Traditional Foods

"Traditional" in the context of these projects means pre-contact foods. No beef, mutton, goat, chicken, pork, milk, butter, cream, wheat flour (no fry bread), rye, barley, okra, black-eyed peas, or any other "Old World" food that many of us have lovingly incorporated into our diets and tribal cultures. No processed foods (Doritoes, Lays Chips, etc), even if the base is corn or potatoes. No chocolate unless it is unsweetened cacao or sweetened with honey from the Melipona bee, fruit, stevia, camas or agave. Be adventurous and try unfamiliar foods! There are many foods to choose from. My American Indian Health and Diet Project site lists and defines many of them.

Friday, March 2, 2012


Quinoa has been a staple for peoples of the Peruvian-Bolivian plains for millenia. Incans grew thriving crops of quinoa until the invading Spanish forced the indigenous peoples to grow European crops such as wheat and barley. Quinoa is gluten-free and nutritious, with protein content similar to milk.

After cooking
Quinoa is easy to prepare. Rinse it thoroughly, then add to boiling water. The ratio of quinoa to water is 1:2. Quinoa goes well with many other foods, or by itself. I sometimes cook a small amount mixed with pepper, onions, green chilies and a bit of salt.

We use quinoa in a variety of dishes, including venison and peppers (above), mixed with scrambled eggs and salsa (below), and it goes well with wild rice, pinto or black beans.

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