Mexican Quinoa.

quinoa prep

mexican quiona 2

Hey friends! After my crazy hard workout last night I jumped on Pinterest and found this recipe. Mexican quinoa is EASY ( I am all about easy) and damn good at the same time! Nothing like a recipe that kills it in the taste department. Score! I have made different variations of this salad, but adding the cumin was a hit).  I have vowed to myself for the next 6 weeks there will be nothing but clean eating. (Well, majority- let’s be realistic). I am all about moderation including moderation, but I know for a fact that the daily habits we do add up  so with a few changes here and there between food and working out I should be seeing some results coming my way! Here is another easy recipe sent from me to you. I try to make/look up different dishes and use the ingredients I already have on hand. This alleviates any time constraints or any additional trips to the grocery store than necessary. Baby steps like replacing pasta and rice with quinoa can really add up when it comes to minimizing refined carbohydrates. Think you don’t eat a lot of a certain food? Start by jotting down and the truth finally comes out. All is fun and games until your jeans don’t fit! What are you doing to replace your habits with healthy ones?

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapenos, minced
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 avocado, halved, seeded, peeled and diced
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves

Directions:

  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add garlic and jalapeno, and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  • Stir in quinoa, vegetable broth, beans, tomatoes, corn, chili powder and cumin; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat and simmer until quinoa is cooked through, about 20 minutes. Stir in avocado, lime juice and cilantro.
  • Serve immediately.

This recipe was found here. Thanks, Pinterest!

Eat Your Greens.

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asparagus mixture

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I made this last night for dinner. Green beans, asparagus, and mushrooms over quinoa.

What you’ll need:

  • sliced mushrooms
  • asparagus
  • fresh green beans (I prefer fresh over canned)
  • fresh minced garlic
  • salt/pepper
  • garlic powder
  • chili flakes (optional)
  • quinoa
  • vegetable broth
  • white onion
  • olive oil

Start by trimming the green beans. Fill a large pot with water and when the water has reached a boil- put green beans in. If you have ever cooked green beans before you know that they take a while to cook. Boil only for a couple minutes, strain and leave in strainer while putting ice cubes over to stop the beans from cooking. This process is called blanching. In a separate pan, use oil of choice (I use extra virgin olive oil), fresh minced garlic and chopped white onion on a med heat. When the onions and garlic look like they are cooked add about a cup or less of veggie broth- and then add the asparagus, mushrooms, green beans along with salt, pepper, chili flakes and garlic powder. Let simmer on low heat until finished. The veggies won’t take long to cook- I prefer my asparagus with a little crunch.

In a separate pot cook the quinoa. It’s the same as rice, for every cup of quinoa two cups of water, veggie or chicken broth. I used veggie broth to add a little more flavor. Boil water, pour in quinoa and then reduce heat to simmer.

This recipe is easy and you can easily add chicken to it if you would like more protein! Let me know how it turns out.

 

Quinoa w/ Butternut Squash and Kale

During the fall season, squash is everwhere to be seen AND it’s cheap. This recipe was made over Thanksgiving but  it can be used as a main dish (if vegetarian) or a great side dish if not. It’s full of kale, walnuts, quinoa, butternut squash. Kale is not only low calorie, but has zero fat and is rich in fiber (along with quinoa). You will feel full without the bloated feeling that most rice dishes can give you.

Give it a try!

What you’ll need:

1 1/2 cups quinoa (I like a mixture of red and white quinoa for color)
1 bay leaf
1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
1 tablespoon organic cane sugar
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 ribs celery, diced
2 medium leeks,  washed and chopped 
1 teaspoon fresh garlic, minced
3 ounces curly kale, chopped
1 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 – 2 teaspoons fresh sage or thyme, finely chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
1/3 cup chopped walnuts, optional

Directions:

Prepare the quinoa according to package instructions, substituting chicken or vegetable broth for the liquid called for in the instructions and adding the bay leaf to the pot with the liquid prior to cooking. Discard the bay leaf after cooking.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and adjust rack to middle position.

Toss squash with coconut oil, whole cane sugar, and salt. Spread the pieces evenly in a baking dish and cover with foil. Roast for 15 minutes, remove foil and then roast for an additional 20 minutes, until edges are golden brown. Remove from oven and set aside.

Meanwhile, in a medium to large cast iron skillet or saute pan add the olive oil and heat over medium heat. Add the celery and saute for 2 – 3 minutes, until slightly tender. Add the leeks and saute an additional 2 – 3 minutes, until the leeks and celery are tender and fragrant. Add the garlic and saute 1 minute more.

Reduce the heat to low. Add the chopped kale and saute over low heat just until the kale has wilted.

In a large bowl, combine the cooked quinoa, vegetables from the saute pan, cranberries, fresh parsley and your choice of thyme or sage. Stir until combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Just before serving, top with 1/3 cup of chopped walnuts, if desired.