Right Stuff vs. Food Porn

March 2011

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Right Stuff


"Quinoa: An Emerging 'New' Crop with Potential for CELSS," read the title of the 1993 NASA Technical Paper. The U.S. space agency was considering quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) for the "Controlled Ecological Life Support System"—that is, for "meeting the needs of humans on long-term space missions."

What makes quinoa unique? "Lysine, an essential amino acid that is deficient in many grain crops, is found in quinoa approaching Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) standards set for humans," explained the NASA scientists. It's similar to what you'd get if you combined soybeans and wheat (NASA's alternative for CELSS).

Quinoa's amino acids may help explain why it was a staple of the Inca empire for many centuries. That and its ability to grow at the Andes' high altitudes, where wheat and corn can't compete. But here's why you should put quinoa on your shopping list even if you have no plans to move to Peru. Each 220-calorie cup of the cooked whole grain is packed with 5 grams of fiber, 8 grams of protein, and 15 percent of a day's iron.

Quinoa's nutty flavor shows up just 10 to 15 minutes after it hits the stove. What to do then?

Mix some with roasted vegetables and pine nuts, or sautéed snow peas and mushrooms with a splash of soy sauce. Or toss with chopped arugula, fresh basil, scallions, sundried tomatoes, and vinaigrette dressing.

And if NASA calls, you'll already be prepped for that long-term space mission.


Food Porn


"Two ¼ lb. patties topped with juicy Applewood smoked bacon in between a premium fresh bun. Topped off with mayo, ketchup, and American cheese."

That's how Wendy's Web site describes its Baconator Double. The chain's commercial is more blunt: "Real bacon. Only for real men."

Apparently, women and children (and wimpy men) can't handle 940 calories, more than a day's worth of saturated fat (25 grams), and a full day's supply of sodium (1,590 mg) in one sandwich. Only real men can wolf down such a super-sized burger, whether or not they end up with a 45-inch waist taking cholesterol-lowering statins and blood pressure medication for the rest of their lives. They're tough. Well, not around the middle, but you get the idea.

How's the competition? McDonald's biggest burger is the Angus Bacon & Cheese. It's got a mere 790 calories and 17 grams of sat fat. (Look for it on the "McSissies" menu.)

Granted, Burger King's Triple Whopper with cheese—which packs 1,230 calories, 32 grams of sat fat, and 1,550 mg of sodium—is worse. It can cause some serious fat-cell proliferation, artery clogging, and blood-vessel stiffening. But Wendy's will fix you a Baconator Triple on the spot. Just ask!

Want to know if a relative, friend, or co-worker is a real man? Buy him a Baconator Double and see if he has the guts to eat it...or if he's still working on that gut.

Wendy's: (614) 764-3100, ext. 2032

Dish of the Month

Roasted Veggies with Attitude

Toss 1 lb. broccoli and cauliflower florets in 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil. Roast on a baking tray at 400° for 20 minutes. Whisk together 1 Tbs. each of lemon juice, extra-virgin olive oil, minced shallot, and grated Parmesan with ¹⁄ 8 tsp. salt, a little freshly ground black pepper, and the zest from ½ lemon. Toss with the roasted florets.

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