When reducing oneself to the nuts and berries consumed by our hard-bodied predecessors during the Mesolithic, you really gotta' get creative. You have to open your mind and palate to knew and interesting grains, because honestly, you're going to get sick of Romain lettuce after the first week. Cue my brief romance with the South American seed, Quinoa. Originally found growing high in the cliffs of the Andes Mountains, Quinoa is a delicious alternative to couscous or rice, jam-packed with healthy, satiating carbs and a fairly quick cook-time. I'd run across an Indian-inspired recipe combining it with chickpeas, almonds, carrots, dried cranberries, and a nice lime curry dressing. Like I said, when subsisting entirely on feed intended for ferrets, you need to mix it up a little. The results weren't half bad, (filling, flavorful, one might say a little peaty)...until I awakened the next morning with a stomach ache of EPIC proportions. Turns out Quinoa seeds are coated in an oily substance called saponin, which you're supposed to remove by rinsing and soaking for an hour or so. Thanks a lot, Women's Health. Would have been nice to include that on the recipe card. Or the instructions on the bag, for that matter. For those of you who've never delved into the world of exotic grains, be assured that a Quinoa hangover is probably worse than coming off crack. Something not even a crate of fruit flavored Tums can fix. It took me a sleepless night and most of my workday overcome, thank you very much. And so, I present you #7 on my list of Things That Are For Losers. From now on, I'll be sticking to my gateway grains, things like bulgur wheat and steelcut oats. This South American schwag is way too hardcore.
- WILLA K