and options. You can possibly sous vide, sauté, bake, and cook rice. You may also have slow cook options that are great for tough cuts of meat. Plus, they can cook quickly to speed up recipes that traditionally take a long time.

Basically, a modern multi-cooker like the Instant Pot or Ninja Foodi is similar to the older type of pressure cooker, but with many more functions. You have helped many amateur chefs try different recipes as the chef does most of the work and the food is ready very quickly.

Combined with Russian home cooking, they can be a great option as the meals can be prepared and prepared with very little effort.

So what is Russian food made of? Is it just a lot of cabbage and potatoes?

Why do Russians eat so many potatoes?

Okay, potatoes are popular, but some of them have practical reasons. When it comes to serving sustainable foods and ingredients, potatoes are among the best.

Every country has its own main carbohydrates when it comes to staple foods. This can be pasta (or noodles), rice, or potatoes. Of course, bread also plays a role, but for the purposes of this article we will consider the first three as they form the basis of many meals around the world.

Between potatoes, rice and pasta, the former is by far the most environmentally friendly option. In addition, in the harsh winters in parts of Russia there is often a lack of fresh vegetables and potatoes are always available.

The favorite dishes of Russians often include dishes with potatoes, but they are exchanged for wheat for the national dish.

What is the national dish of Russia?

Pelmeni is a type of dumpling that is usually stuffed with meat. It can be served in soup, deep-fried, buttered and is very popular. It is sometimes treated a little as a ready-made meal, but it can also make a hearty broth or soup with sour cream.

It would be possible to make pelmeni in the Instant Pot, and there are many recipes for similar dumplings on the internet. But maybe this particular part of Russian culture should be saved for traditional cooking methods.

Multicookers are often associated with healthy cooking, and it can be a shame to take away the pleasure of heavily buttered pelmeni or deep-fried dumplings by trying to turn them into a calorie-friendly option.

Other dishes that have been enjoyed over the centuries include borscht, blintzes, plov, kotleti, and of course, beef stroganoff. There is also solyanka soup, which is both sweet and sour and is considered the best hangover remedy available.

Borscht is very adaptable to the seasons, as it can be eaten cold in warm weather or hot in winter nights.

Easy to prepare Russian dishes

Provided you have access to a multicooker or instant pot, you may be able to prepare some authentic Russian dishes without too much trouble.

Beef Stroganoff has been around since 1800 when it first appeared, and was attributed to Count Stroganoff during this period. Whatever the truth, stroganoff is a meal from Russia that has spread to many other countries.

The problem with this dish is that many countries like the UK and US have adopted it, swapping quality ingredients for practical ones like canned mushroom soup. Fortunately, recipes from Corrie Cooks and other websites have now fixed this, and you can find much better versions.

Making the best beef stroganoff could mean a lot slower cooking, but a pressure cooker means you can get the same results in 20 minutes. To make the best stroganoff, use good ingredients. However, there are two schools of thought here.

Many cooks will advocate using beef tenderloin or rib eye steak for beef stroganoff, but others prefer a long slow cook with a cheaper but tastier piece of meat. When using the Instant Pot for quick results, opt for a good quality cut of beef.

summary

Russian food may not be as popular as Thai, Chinese, or Italian. However, dishes from this country are prepared with love and bring people together.

Is there anything more satisfying than making a delicious stroganoff in just twenty minutes and serving it to a table full of family on a cold winter night?

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Cassy Joy Garcia offers a way to cook once, get 2 meals

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This cover picture published by Simon & Schuster shows

This cover picture published by Simon & Schuster shows “Cook Once Dinner Fix: Quick and Exciting Ways to Transform Tonight’s Dinner into Tomorrow’s Feast” by Cassy Joy Garcia. (Simon & Schuster via AP)

AP

Some families just love leftovers. What’s easier than reheating and digging up yesterday’s food? But this isn’t Cassy Joy Garcia’s family: they’re not leftover fans.

So Garcia had to get creative on her latest cookbook, which offers busy home cooks a way to reduce stress in the kitchen by turning one meal into two different ones.

She does it by planning two meals that usually share one protein. She cooks meat, fish or poultry for one meal and sets aside something for tomorrow’s dinner that will have its own flavors.

