What do camel toes and moose knuckles have to do with healthy eating? Absolutely nothing, which is a good thing. What they do have in common with healthy eating is their deceiving monikers, just like this week’s feature superfood, goosefoot. Like Moose Knuckles and Camel Toes, Goosefoot has no connection with the actual animal its name suggests. In fact, of all the things named after animal body parts, goosefoot, or quinoa, looks the least like its nickname.

Of all the animal parts, however, goose foot is probably the best for you to ingest. Nix that, not “probably”. Is.

Goosefoot is known in grocery stores as “quinoa”, pronounced “Keen-wah”, and is the seed of the goosefoot plant. When shopping for quinoa, you’ll usually find it in the organic or health food section. You can get it at bulk barn or costco, as well. It is usually a beige colour, but it is available in red if you want to add some colour to your plate. The best way to cook it is 2 parts boiling water, 1 part quinoa, set the timer to 12 minutes, cover the pot and do not peek until the timer goes off.

Quinoa is a high source of protein. For a plant, that is a pretty impressive attribute. Similar in culinary purpose to wheat or rice, which do not contain protein, quinoa is also a good source of fiber and is glutton-free. Who wouldn’t want to eat a food that is a protein and complex carbohydrate all-in-one. That’s like finding the hot girl who loves sports or the hot guy who loves shopping. A best friend and bed friend, all in one!

Cooking with quinoa gets even better. Imagine rice hooked up with oatmeal and got pregnant. Their baby would be have dual citizenship in Breakfastland and Dinnerville. With quinoa, it’s all about the accessories that define its identity. Pair it with fruit and it’s a breakfast; pair it with meat and it’s a dinner. Embrace all of quinoa’s culinary identities in this week’s recipes.

Try this recipe for breakfast. The cool thing about this recipe is you can make it ahead and keep it in small containers, ready to microwave and eat on those rushed mornings. Or you can make it fresh on the weekend and enjoy it with a coffee.

1 cup of quinoa (cooked as per directions on package)
1/4 cup of dried apricots
1/4 cup of dried figs
1/4 cup of dried plums
1 tbsp of honey
1 tsp of cinnamon
1 cup of water

Chop all dried fruit (you can substitute any fruits into the mixture, like cranberries, raisins, or apples). In a medium sauce pan, add water and fruit and bring to a boil. Reduce to medium heat and cook until mixture has softened and thickened like a jam (approx. 15 minutes or more) stirring frequently. Add honey and cinnamon to taste. Combine with quinoa and add milk, soy milk, or yogurt. Serve hot.

This recipe was invented by my bff, Natalie Davey. If you don’t have coconut oil, you can use any kind of oil, but the coconut oil adds a really fresh flavour. And Bragg’s can be substituted, but Bragg’s is best. This is a favourite of Monica (Toe Jam Monday) and Natalie (Living Yogically).

1 cup of Quinoa (cooked according to package directions)
3 portobello mushrooms (chopped into large square pieces)
2 heads of broccoli (or bok choy or both)
Bragg’s Soy flavouring (or soy sauce or tamari, but Bragg’s is glutton-free and amazing!)
2 tbsp of coconut oil (or regular oil)
coconut milk or coconut water (optional)
1 onion chopped
4 cloves of garlic minced
2 – 3 tbsp of minced ginger

Heat oil in fry pan. Add onion, garlic, and ginger and sweat over medium high heat. Add mushrooms and two swirls of Bragg’s sauce. Heat until mushrooms start to soften. Add broccoli. Also, add 2-3 tbsp of coconut milk or coconut water (optional). Cover pan with lid to steam on medium low heat.

Once broccoli starts to soften (but does not lose colour or crunch) add cooked quinoa. Stir and serve!