(NB One of her recipes from the book "prawn and avocado salad" was served to our party guests and received with a great success.)
Rena's has written two cookbooks which offer a wide range of quinoa recipes for every day dishes. The "Cooking with Quinoa" and "Quinoa for Families", cookbooks are great for anyone seeking a healthy alternative with lots of taste and Rena unveils the mystery of this ancient grain.
Also known as "the mother grain" this ancient super grain was used by the Inca, its been around for over 5,000 years and in the last decade gained acceptance in Western diets due to its amazing health qualities. We know many people (ourselves included) who initial trial of quinoa was a breakfast alternative, which in our opinion is not the most exciting way to eat this super food. If this is the only introduction to quinoa it's a tad boring and you will miss out on great healthy meal alternatives with wonderful tastes. To be honest, this is how we first ate quinoa like stoddy porridge so our half opened packet was placed in a plastic container, shoved to the back of the pantry and left there until those mighty weevels, conquered our airtight container and all was thrown away.
Found originally and native to the Andes mountains in South America, quinoa is always referred to as a grain, in fact it's the seed of a leafy plant called Chenopodium quinoa and distantly related to the spinach plant. Quinoa contains more protein than any grain and has a high content of the amino acid lysine (essential in our diet for tissue repair and growth). It is a very good source of maganese, magnesium, potassium, phosphorous, copper, zinc, vitamin E and B6, riboflavin, niacin and thiamine. The calcium content in quinoa is more than cow's milk and it's an excellent antioxidant. Rich is dietary fibre and has more iron than any other grain, as well as low Glycemic Index level, as you can see truly enormous health benefits.
Highly recommend Rena's cookbooks for those looking to lose weight, want a low GI diet or add a super food to your diet try quinoa, its delicious when cooked right.
A couple of our favorite quinoa recipes from the book were "spinach, mushroom and chickpea curry", just delicious, "cream of lettuce soup" and the "herb bread".
Check out Rena's website http://www.renapatten.com/
Review by Penelope Beveridge
Living for the last 28 years in Cherrybrook, Rena Patten has written her book Quinoa Grain Cookbook to raise awareness of the versatility and health benefits of the many uses of Quinoa in everyday meals and the fact that it is a food that can be enjoyed by everyone including people with gluten and wheat intolerances. Rena has some 20 years cooking experience as a recipe developer; held cooking classes on Mediterranean cooking; and assisted Geoff Janz and Lyndey Milan in cooking demonstrations. Rena is an established author having previously published Greek Cooking and How to Prepare Stuffings.