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Complementary Protein

Posted 6/29/2014 5:36pm by Eugene Wyatt.

In the 1970's reading a bible of the current food movement, Francis Moore Lappé's Diet for a Small PlanetI learned about the nature of complementary proteins and from that time I rudimentarily noted the kind of protein in my diet, even as I began to eat lamb when I got sheep in the late 1980's.

Several years ago a friend and a devoteé to a guru cooked and served an Ayurvedic Kichardy; it consisted of complimentary proteins: ~75% of Basmati Rice (a grain), ~24% of Split Mung Beans (a legume) and ~1% of Mustard, Coriander, Fennel, Fenugreek, Cardamon (seeds) and Turmeric powder ground from a root. 

You pop, like popcorn, the mustard seed in olive oil, you stir in the other spices to the popped mustard seed and oil, you stir in the basmati rice and mung beans, then add ~1.75 cups of spring water to 1 cup of basmati rice/mung beans and cook—after bringing it to a boil—under low heat for ~30 minutes. I often add sliced garlic to the olive oil after the mustard seed has popped.

Kichardy is a dish for me: inexpensive, fast—the measures and the time are always approximate—and the grain/legume/seed proteins complement one another. The recipe is Ayurvedic, it is ~5000 years old and it is a staple of the modern-day food movement too. Its health must be true being both Vedic-old and foodie-new. It makes me conscious of what I eat and that is most important about eating.