Sep 3, 2016

Healthy Meal (September): Quinoa & Whole Rice Kedgeree

Quinoa & Whole Rice Kedgeree  has a deep natural fresh taste, ideal for a mid week, quick to make meal. The health benefits are provided by the herbs, spices vegetables, seeds and pulses are explained in detail below as part of this healthy meal of the month series. The inclusion of meat may be a surprise to vegetarian aficionados but emphasis is on high taste, low quantity and high quality.IMG_9770

Quinoa is held sacred by the South America Incas, who referred to it as the “Mother of all Grains”. It contains flavonoid polyphenols, including quercetin and kaempferol, which have antioxidant properties protecting our DNA. It is higher in fibre than most grains and considerably higher in protein and essential amino acids  particularly the essential amino acid lysine, so contain most the building blocks to build our muscles and metabolic enzymes. It’s gluten free, produces a low glycemic index and is high in the Vitamins B’s and C as well as essential minerals such as zinc, iron, selenium, calcium, manganese and magnesium.

Garlic and onions are high in a sulfur phtyochemical called Allicin and the flavonoid quercetin, which have been shown to reduce blood pressure, reduce cold and flu symptoms, have anti-carcinogenic, anti-inflammatory and anti-diabetic functions.  Both are rich in vitamins C, important for tissue repair and immune surveillance; manganese which is an important a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase. They have good levels of B vitamins which needed for effective function ofthe brain and nervous system.

Whole grain rice preserves the outer hull, bran layer and germ of the seed, although this dish can be made with brown rice, which has the outer, fiber rich, hull removed which contains many vitamins and minerals – notably vitamins B1, B3, magnesium and iron. The bran layer also contains and some healthy omega fatty acids and fibre which lowers the glycemic index.

BrocolliCabbage and broccoli are Brassica vegetable containing fibre, vitamin C and K, sulforaphane and other glucosinolates, which stimulate the production of detoxifying enzymes and have direct ant-cancer properties. Sulforaphane protects muscle against exercise induced damage by blocking an enzyme know as myostatin, relevant for both training athletes and people to need to build up their strength after cancer treatments. Although levels of the carotenoid compounds lutein and xeaxanthin, good for the skin and eyes, found in broccoli are preserved with cooking, boiling reduces the levels of sulforaphane. Even more sensitive to heat is the enzyme myrosinase and this is responsible for the conversion of the glucosinolates into sulforaphane. That is why for this dish, broccoli is only added at the end of the cooking so there is less heat damage. It is also why we add the raw radish, which is a highest source of myrosinase. Indole-3-carbinol found in broccoli and cabbage and this has both antioxidant as well as anti-oestrogenic properties which may explain the anecdotal reports that the broccoli rich foods supplement (Pomi-t) helped hot flushes.

Serrano ham is a traditional Spanish meat is rich in amino acids and whole proteins. As it is fermented, it contains numerous strains of probiotics, which are beneficial for gut digestions and helping to maintain a healthy immunity. It is low in saturated fats, relevant for those wishing to loose weight and does contain omega 3 fats as the animals are usually fed well. The curing process but does produce nitrates. Nitrates can be converted to nitroso compounds in the stomach, which are carcinogenic. However, this process in blocked by vitamin C and the antioxidant polyphenols, found in this dish – so act as their own and antidotes. Nitrates also help with muscle recovery after exercising. For vegetarians, the meat could be omitted but you should consider boost your levels of omega 3 with a good quality fish oil capsule.

Soy beans have been criticised recently as many are GM grown, some products may be high in pesticides and phytates. To get around these issues, soak the beans before use and use organic varieties. Soy is rich in the phyoestrogenic polyphenol isofavone, which despite its name lowers oestrogen levels in the body and reduces breast cancer risk and relapse rates. It is rich in plant proteins and Vitamin K2 both which helps calcium absorption in the bones hence why people who eat soy products tend to have better bone density. Peas are packed with fiber and protein. They have some isofavone polyphenols and are a source of vitamins B, K, C, B6, B2, B1, folate and niacin; the minerals manganese, copper, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, zinc, potassium and choline.

Lettuce and spinach leaves added raw to this dish are packed with vitamin C, folic acid, fibre, the green carotenoid phytochemicals called epoxyxanthophylls and the yellow carotenoids beta-carotene and lutein which are better absorbed and help maintain skin and eye vitality.

Spices add to the taste and contain vitamin C and polyphenols with anticancer properties. Chili also contains capsaicin, which has profound anti-inflammatory properties. Pepper also contains peperine, which improves both the absorption of polyphenols from other foods and increases the time they are available in the blood stream. Paprika (Capsicum annuum) is rich in the carotenoid phytochemicals lutein and capsanthin which have significant anti-oxidant properties and are required for the healthy function of the retina and macular of the eye.

Ingredients (To serve three) 

2 cups cooked quinoa,
1 cup whole grain black rice

1 cup mix of peas and soya beans
3 medium onions, diced
3 garlic cloves
4 slices of Serrano ham
2 cups of broccoli
1/2 a small white cabbage
2 tablespoons of olive oil (for cooking)
2 tablespoons of extra virgin (for dressing)
2 teaspoons of black pepper and 1 teaspoons of sea salt
1 teaspoons of paprika powder 1 fresh whole chilli (diced)
2 handfuls of mixed lettuce and spinach leaves
2 whole fresh radishes

Gentle heat the olive oil in a frying pan, add the sliced onions, then the peas, and soya beans and diced Serrano ham. Stir them and then add the sliced cabbage. Add the quinoa, which had been boiled and simmered for 15 minutes, and the wholegrain black rice, which had been boiled and simmered for 25 minutes. Add the garlic, salt and spices whilst heating gently, stirring regularly, mixing them all well. After approximately 10 minutes when the cabbage is soft. Add the broccoli which had been blanched in boiling water for 1 minute.

Prepare the salad, sliced radish in the serving dish extra virgin olive oil, lemon. When the kedgeree and more black pepper quinoa, rice, vegetables and ham mixture are ready, pour it onto of the prepared salad. Add some extra virgin oil.

Enjoy at least once or twice a week. 

Summary – Quinoa & whole rice kedgeree


  • Tasty, satisfying and quick to make
  • No added processed sugar
  • Slow release (low glycemic index) energy source
  • High in essential minerals and vitamins B, K, K2 and C
  • High in non bulking fibre
  • Low in saturated fats,
  • Contains healthy omega 3,6 & 9 fats
  • Low in carcinogens
  • High in anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer polyphenols
  • High probiotic levels in the Serrano ham
  • Good quantities of phytoestrogenic isoflavones
  • High in plant proteins and essential aminoacids
  • Gluten and lactose free (relevant if you have intolerances)
Read the evidence

Read more evidence for lifestyle and cancer


  • Relatively high in phytates (reduced by soaking and sprouting quinoa)
  • More expensive than standard processed convenient cereals
  • More shopping around required.
  • Could cause flatulence – maybe take with an extra probiotic capsule

Previous recipes:

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