“When we started putting this puzzle together to see what it might look like, I realized we were drawn to something that I already do and use,” she says. “I just never really thought of it as a formula.”

“Cook Once Dinner Fix: Quick and Exciting Ways to Transform Tonight’s Dinner into Tomorrow’s Feast” shows how to switch from a beef and vegetable stew one night to shredded beef tostadas the next. Or dry grated grill brisket on Tuesday and cheesesteak filled peppers on Wednesday.

“I like the idea of ​​being able to bridge the efforts of tonight into a future meal,” she says. “If you get stuck, you have the feeling that you are constantly catching up.”

Each set of twin recipes includes cooking tips and multiple ways to replace a gluten-free, nut-free, grain-free, low-carb, or dairy-free diet. It also includes a dozen pairs of vegetarian meals.

“Her idea of ​​having a head start on making something really big today that will be totally delicious and then turning those leftovers into something else – that’s the real way she cooks,” said her editor, Justin Schwartz , Vice President and Editor-in-Chief at Simon Element, an imprint of Simon & Schuster. “It’s a concept that was true to her heart.”

Garcia’s creativity was in full swing to make sure Meal # 2 didn’t taste like Meal # 1 Chipotle Beef Tacos, the balsamic vinegar worked well with the chillies.

“The biggest challenge was that these taste profiles should be very different, but that commonalities should be found between them,” she says.

In one pair of recipes, Garcia fried a whole chicken in a lemon and garlic mixture for a rustic country dish and then used the breasts to make an Asian-inspired sesame chicken for the second dish.

“You don’t necessarily look at these two dishes and think they can work together. But garlic and lemon are common in Asian dishes. And so I got involved in these threads, ”she says.

Her editor says Garcia didn’t take any short cuts or fell into the lazy trap of just making two similar southern dishes for first and second meals.

“Cassy has such a keen sense for food and flavors. She really brought that to the table, ”said Schwartz.

Garcia is the creative force behind the popular food blog Fed + Fit, which she started in 2011. As a holistic nutritionist, her previous book, Cook Once Eat All Week, was weekend cooking for midweek use. She lives in San Antonio, Texas with her husband and two children.

She is a tinkerer in the kitchen and constantly refines. “I sometimes like to think that my recipe development method is almost literal, throw spaghetti on the wall and see what remains,” she says with a laugh and adds modestly that she identifies with the incomprehensible character of the Swedish chef Muppet.

“Cook Once Dinner Fix” is intended to help families escape the temptation to order and to relieve tension by planning two meals on weekdays around 5 pm: What is for dinner?

“As much as I love to cook, having dinner on the table can feel incredibly awkward and stressful,” says Garcia. “Meal two, it’s ready. It is planned. You know what it will be. “

The global pandemic disrupted the book – it shut down when the poultry recipes were photographed – but Garcia used the time to reconsider her work.

“It has allowed me to look back on the manuscript and see how we can make it even easier for people?”

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Top Foods for Protein Sources on a Plant-Based Diet

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Plant-Based Protein: Top Foods for Protein Sources in a Plant-Based Diet

There are many reasons for switching to a plant-based diet. One of the main reasons is growing concerns about climate change. Over the past few years, we’ve realized that animal foods may not be as healthy as they appear.

This has increased the fear of chronic illness and is one of the main reasons behind the developing imagination. As more of us consider making the switch and finding a beginner plant-based eating plan, this movement of focusing on foods from plant sources is a trend that is not going to fade.

Traditionally, people eat plant-based foods for a variety of reasons. These include religious beliefs, animal welfare, and health concerns. More recently, however, people have been looking for more specific plant-based diet benefits and developing their own plant-based diet recipes and plant-based weight loss programs. But what about vegetable protein?

Once thought impossible, the fact is now that you can get enough protein from a plant-based diet. However, if you are new to all of this, you may want to know the best sources. Read on to discover top foods for protein sources in a plant-based diet …

Photo, Edward Howell.

High protein plant foods to consider

Whether you’ve just switched to a green diet or have been a vegetarian all your life, you need to know how to get key nutrients from plants and vegetables like protein.

