Monthly Archives: May 2017

Mexican Kale Quinoa Salad

I can eat quinoa in so many ways, I throw it in stir frys, chili’s, in place of brown rice, but my husband doesn’t love quinoa, and will always go for the brown rice instead of quinoa. But this recipe is an exception. I think all the mexican foods, kale and the lime juice, masked the flavor and texture.He told me twice during dinner that he really liked this salad, and the next morning he had it for breakfast with some scrambled eggs on the side! If you’re looking for a good way to use this superfood, that contains all 9 essential amino acids, give this one a try!

THE RECIPE

Mexican Kale Quinoa Salad
Serves 6-8

1 c dry quinoa
1 1/2 c water
1/2 tsp sea salt, divided
3 c loosely packed, finely chopped kale, stems removed
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped (include seeds if you like spice)
1/2  red onion, chopped (if you don’t love onion, try soaking in cold water for 10 min, drain then add to salad)
1/2 c chopped cilantro leaves
1 1/2 c cooked black beans (or a 15 oz can, rinsed and drained)
1/3 c lime juice (about 3 limes)
1/3 c extra virgin olive oil
1/2 c Feta cheese, crumbled (chopped olives work too)
1 avocado, sliced
1/2 c toasted pepitas (toast on cookie sheet in 350 degree oven for about 5-8 minutes)

In a medium saucepan over high heat, bring water, quinoa and 1/4 tsp salt to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes until water has been absorbed. Transfer to a large salad bowl and fluff with a fork. Set aside to cool. Once cool, add the kale, bell pepper, jalapeno, onion, cilantro, back beans, lime juice, oil, Feta cheese and remaining 1/4 tsp sea salt to the quinoa and toss to combine. Chill in the fridge until ready to serve. Just before serving, top with the avocado slices and pepitas.

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Filed under Dinner, gluten-free, Lunch, Salads, Snacks/Sides/Appetizers, vegan, vegetarian

Daily Food Journal: 7 days

“Eat Food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” -Michael Pollan

I love the quote above and try to follow it, eating lots of plants, and real foods as opposed to foods made in a lab, and not too much. The ‘not too much’ is probably the hardest part for me because I love food! Awhile back I read the book  “French kids eat everything”  and it was interesting to learn that snacking or grazing is something that is not done all over the world, and is, in fact, thought of as rude in some areas, like France. But it makes sense that if kids, and adults don’t snack, and are actually hungry at mealtimes, of course foods taste better and they’ll eat more variety! And it’s a good way to keep your weight in check. Anyway, that’s a bit off topic for today so let’s get back on track.

I often get asked what I eat in a day, or what a typical day looks like with food, so I thought I’d share a sample week. And since I’m a very visual person, I’ve made a collage of those foods I eat in a day. I really only have a couple of snacks(hummus and veggies, lara bar, fruit or shake) and lunch items(wraps, salad and oatmeal) that I eat regularly, though a couple of times a week I might have leftover dinner for lunch, so that does add variety. My breakfast almost never changes, besides adding a little something extra on Saturdays before my long run like a banana, rice cake with almond butter or a Superhero muffin. So you’ll see that I have my hot lemon water and green smoothie pictured daily. Also, the only thing I drink besides my smoothies/vegan protein shakes is water. And I drink a lot of water throughout the day, probably around 90 oz.

I’m pretty regular about when I wake up, go to sleep, and the times of day I eat so I thought I’d lay that out for you here as well:
515 am wake up, drink room temperature water from my water bottle on my nightstand (around 16 oz);
6-730 am exercise and drink water
8am  12oz hot lemon water
830am 32 oz green smoothie (I drink this over about an hour)
1130am lunch (if I’m really hungry before lunch, I’ll have a piece of fruit like a banana)
230pm snack
6pm dinner
930-10 asleep

Monday:
Breakfast: hot lemon water and green smoothie 
Lunch: wrap (lettuce, tomato, black beans, avocado, hummus, onion on Teff wrap)
Snack: rice cake with 1/2 Tbsp almond butter and apple slices
Dinner: salad and vegan Mac and Cheese

Tuesday:
Breakfast: hot lemon water and green smoothie
Lunch: Oatmeal with slice strawberries and coconut, and toast with coconut oil
Snack: banana and Lara Bar (my favorites are lemon, coconut cream pie, blueberry muffin and cherry pie; it’s nice to have a grab and go snack with no added sugars. Lara bars only have a few ingredients which are usually dates and some form of nuts and dried fruits)
Dinner: Enchilada Soup  and salad (not pictured)

Wednesday:
Breakfast: hot lemon water and green smoothie
Lunch: Granola with plain yogurt, honey and sliced strawberries
Snack: Maca Date Shake (I usually have this multiple times a week)
Dinner: veggie Stir Fry and watermelon

Thursday:
Breakfast: hot lemon water and green smoothie
Lunch: Oatmeal with toast
Snack: Vegan Protein Shake
Dinner: Baked Sweet Potato, Mexican Style (the rest of the family used Russet potatoes) and an orange

Friday:
Breakfast: hot lemon water and green smoothie
Lunch: Leftover veggie Stir Fry
Snack: 2 almond flax balls and a banana
Dinner: Homemade Whole Grain Pizza and salad (sometimes I like to put my salad on top and not use any dressing). We make pizza weekly.

