Healthy Mediterranean diet recipes are among the most delicious on the planet, filled with fresh produce and whole grains. And a great perk is that many classic dishes are naturally vegan — not veganized — making this group of cuisines perfect for the plant-based diet.
The value of the Mediterranean diet has been borne out by years of research. Numerous studies have shown that the lifestyle and dietary habits of Greeks and Italians, among other regional nationalities, contributes to long life expectancy and low rates of heart disease, cancer, and other chronic disease. The best part is that the ingredients are readily available anywhere, and are especially good way to experience seasonal eating. more→
What is kañiwa? Simply put, this relative of quinoa, is similarly a South American superfood grain making a splash in the North American market. Like quinoa, Kañiwa grows in Peru and Bolivia. It’s an excellent source of protein and amino acids, is exceptionally high in iron, and is gluten-free. Dark reddish-brown in color and about half the size of a tiny quinoa seed, it cooks up quickly to resemble a smaller version of red quinoa. Find out lots more information in Kañiwa: A “New” Ancient Superfood.
One major difference between the two is that kañiwa doesn’t have saponins, the coating that gives quinoa a soapy, slightly bitter flavor if not rinsed properly. A good thing, as I can’t imagine a sieve fine enough for its tiny size.
Quinoa brought to market has already been rinsed of much of its saponins, as otherwise it would be quite unpalatable (this procedure is done with a strong alkaline solution). But it’s always recommended that quinoa be rinsed well again at home to remove any remaining bitterness. Kañiwa is actually easier to process due to the absence of saponins.
It’s recommended to toast the grain on a dry skillet or saucepan first, then cover with water in twice its volume. Like quinoa, the water absorbs in 15 to 20 minutes. Truth be told, both times I used it so far I forgot to toast it, and it was just fine (it has a mild, nutty flavor similar to quinoa’s).
A few simple ways to use kañiwa
- Add 1/2 to 1 cup cooked kañiwa to pancake or waffle batter (depending on the size of the batch)
- Serve it as a sweet breakfast bowl with a maple syrup to taste, chopped nuts, and dried or fresh fruit. Finish with a dusting of cinnamon.
- A savory breakfast bowl is good too, with a little vegan butter and a sprinkling of nondairy cheese shreds. Sweet or savory, a it keeps you full for hours.
- Like many a nutritious grain, kañiwa works well in warm pilafs and room-temperature salads.
- Come fall holiday meals, like its slightly larger cousin, a pilaf makes a nourishing and attractive stuffing for squashes and peppers.
Nutritionally, kañiwa’s profile is remarkably similar to quinoa’s. It’s a good source of complete protein, and is a good source of a wide range of vitamins and minerals. One advantage it has over quinoa is that it’s an even better source of iron.
How to cook kañiwa
Kañiwa and quinoa can be used interchangeably, and are cooked in the same proportion to liquid (2 parts liquid to 1 part kañiwa; it cooks in 15 minutes, like quinoa, or just a bit quicker). To that end, please explore our article, How to Cook Quinoa — and Some Great Ways to Use It. You might also enjoy We Love Quinoa, a volume in our Best of VegKitchen affordable e-book series featuring the 30 most popular quinoa recipes on this site, along with many color photographs.
Kañiwa is available from online retailers, you can ask your natural foods retailer if they can order some for you.
For a recipes, see Kañiwa Confetti Salad (shown at top).
- For lots more features on healthy lifestyle, explore VegKitchen’s Healthy Vegan Kitchen page.
- Here are more of VegKitchen’s Natural Food Guides.
*This post contains affiliate links. If the product is purchased by linking through this review, VegKitchen receives a modest commission, which helps maintain our site and helps it to continue growing!
Have you always wanted to try pickling, but intimidated by the process? Here’s a visual guide on how to pickle vegetables. Pickling allows you to give your favorite summer produce a whole new flavor. Experiment with some of these tips and make your own pickling recipes. more→
Many of you have already heard that raw, organic, and unfiltered apple cider vinegar can assist in weight loss and overall well-being. The apple cider vinegar diet is probiotic, and has many additional health benefits. Here we explore how the apple cider vinegar diet as part of a healthy lifestyle can help you lose weight while at the same time, acting as a tonic for the body.
Although many fad diets that create rapid weight loss have come and gone over the years, it is encouraging to note that the apple cider vinegar diet leads to gradual weight loss. It would be nice if we could shed pounds quickly and never see them again, but experience has shown that weight that leaves easily comes back easily.
