Quinoa sprouting day 3 (fail) and cooking kale shoots?? With zero-calorie noodles


(Sprouting day 3 – morning half)

Over time, my quinoa have become almost like my little white spherical babies. I swear I’ve seen them move around in there; once when I’d lifted the jar up for closer inspection, a group of quinoa (would you call them a flock?) elevated themselves up vertically in the water, and the quinoa did that twice.

I’m only kidding; obviously it was the trapped air bubble that had burst when I moved the jar, causing a mini quinoa explosion.


But this was how my ‘sprouted’ quinoa turned out like by Day 3 (no change by the end of the day when I changed water – it’s every six hours) Typically, by day 3 the quinoa shoud’ve sprouted much longer and prominent shoots  (their recommended sprouting time is 1-3). So, not wanting to risk growing poisonous mushrooms and fungi instead, I decided to take up my quinoa and put them in the fridge for later use… as slightly sprouted and bloated grains…

This post is a follow up from http://obsessivenutritioncompulsive.wordpress.com/2013/09/29/sprouting-experiment-quinoa-and-the-wonderful-benefits-of-sprouting-legumes-and-grains/

What I believe I’d done wrong:

1. Used tissue paper instead of cheese cloth or sieve-like cover (not enough oxygen into the jar? Although the tissue was pretty thin).

Next sprouting: something easier perhaps like lentils?? Anyone has suggestions?

Now, onto next topic, cooking with kale sprouts…


Has anyone eaten young kale shoots before?

I haven’t.

But you may ask: why the heck am I eating kale shoots?


(I usually get about 2-3 shoots at a time; this is post-picking)

That’s because they’ve been popping up everywhere on the curly burly kale in my backyard’s garden! I knew straight away that these floret-like shoots are actually the kale bolting into flowers, as summer nears and bursts of hot weather prompt vegetable plants to go to seed (alright, my initial thought was really that the kale had cross-bred with the broccolini). And no way in heck am I letting my kale grow into tough old plants that taste horrible and are inedible.

So as a result, I’ve been indiscriminately and frantically picking off kale flower shoots; same as I’d done with my franken-broccolini (more about my garden here http://obsessivenutritioncompulsive.wordpress.com/2013/07/29/my-slightly-mutated-vegetable-garden/), ultimately getting dead aphids all over my thumb and finger (eww)

But ever since chucking so many kale shoots away (even some without an aphid infestation), I thought; why not try cooking them? They must be similar in texture to broccolini shoots.

Other than that, the young kale shoots must be incredibly nutritious, since these are the parts that bugs like aphids go for i.e. rose buds, broccolini, broccoli shoots, for nutrients to nourish their young and help them multiply like crazy.

Kale shoots post-cooking..


Bits of eggs attached.

I’d cooked the shoot with my zero-cal noodles.  (Miso+tomato sauce + zero-cal noodles + black fungus mushroom + free-range egg + leeks)

Young kale shoots taste: Similar to broccolini shoots but chewier, with a flavor comparable to broccoli greens. Overall, edible.

I found some other strange person someone else who cooks kale shoots! Shiitake with cracked cap

from http://www.waldeneffect.org/blog/Gourmet_omelet/

Kale shoots with mushroom on the right.

And this is the face of the ‘zero-calorie’ noodles I’d mentioned…


Seems hard to believe, but these japanese noodles called konnyaku are only 45.38 kj per entire package or about 11 calories (1 tsp sugar = 16 calories just for measures) and are made from konjac plant + seaweed powder. They aren’t exactly zero calories as some of these noodles’ brands may claim, however, the small amount of calories in relation to the amount of noodles per serving more or less confirms the truth of that statement.

I guess these noodles are similar in composition to the ‘zero-calorie agar’ that vegetarians/vegans use as jelly alternatives.

I’ve just started getting into incorporating these noodles in my diet. But since I’ve never been a big noodle fan, I don’t use these zero-calorie diet noodles extensively.

I wouldn’t be able to make any recommendations for dieters looking to replace these noodles for carbs, but I know for one that they will not fill you up like healthier lower-calorie alternatives like… potato cellophane noodles or soba noodles. I got really hungry after two or three hours of eating these.

So employing these noodles for dieting purposes may create a very difficult diet to follow because it’s like eating half the amount of you normally consume each meal (replacing carbs with konnyaku), unless you incorporate in more protein to keep you full. I don’t think starving/fasting diets work on the long run, but the more  modern approach of high-water, high-fiber foods diets to keep you full (at the same time nourishing your bodies too) will be more effective, like the Mayo Clinic and volumetric diets.

So, what do konnyaku noodles TASTE like?

No flavor. Remain soft when lightly cooked; texture would be similar to water-filled udon. When cooked a bit longer, they tense up and become more stringy like… something (not exactly like cellophane noodles)

Anyway, over all, these are more like jelly than noodles (but kudos to makers of these noodles for getting this close to the real thing while maintaining a virtually calorie-less noodle)

The Japanese actually have a lot of natural diet foods (also have one of the healthiest diets in the world. Japan was named healthiest country for many years) yet in recent years they’ve invented disturbing dishes like deep-fried curry bread with cheese + their various deep-fried assortments i.e. tempura, tonkatsu, croquette, super fatty meat cuts, and tendency to inundate their ramen with a cup of pure white lard.

(curry bun)

(Ramen – the white is not from dairy…it’s something more sinister)

If the healthiest nation consumes these types of dishes, what has become of the rest of the world??

EXCITING UPDATE: My mum have decided to finally put a hold on her two desserts a day i.e. chocolate cake for breakfast, cheesecake in the evening, and go on a diet designed by me! Finally, a chance for me to play dietitian (I’d done a beautiful skin diet for her once which totally worked). I’ll keep you posted on her progress.

And about my own attempt to limit chewing gum + artificial sweetener intake = failed so far. Last night, had about 3 chewing gums just because I had a craving, but it totally helped prove my theory on sweetener + sore throat, because this morning I indeed had a bad sore throat. Not too severe, but it kind of hurt when I swallowed (goes away after a while).

NEXT POST: More info on zero-calorie noodles! And my mum’s new diet!

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