It's a Bird! It's a Plane! It's Super-Grain!  

Sisters Patricia Green and Carolyn Hemming are on a mission worthy of nutritional superheroes. The co-authors of Penguin's The Quinoa Revolution - a follow-up to their popular cookbook Quinoa 365 - stopped by the shop recently to discuss the many health benefits of quinoa - a grain that's being rediscovered in North America after serving as a dietary staple in Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador for centuries. "We're both very passionate about this," says Patricia. "We keep getting letters from people who tell us we've changed their lives."

Patricia began experimenting with quinoa recipes as a result of having a dinner guest with specific dietary issues. It didn't take long for Carolyn to become interested as well. "Patricia and I are both very analytical," she explains. "We're the sort of people who enjoy analyzing menus in restaurants to see if they work." When they discovered the positive benefits that quinoa has on everything from weight loss to digestion, the sisters were hooked. Both Carolyn and Patricia - who has travelled to Bolivia for research purposes - make the grain a daily feature of their diet.

But don't expect a couple of grim-looking recipe testers in lab coats. For the two fun-loving sisters, taste is a big part of the equation. Books to Cooks chef Lawren Moneta prepared a three-course menu around their latest book that featured Chili, Lime and Kale Soup with Aged White Cheddar for an appetizer. This was followed by Roasted Tomato and Olive Bruschetta over Baked Halibut and Quinoa   for the main course.  The finish? Chocolate Hazelnut Cream Pudding. After the meal, it was easy to understand why Barbara-jo has been cooking with quinoa "for years." Eating healthy never tasted so good.  

Both books are published by Penguin Canada and are currently available at the shop.