The apple cider vinegar diet
If you lose weight quickly, your body will oblige you by kicking in mechanisms to make it more likely this weight will slip back on in no time. But if you can be patient and do not expect instant results, your fat cells will adjust to their new size more willingly and not insist on contributing on your waistline. The apple cider vinegar diet is perfect for this. more→
Are you searching for a way to give your immune system a boost? How about a drink that can relieve stress? Well, if you’re holding a cup of lemon ginger tea in your hand, then you’re on the right track! Sweet, spicy and one of the best drinks to have during the winter, this tea is power-packed with some incredible health and body care benefits too! And here’s how to make your own Fresh Ginger-Lemon Tea (which is actually an infusion, not really “tea.”)
Let’s see how:
- It Boosts Your Immune System: On top of the list of benefits of lemon ginger tea is its ability to strengthen your immunity. This is due to the presence of high levels of anti-oxidants in ginger. Lemons are an excellent source of vitamin C which can heal wounds and preserve the strength of bones and teeth. In the onset of cold and flu, the tea can act as an effective anti-biotic. The bioflavonoids that lemons contain help to prevent cancer cells from growing and spreading. The anti-oxidants in the lemons help in reducing inflammation and arthritis symptoms. The powerful anti-oxidants can reduce free radicals in the body. Ginger also increases blood circulation in the body that is vital for optimum health.
VegKitchen offers an array of easy, healthy vegan snacks, appetizers, and dips for the grazing pleasure of adults and kids alike! Here is our listing of tasty and nutritious vegan snacks, from everyday to celebratory, many of which are based on vegetables, grains, and other whole foods. Photo by Hannah Kamnisky depicting Deviled Tomatoes (see recipe listed below). more→
Even people who say they don’t like beans often like chickpeas. Here are some of our favorite healthy chickpea recipes — easy, tasty, and vegan. Chickpeas are among the most flavorful of the legume family, and add flavor, protein, and texture to so many kinds of dishes — soups, stews, pastas, salads, and sandwiches. Add them to your repertoire today! more→
VegKitchen readers love brown rice for its versatility, and its superior nutrition profile as compared to white rice. And while there are more whole grains to choose from today — quinoa, farro, spelt, and others — brown rice seems to hold its own as a favorite staple. It’s inexpensive (especially bought in bulk) and so versatile. Here are some of our best brown rice recipes — healthy, easy, and of course, vegan. If you’d like even more, see our extensive list of brown rice recipes.
Tackling food waste starts in your kitchen! Up to 40 percent of the food purchased in the U.S. is wasted. It’s easy to blame supermarkets and restaurants that toss out mass quantities of spoiled, imperfect, or uneaten food, but even small amounts of food waste coming from home kitchens have a big impact. Here are some simple tips for preventing food waste.
The average person throws out more than 20 pounds of food per month. The forgotten leftovers in the refrigerator and over-ripe bananas on the kitchen counter contribute to greenhouse gas emissions in the landfill – not to mention the amount of land, water, and other resources it took to produce that food in the first place. To highlight what a huge global problem this is, see more about the issue in Wasted Yet Wanted. more→
You provide your favorite vegan dish and there it is—the wrinkled nose from your non vegan partner. Soon the comments about life not being worth living without meat and cheese start. But this can be a good opportunity to introduce your non vegan partner to the wide world of vegan cooking, which can often look like more traditional cooking. Vegan diets aren’t without hot dogs, pizza, favored Chinese restaurant dishes and even facsimiles of bacon, of course. So it’s time to show your non vegan partner what vegan cooking can do. Below are several good vegan recipes for a non vegan partner. more→
The benefits of green smoothies are many and varied — they’re easy to digest, keep you hydrated, increase your energy, get your skin glowing, and more. They can include spinach, lettuce, kale, and collard greens.
For the more advanced green smoothie drinker, you can also add parsley, dandelion greens, watercress — really, any leafy green veggie your palate can handle, and enjoy. Bananas, apples, pears, avocado, and mango are great companions in these beverages. Here’s a brief introduction to the many advantages of drinking green smoothies on a daily basis. more→
It’s easier than ever to enjoy eggless vegan “egg” recipes — classics you thought you’d have to give up once you went plant-based. When it comes to dishes that taste like vegan “eggs,” substitute tofu and chickpea flour for surprisingly egg-like results. Here are some of our favorites. These are also great for those with egg allergies, or who are watching their cholesterol.
Deviled Tomatoes (at top) are filled with a combination of chickpeas, nutritional yeast, and vegan mayo, adding up to a fairly egg-like flavor and consistency. Similar idea, also based on chickpeas — Thug Kitchen’s Deviled Chickpea Bites, which will bring your buffet table into the twenty-first century. Going one step further, Baked-In presents Vegan Deviled Eggs that not only approaches the taste of a deviled egg, but looks exactly like one, too! And Mouthwatering Vegan Recipes similarly presents Ultimate Genius Vegan Eggs. more→