Last week was a little quiet on the blog. I was out of town working on my new website! Take a few minutes and check it out!
Today’s Food Friday is a perfect recipe to make when you look in your fridge and have no clue what to make. It’s great because it’s fast (seriously, 15 minutes!) and can be easily adjusted to use any veggies, protein or pantry items. In fact, it’s so easy to make, I only have the final plated dish to show you.
1 c. water or chicken stock
1 chicken breast, diced (can substitute beef, pork, shrimp, tofu or no meat for a perfect Meatless Monday dish!)
1 t. olive oil
1/4 c. onion, chopped
1 can black beans, rinsed
1/2 c. mango, diced
1/2 c. corn
1/2 c. red pepper, diced
1/2 t. cumin
1/2. garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
serve with lime slices, cilantro, BBQ sauce
In a small saucepan bring water or stock to a boil. Add quinoa. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 12-15 minutes or until water is absorbed. Remove from heat; fluff with a fork. While quinoa is cooking, cook chicken in olive oil and dice all vegetables. After quinoa has been fluffed, add remaining ingredients. Stir and enjoy!
Other ideas of things you can add:
-pepper jack cheese
Dear Past Belinda,
You live surrounded by beautiful women on magazine covers, television, the internet and even your family and friends. Society judges women based on their appearance or status in life. Honestly, you’ve done the same. There have been times you’ve compared yourself to __________ . (Fill in the blank; but you can practically insert the word ‘everyone’ here.) Unfortunately, you’ve thought less of yourself because you weren’t what you wanted to be physically or professionally. I admire you for making one of the hardest decisions you’ve ever made. In August of 2012 you decided to start a new journey… a lifestyle change to become healthier. At first, you thought this only meant physical health, but now I can look back and know you were unhealthy in other areas of your life too. You started by getting enough sleep, seeking help from a professional trainer and dietician, fueling your body with purpose and losing a pound or two here and there. Despite your efforts, it will be easy to lose perspective of where and why your journey started. I write this letter to you as a reminder, both in words and photos.
In your journey to be healthier, you’ve lost weight and experienced several physical and emotional changes. These physical changes do not define who you are. Yes, you may feel more comfortable going shopping with girl friends or approaching a total stranger. Don’t fall into the trap of society and allow physical qualities to define you. You’ve learned to live your life with purpose. You’ve learned you have always been beautiful. You just didn’t always recognize it. You’ve learned that beauty is not defined by physical appearance. You’ve learned one lesson you must never forget…
You are (and have always been) worth investing in yourself.
Some of this investment will be through time to focus on your physical health. It is not the only, nor the most important investment. The best thing you can do is cultivate relationships: with yourself, God, your husband, family, friends and each person you come in contact with. Strive to improve each of these relationships every day. Continue to live your life with purpose. Don’t fall back into the trap of comparison, for it is the thief of joy. Trust your instincts. Continue to learn to love and forgive yourself. Let the little things go. When you get discouraged, remember moments of clarity and vulnerability you’ve learned from.
Love yourself from the inside out and don’t forget it!
Sincerely, Today’s Belinda
I try to be a great meal planner. Every Saturday I sit down with pinterest and my collection of cookbooks after inventorying what’s in my fridge. I put together my menus and grocery list for the upcoming week. Sometimes I’m just not in the mood for what I have planned for the day. When this happens, I stand in the kitchen with the fridge door wide open staring at the fridge hoping some magic recipe will just appear. Today I was lucky and glanced at new potatoes, leeks, eggs and horseradish….today I made a potato and leek tart to share.
Since it’s just the two of us, I often like to make single serving dishes. I started by slicing one small red, yukon and purple new potato for each of our tarts and arranged them in single serving dishes. For Craig’s dish I added in mushrooms and slices of par-cooked bacon. (so there wouldn’t be a puddle of grease floating on top of his tart)
Potato Leek Tart
(ingredients are per individual serving)
3 small new potatoes, uniformly sliced
1 leek, lower bulb/white portion only, diced (but save the rest of the leek for another recipe!)
