Spicy Quinoa Stuffed Avocado

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Remember these? Here is the recipe. Enjoy!
 
{Ingredients}
  • Spiced Quinoa:
  • Avocados (1 small avocado per person)
  • ½ cup quinoa
  • 1 can black beans (rinsed)
  • ½ chopped red pepper
  • ½ cup corn
  • ½ chopped red onion
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro + some for garnish
  • 1 tbsp taco seasoning
  • Cilantro ‘sour cream’
  • 1 cup cashews soaked for at least two hours
  • 2 tbsp cilantro
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp agave (if you want it sweeter)
  • dash of salt
{Instructions}
  1. Start by rinsing your quinoa well and then place it in a sauce pan and toast for about two minutes until the quinoa starts to smell ‘toasty.’ Add one cup of water or vegetable broth and bring to boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to simmer and cover. (To get fluffy quinoa, it’s really important to not stir it, just let it be, keeping a close eye on it)
  2. Chop the red onion and red pepper and add all the ingredients, minus the quinoa, in a bowl and mix well with the taco seasoning. Once the quinoa is finished and has cooled, add it to the vegetable mixture.
  3. Put the mixture in the refrigerator to cool.
  4. Drain the cashews and place them in a blender. Add ¼ cup water, apple cider vinegar, agave, and salt and blend. You may want to add more water until the mixture is silky and smooth but I recommend doing so a little at a time. Once the consistency you want, pour into a bowl and place in the refrigerator to cool
  5. To assemble the avocados, begin by cutting them in half, removing the skin and the pit. I also scooped out part of the avocado to make a little room for more stuffing.
  6. Scoop about ½ a cup of the quinoa mixture into each avocado, more if you can fit it.
  7. Finish with a little cilantro ‘sour cream’ and some chopped cilantro and serve.

Found this recipe here.

Photo courtesy of Pinterest.

CSA. Learn it & Do it.

CSA

CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. This is something you should definitely invest some money in and be a part of. It requires no extra cost than what you are probably spending at the grocery store already. Every week you can receive a box full of fresh produce including vegetables and fruits that are locally grown and in season.

When considering whether or not to join a CSA, there are a few questions that you might ask yourself. Be sure to answer for yourself and the people you live with since asking other people to change their eating habits is not a  small thing.

  • Do I like to cook and does my schedule allow me to make homemade meals most evenings?
  • Will it be fun to vegetables that are new to me?
  • How will I handle excess produce? (Do you have a neighbor who would like to get some if you get “behind”?) Feeling bad about wasting food is one of the top reasons former CSA members site for not renewing. If anything you can throw the extra veggies in your juicer or blender and get your daily intake of vitamins.

I know for me personally, throughout the week  I frequent Whole Foods daily. Mainly because I buy as I go, and it prevents a lot of waste since it’s only me. I don’t mind considering I love to cook, I love good food and it thrills me to know that I have access to amazing foods. For some people going to the grocery store is a dreadful process. I think in order to change this, you have to take a little time out of your day to look up some recipes and find things you love. If you know how to read, you can learn to cook! No excuses.

Do your research and find a CSA close to home. Why is this important? Because the more local the ingredients the faster it hits your dinner table after being picked. Nutrient value is at the highest value when your food is picked and served in a short amount of time. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t always accessible, but since we live in a community where it is I recommend you take advantage of it!

Have a great weekend!

Here is a link to find a CSA in your area. Good Luck!

Rock On Organic!

This is my favorite event of the week. I have many favorites but cooking probably tops them all. I was at the Campbell Farmers Market this weekend and it was D-E-A-D! A little strange considering the weather was sunny and beautiful and usually that attracts people to get out and do something. Never the less- I would like to encourage you to buy your produce from the local farmers market. Often times the later you go the better prices you can score because they want to get rid of their products. Sometimes it will be $1 per lb. (Major Score). There are also many CSA’s (Community Supported Agriculture) you can join. Find one here.

Buying local refers to where the good was grown and produced. Back in the day when our grandparents were growing up- local farms was the only option. As we build global awareness of the problems factory farms pose to our generation, we’re seeing a return of sustainable, local farmers who believe in the way business used to get done. They also tend to practice more sustainable methods, such as protecting our air, water, and soil quality; and recycling and composting their waste. Small farms have been shown to invest more money back into their local communities.

There are many farmes markets throughout the week. Not only will you reep the benefits of great food, it might inspire you to try something in season that you don’t usually cook with. What’s better than knowing EXACTLY where your food comes from.

Organic goods are like music to nature’s ears. They are biodegradable, and come straight from the ground without shipping harmful polutants off into our atmosphere and water supply. Rock on, organic. Rock on!

“You’re Vegetarian…What do you eat?” This is What MY Healthy Is!