Protein is readily available for non-vegetarians, but vegetarians may need to do a little research. Let’s take a look at some of the most protein-rich plant foods so you don’t miss out on protein.

fruits and vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are probably the most delicious way to add protein to your diet. It is believed that all fruits and vegetables contain some amount of protein. But some fruits and vegetables like spinach, broccoli, potatoes, sweet potatoes, artichokes, asparagus, guava, blackberries, and bananas contain good amounts of protein.

A good selection of fruits and vegetables is sometimes almost all you need for a nice plant-based diet. However, it’s also worth noting that it can be difficult to get the full amount of protein needed from just eating fruits and vegetables. This is where dietary supplements and protein powders for vegans come into play.

The above points are especially important for vegans who are fully committed to this diet.

Easy ways to get enough protein from a plant-based diet

Photo, Vita Marija Murenaite.

Edamame, tempeh and tofu

Edamame, tempeh, and tofu are all derivatives of soybeans and are great sources of protein. These plant-based foods can be used to prepare a variety of tasty dishes, including soups, burgers, parfaits, noodles, and chillies.

I am milk

Soy milk is the gym goer’s choice. It’s a form of processed milk made from soybeans. The fact that soy milk is fortified with extra vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients makes it a really great choice for health conscious people.

Oats and oatmeal

Oats are the cornerstone of any healthy breakfast and the most common way to meet your protein needs. They don’t contain full protein, but rather a higher quality protein that makes them a great food option.

Easy ways to get enough protein from a plant-based diet

Photo, Shashi Chaturvedula.

Seitan

Popularly known as wheat meat, seitan is a rich source of protein. It is made from gluten, the main protein in wheat. In addition to protein, seitan also contains selenium, iron, phosphorus, and calcium, making it a great choice for almost every vegetarian and vegan.

full grain

Brown rice, quinoa, brown rice noodles and farro ensure that you get the nutrients you need while still enjoying delicious food. We especially like to add ingredients like cashew cream to add flavor and thickness.

legumes

A plant in the Fabaceae family, legumes extend to beans, soybeans, peas, chickpeas, peanuts, lentils, lupins, mesquite, carob, tamarind, alfalfa and clover. Also known as legumes, these filling but tasty dishes go great with curries, pasta and salads.

Easy ways to get enough protein from a plant-based diet

Photo, Mika Baumeister.

Obtaining important nutrients

As with any diet, the benefits depend on the quality of the ingredients used and the amount consumed. It’s also important to consider nutrients that aren’t as typically found in a plant-based diet or, if you eat out a lot, a plant-based restaurant menu. The most important nutrients include:

– Vitamin B12 is typically found in foods of animal origin and must be supplemented
– Vitamin D, which is typically found in oily fish, can now be obtained from both mushrooms and dietary supplements. And of course the sun

Make sure to speak to your doctor when considering nutritional supplements to aid your diet and nutrition decisions.

A plant-based diet is known to increase your energy levels. It can be even more beneficial because you can exercise more. And be less sick. Also, spending more time in the gym means you can eat more. Of course, you don’t want to undo the gains you made from the extra exercise, so your choice of “treat” here is key.

One of our favorite snacks are the energy-boosting Hemp Energy Bites, which contain just six ingredients. In our opinion, digestible and yet enjoyable, this is an all-round hit.

We also have a huge fondness for keto avocado brownies, and since it’s possible to be keto and plant-based by replacing animal protein with plant-based protein, these are easy to make and tick all the chocolate monster boxes. You can read more about this type of plan here: including deciphering the difference between clean keto and dirty keto.

Easy ways to get enough protein from a plant-based diet

Photo, THE 5th.

Finally

There are many diet options to choose from, some keep and some don’t. Some might be for you and some might not. It is important to understand why you are embarking on a new plan. Is it a fad? For your health? A lifestyle change? Don’t want to eat animals? Or to help the environment?

Maybe it’s some of these reasons, maybe all of them, maybe none at all. Whatever you choose, do your research and adopt it.

Remember, protein is one of the human body’s greatest nutritional needs. After reading this article, maybe you are ready to give it a try and think about how to go on a two week plant-based diet? If so, remember that a healthy plant-based eating plan must include good sources of protein. From oatmeal for breakfast, avocado for lunch, hemp energy balls, nuts and seeds for snacking, and seitan, or delicious brown rice noodle dishes for dinner, this new way of life doesn’t have to be boring.

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