2 eggs or 4 egg whites
2 T. milk
1/2 t. horseradish cream
1 t. rosemary
1 T. favorite cheese, shredded
salt and pepper to taste
Arrange potatoes and leeks in tart dish. Whisk together eggs, milk and horseradish. Pour over potatoes and leeks. Sprinkle remaining ingredients on top. Bake, uncovered at 375 degrees for 30-45 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
Note: Because potatoes and eggs are both extremely versatile, add your favorite ingredients: diced chicken, bacon, mushrooms, more cheese, green onions, etc. The possibilities are endless!
Today for Food Friday I wanted to share one of my favorite ingredients: quinoa. (Pronounced: keen-wah) I’d never really gotten into it until my personal trainer and dietitian, Mary Dimmick, really encouraged me to try it. Many people consider it a whole grain but it’s really a seed. It has a mild nutty flavor, is very filling, high in riboflavin, protein and fiber. Unlike white rice, it won’t spike your blood sugar after eating. You can substitute quinoa for rice in recipes and not really notice much of a difference in flavor but save yourself calories.
My local grocery store carries three varieties in the bulk food section: white, curry and red. White is the most mild in flavor and easiest to find.
Curry quinoa is white quinoa that has been roasted and has a curry powder blend combined with it. I do not salt this variety of quinoa because I find it already has great flavor as is. Red quinoa has a stronger nutty flavor and takes slightly longer to cook. There is a black variety of quinoa but I have yet to get my hands on it…when I do, I’ll let you know how it is!Quinoa can be cooked in a rice cooker or on the stove. It is essential to rinse the quinoa before cooking. (I don’t rinse the curry quinoa or anything else that says it has already been rinsed and washed….those varieties tend to be a little bit more expensive because the work is already done for you.) If you do not rinse your quinoa, you’ll end up with a very bitter tasting dish. Quinoa is cooked in the same ratio as rice. 1 c. quinoa to 2 c. water or chicken broth.Today’s recipe, Wilted Spinach Salad, is one that actually comes from Mary! It is one of my very favorite recipes, is really easy to make and can be made in 20 minutes!
Cook quinoa in water or chicken stock. While quinoa is cooking, combine all dressing ingredients in a small bowl. In a large bowl combine spinach, cranberries and cooked quinoa. Chop one granny smith apple. Remove garlic clove from dressing and add apple. Pour dressing over salad and toss. Enjoy!
Whole Grain Wilted Spinach Salad
2 c. water or chicken stock (I always use low sodium chicken stock either homemade or the Kitchen Basics brand)
1 c. quinoa, any variety
1 bag fresh baby spinach
1/2 c. dried cranberries (I buy the Ocean Spray Reduced Sugar)
1 granny smith apple, chopped
1/2 c. chopped pecans or almonds (optional)
3 T. olive oil
1 T. orange juice concentrate (or 3 T. orange juice and omit water)
2 T. water
1 T. red wine vinegar
1 T. maple syrup
1 garlic clove, smashed
1/2 t. salt
1/8 t. pepper
1/8 c. onion, green onion or shallot, chopped
In a small saucepan bring water or stock to a boil. Add quinoa. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 12-15 minutes or until water is absorbed. Remove from heat; fluff with a fork. While quinoa is cooking make dressing. For dressing, in a small bowl, whisk all ingredients.
In a large bowl, combine the warm quinoa, spinach and cranberries. Remove garlic clove from dressing. Right before pouring dressing over quinoa add apples; toss to coat. Sprinkle with pecans or almonds.
I love to add roasted chicken to this salad. This salad stores very well in the fridge and Craig and I usually eat a batch over a couple of days.
If you’re in the Logan area and want to learn more about how you can improve your nutrition and exercise, I recommend you give Mary a call! She’s at the Sports Academy and you can learn more about her nutrition services here and training services here. A consultation is free and she can help create a custom health and fitness plan for you.