Saturday:
Pre-long run: banana and Superhero muffin
Breakfast: hot lemon water and green smoothie
Lunch: Avocado Egg Salad Sandwich
S
nack : Hummus with veggies and sweet potato crackers or Ak Mak crackers
Dinner: Black bean, egg and veggie burrito (often Saturday night, Scott and I will go out to dinner and kids will get leftovers or something easy like spaghetti or Little Caesar’s Pizza…yes, I said it, we get Little Caesar’s for the kids. Don’t judge).

Sunday:
Breakfast: hot lemon water and green smoothie
Lunch: leftover Mexican Quinoa Salad
Snack: Banana
Dinner: Breakfast; usually pancakes or waffles with eggs and hashbrowns…sorry I couldn’t fit everything into the picture, but Sunday dinner is a BIG breakfast. Here is our pancakes with Squash and Onion Frittata.

And just so we’re clear here, I do have treats. Usually on the weekend I’ll have a bowl of popcorn with Strawberry Aussie licorice, and then probably once a week I’ll bake something using a healthier sweetener, like our peanut butter cookies, PB popcorn, candy bars, key lime pie or honey sweetened muffins etc and I’ll have some, but I try to limit my sugar consumption and stick to having a treat or two on the weekend.

 

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Filed under Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch

Yogurt Fruit Popsicle

When the weather warms up, this girl continuously begs to make popsicles. And today was her lucky day because Mom said yes! We actually make Yogurt Fruit Popsicles fairly regularly in the Summer because it’s nice to have a cool, healthy treat on hand, and the kids like to help make them so it turns into a fun family activity.

Here is everything you’ll need; and you can sweeten it with stevia, pure maple syrup or honey, whatever you like or whatever you have on hand.

 

Yogurt Fruit Popsicle
*makes about 8-10 popsicles

2 c plain yogurt
1 c frozen berries (I like to use a blueberry and strawberry combo)
2 Stevia packets (2 grams; could also sub 1/3 c honey or 1/3 c pure maple syrup)

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into popsicle molds according to directions, and freeze 5 hours or overnight.

 

 

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Butternut Squash and Onion Frittata

I have my second ever half marathon coming up this Saturday morning and I’m a feeling a little nervous. I feel prepared, I trained a lot over the past four months, usually running 6 days a week, doing some speed work outs, long runs and easy runs each week, and also doing some yoga and weights mid week, but I ran this same half last year and I ran it hard, and I really want to get a personal record. But it may not happen. And that makes me nervous. But I know that in the long run, it doesn’t really matter and that PR or not, it’s gonna be okay.

Besides all my running, I’m also trying to get really nutritious and quality foods in this week(and always), and I’ve already got my dinner, the night before the race, and my breakfast that morning, all planned out. I’ve been trying lots of new recipes from Runner’s World magazine and my ‘Run Fast Eat Slow’ cook book and this is a recipe I lightly adapted from the Runner’s World magazine.   Scott and I LOVED this Frittata, though most of our kiddos didn’t appreciate all the chunky veggies.  But, since I don’t always cater to our children’s tastes anyway, because I know that they need to experience these foods so that they will one day develop a taste for them, we still make them and I will for sure be making this one again!

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You can buy already cubed butternut squash to save prep time, but to save money I usually buy the whole squash and then peel and cut it myself. And when I say ‘peel’, what I really mean is, I take a sharp knife and slice off all the skin with a downward motion on my cutting board. Once it’s all cubed, I put mine on a large rimmed baking sheet with a silicone liner, drizzle with my olive oil, salt and garlic and cook it in the oven at 425 degrees for about 30 minutes. You can do this step hours, or even a day, before you throw the dish together. If not using within a couple of hours, cover your squash and store in the fridge until you’re ready.

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In a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, 1/4 tsp salt and pepper, feta cheese and cooked squash. Set aside. Heat 1 Tbsp of olive oil in a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Saute 1 sliced onion and cook, stirring until brown and soft, about 10 minutes.

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Pour the egg mixture into the cast iron skillet with onion and stir gently. Transfer to oven and bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, until eggs have set.


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Butternut Squash and Onion Frittata 

2 cups butternut squash, cubed
3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, sliced
9 eggs
1/4 tsp salt and pepper
1/2 c feta cheese

Cube butternut squash, if you haven’t already. Place on baking sheet, toss with 3 Tbsp olive oil, sprinkle with 1/4 tsp salt and garlic powder,  and cook in 425 degree oven for about 30 minutes. Set aside.

Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in cast iron skillet (mine is 12 inches) over medium heat. Saute 1 sliced onion and cook, stirring until brown and soft, about 10 minutes. In a bowl, whisk together eggs, 1/4 tsp salt and pepper. Stir in  feta and 2 cups roasted cubed butternut squash. Pour into the cast iron skillet with onion and stir gently. Transfer to oven and bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, until eggs have set. Serve warm.

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Filed under Breakfast, Dinner, gluten-free