Category Archives: Quinoa

Lemon and Herb Quinoa

Happy Monday! I had the whole weekend off, but I haven’t gotten called in yet today, so I just might have a 3-day weekend. Last week I was called in every day, so it’s been nice to get some stuff done in the last few days. Josh’s brother, girlfriend and our niece, Hannah, are coming to visit this week. We’ve been running around trying to get everything organized and clean. I accomplished a lot on the weekend including a bunch of cooking and homework! This morning I’ve already done a lot too. I woke up, had lemon and hot water, then made myself a energy-packed breakfast. I had 3 scrambled eggs and 2 pieces of toast with sliced avocado on top.

On Saturday I got my Mother-in-law to eat quinoa! I think this was my greatest accomplishment of the weekend and the best part is that she liked it. I cooked salmon on a cedar plank on the BBQ and served it with lemon and herb quinoa and sauteed spinach. It turned out absolutely amazing and was packed full of flavour and nutrients! Below is the recipe for the quinoa.

Cedar Plank SalmonLemon and Herb QuinoaSalmon and Lemon and Herb Quinoa

Lemon and Herb Quinoa

1 cup uncooked quinoa
1 tbsp. olive or coconut oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 shallot, finely diced
2 tbsp. white wine
2 cups vegetable stock (I only had one cup, so I used water for the second one)
4 big slices of lemon zest
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. finely grated lemon zest
1 tbsp. each of chives and parsley (or herb of your choice)
Sea salt and pepper to taste
 
  1. Sweat garlic, shallot and a little salt and pepper in pot with oil on medium heat until cooked (about 2 minutes). Add the quinoa and stir for 2 minutes to toast and coat in mixture . Add the white wine and let cook for a minute.
  2. Add the lemon zest and vegetable stock, then increase the heat until it begins to simmer. Turn the heat down to low and cover. Cook for 15 minutes.
  3. When done, stir in the lemon juice, zest, and herbs. Season to taste with sea salt and pepper.

I’m off to a Rypped class at the YMCA, so hope you enjoy the rest of your day!

It`s Official!

Hello! Guess what!?!? We’re going officially going to Jamaica for 2 weeks next month! We finally made the decision. There were other places available for the dates we wanted, but they were quieter (more boring) areas that didn’t have the adventure feel we wanted. We wanted to go somewhere that had more to offer than sitting around the resort. We’ll be staying in Ocho Rios and there is plenty to do there. We’ll be going zip-lining, hiking up falls, visiting different beaches, tubing down a river, kayaking, windsurfing and much more. The trip is all inclusive, so we just have to pay for some of the extra excursions. I can’t even tell you how excited I am! Don’t worry I’ll take a lot of pictures.

I’ve finally gotten some cooking done. The other day I made a big batch of quinoa salad. I didn’t exactly follow a recipe – I just kind of threw it together. It turned out pretty darn delicious. I even had a couple people have a bowl and give me feedback. My only complaint was that I could have used a little less garlic. I could taste it in my mouth for a while. I loaded it with veggies, a lemon vinaigrette, then topped it with homemade candied walnuts and goats cheese. Yum!

Candied Walnuts or Pecans

1.5 cups walnuts or pecans
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1/4 cup maple syrup
 
1. Heat oven to 350C. Whisk water and sugar together, then bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and whisk in maple syrup. 
2. Stir in nuts and stir to evenly coat. Strain extra liquid and lay on baking pan.
3. Bake for 20 minutes stirring occasionally. It may take a bit longer (or less) depending on the oven. The mixture will start to stick to the nuts. Let cool completely before using.
 

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I also made butter chicken and naan bread from scratch. It’s one of my favourite Indian dishes that I’ve been wanting to make for a while. We had Josh’s sister and her boyfriend over for dinner and they thought it was delicious. Next time I might make it a bit spicier.

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Josh made a roast in the slow cooker yesterday. I chopped the vegetables for him, but he did everything else. It smelt absolutely delicious in the house all day.  I made sure to load it up with lots of veggies!

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I’m not sure what the weather is like where everyone else is, but it’s been warmer than usual here. It’s been above zero which has left the roads sloppy and the snow melting. Some of you might be happy about this, but I`m not impressed. It means bad snowboarding and sledding conditions. We managed to get some skating in last night. I`m not the most athletically talented person, but I always try. It was fun shooting the puck around and getting some exercise. We also went to the gym and pool yesterday, so I`m feeling super today!