{Before & After Lifestyle Change}

{What Drives Me to Be Healthy?}

I will say right now, I have not always been healthy. I think when you take on a lifestyle change- if you aren’t surrounded by like minded people, people then they begin to question why you are changing, and where does that leave them? It’s been about 6 years now that I have been vegetarian (not for everyone) and completely cleaned up my eating habits. This has been a progressive transformation of a healthy lifestyle including mind, body, and soul. I didn’t lose weight overnight, nor did I do it without massive hard work and dedication to wanting to be better. I have become self educated on what my expectations are for MY own health, and I refuse to settle for any less. I didn’t always love to work out because that required that I actually got off my ass and did something! Go figure! But little by little, the more movement I did the better I felt and the more weight I lost. If you would have told me I was going to be in a circuit training class (FNS) a year ago I would have told you that you were absolutely nuts! Now, I feel guilty if I miss a day. I guess Newton had it right all along, for every action there is a reaction. I am a firm believer that being healthy is different for everyone. It doesn’t mean weighing 120 lbs, or starving yourself. It means living in moderation and not being too extreme on either side of the spectrum. People always ask, “How did you do it?” It’s simple. I made a change for ME, started eating better and started moving. The keyword is I….Nobody else can do it for you. I will continue this journey while educating others to take the same accountability. I encourage you to take a self examination (instead of blaming others) on what you can do better, and make a change. If I did it, anything is possible.

Some of my favorite snacks…

{Greek Yogurt w/ Fruit and Agave}

*This is so easy and delicious. Sometimes I will eat for breakfast, and other times as a snack mid day. Agave is also a little less sweet than honey on the glycemic index.

{Vega Protien Powder}

*I love, love, love this protien powder. It’s hard to come by protien powder that doesn’t taste like chalk….this is far from! I usually mix some fruit, a little juice, kale, chia seeds and agave for a smoothie after a workout. This product is completely vegan (no animal product). Your muscles need protien! Drink away.

{Raw Nuts are Best}

*It took me a while to get away from overly salted nuts like planters, but now if I even dare to eat that I will need a liter of water to wash it down. My favorite is going to Whole Foods and getting bags of different nuts out of the bulk aisle- and then making my own trail mix (instead of buying premade.) I add cranberries, apricots and banana chips also! Its healthy, light and a great go to snack. I recomend making small snack bags at the beginning of the week so you don’t have any excuses mid week as to why you need that Snickers bar!

{Bruschetta}

*This is such an easy snack. Obviously I am not pounding down bread by the loaves, but I do enjoy it once in a while. Fresh tomato, raw garlic, a little basil and salt and pepper to taste! So easy and fast. You can also add balsamic for a more tart taste.

Whole Foods Brand}

*Jalapeno and Lemon are my favorite flavors. I usually dip with celary, cucumber or carrots. Beans are great protien, and the veggies are great fiber. Pita chips are often the reason hummus can be fatening so pick my calories wisely. Whole Foods brand hummus is delish! If you don’t want to buy, you can always make your own hummus. (It’s really easy.)

Favorite Cheat Snack…

Yes! It’s true…I don’t eat nuts and berries all day. I am human!

{iced grande caramel macchiato}

*This is my version of diet coke.I get it, you just can’t live without it. Although I would never drink that poison if it was the last taste of liquid on the planet, I LOVE iced coffee! This is probably the only way I consume milk (not a big cereal drinker & I never buy it.) I also know that it has calories. Lots of them haha, but I work out hard and treat myself once in a while.

{Coffee is my favorite}

*I am a sucker for ice cream! You name it, I love it. With that said quality is extremely important when choosing dairy products. If there is anything you should eat organic it’s meat and dairy. Knowing that the animals weren’t pumped with steroids and antibiotics makes this ice cream experience a little more enjoyable. Don’t know what I am talking about? Read Omnivores Dillema. It will get you thinking. If you haven’t tried Straus Products, I recommend you do. They are local, sustainable and Organic.

Favorite Recipe…

{Quinoa Mexican Salad}

What you’ll need:

  • Black Beans
  • Corn
  • Cherry Tomato
  • Jalapeno
  • Cilantro
  • Lemons + Olive Oil
  • Quinoa
  • Avocado
  • Red Onion

Fast and Easy! Cook the quinoa. Dice onions, jalapeno and cilantro. Cut cherry tomatoes in half. Combine all ingrediants together. Lemon and Olive oil to taste as well as the salt and pepper. You can add chicken if desired, but I think it tastes great vegetarian.

There you have it…This about sums it up!

*I do not claim the rights to these photos.

The Sprouted Kitchen is here!

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It’s official! I just received this amazing cookbook called, “The Sprouted Kitchen.” Most people either get really intimidated by cookbooks, don’t have enough time or simply buy and let it sit in on their kitchen counter without ever touching it! Sound familiar? This is why I love THIS cookbook..

My intention is to make food taste good through using healthy ingredients; whole grains, unsaturated fats, natural sugar alternatives and the like. Not promising a lot of meat and potatoes in this book, but a bit of indulgence will certainly wiggle in amongst the vegetables. What I can promise is that here you will find recipes that use seasonal ingredients, and organic/local when found accessible and affordable.”

Can’t wait to get to cooking over the weekend. Have a great Thursday everyone!