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Well that`s all for today. We`re eating left overs tonight then heading out for a snowmobile ride. We`re going to pull each other on the snowboard! This weekend my plans so far include snowboarding, poker night, ice fishing and maybe some shooting. I also need to get organized for the trip since we have to leave to go back to work on Tuesday. Talk to you soon!

Random Creations

Hello! Sorry for the delay on the blog post, I’ve been slowly settling into my new apartment, but luckily we’re finally unpacked and organized. The walls are a little bare, so we’re in the process of getting some pictures and art up! I’m loving every minute of living here. On our first night we sat on our balcony with candles lit all over, sipping on wine, listening to music and overlooking city. I could hardly describe how happy I was in that moment; I was in complete bliss. As I write this post I’m lounging on my balcony sipping on a smoothie. Blue skies and a warm breeze coming off of the water – how could I possibly complain?

On Tuesday, Marika and I went to the beach. It was gorgeous. We lounged out, did some reading for school, did some napping and just enjoyed the fabulous weather. For those of you who are in Vancouver, are you as relieved as me to see that summer has finally come? It’s about time – it took long enough!

I’ve also been doing a bit of cooking since we’ve moved. I think Marika has been very happy about it as well. On Sunday I made us brunch. I made a delicious omelette packed with veggies. It was the perfect fuel for the unpacking and cleaning we were doing that afternoon. I have also made us a few dinners, a salad to bring to school with us and some smoothies for breakfast. I think I’m a pretty awesome roommate (I hope so anyway)! What do you think you would find in the cupboard and refrigerator of two holistic nutrition students? We had a great laugh of all of our random health products, superfoods, and veggies. I love it!

As a busy working girl and student, I often try and prepare something quick and easy for some meals. I love cooking and enjoy spending time in the kitchen, but sometimes I need some down time to do other things I enjoy. Last night I made a “what’s in your fridge” salad for dinner. It was a little lacking in the colour, but tasted great. It had a lot of green veggies in it, which is very nutritious! I’m going to do some groceries tomorrow, so I’ll have a little more selection for my random creations.

This is what I put in my salad:

Cooked quinoa
Broccoli
Bean sprouts
Green pepper
Alfalfa sprouts
Avocado
Cilantro
Cucumber
Spinach

Sliced apple

Maple balsamic dressing:

1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
Drizzle of maple syrup

Sea salt and pepper to taste

Looking at this, it sounds kind of weird, but I’m telling you it was good! Got to love those nights where you just throw random things together and hope for the best! It’s how you invent new dishes. Anyone have any random recipes to share?

I’m off to school for the day! I hope every one’s week is going great. I plan on trying a new recipe tonight, so check back in the next couple days. Now that we are settled in I’m definitely going to be back on track in the blogging world.

Amaranth Breakfast Bowl

Hello everyone! How was your first day of summer? Yesterday and today were absolutely gorgeous here. It was fabulous to have some nice weather after the rain we have gotten in the past week. It was so hard to concentrate in class yesterday as I was gazing out the window at the sunshine. Luckily, for our afternoon class, the teacher actually brought us to the park to teach the class. We did some group work in little circles on the grass as we soaked in some vitamin D. I was very happy; I’m not even sure how I would have survived the afternoon inside!

Today, Carmen and I attempted the cupcakes that she’s making for her friend’s wedding again. They turned out much fluffier this time which was great! I can’t wait to share the recipe with you. I have spent most of the afternoon inside packing since I’m moving next week. I’m about to head down to the beach for the rest of the day though.

I must tell you about my new breakfast before I head out. I haven’t used amaranth too much, but I decided to give it another whirl since I had some in my cupboard. I’ve had it before, but kind of stopped using it for a while because I was on a quinoa kick. It is quite similar to quinoa but smaller. It contains twice the amount of calcium than cow’s milk and three times more fibre than wheat. It’s high in protein and much easier to digest then animal proteins. It’s also gluten-free! It has a somewhat nutty flavour similar to quinoa, but you can easily flavour it to your liking. I have been rocking it nearly every morning for breakfast for the past week.

Here are some ways you can incorporate this amazing grain

–         Amaranth seeds can be grained in a mill and used
as flour
–         Popped to a healthy, nutty popcorn snack
–        Roasted
–         Cooked
–         Sprouted
–         Added to a stir-fry
–       Put into a soup where they will also act as a
great thickening agent
–         Breakfast porridge (my number one way to use it)

–         Or just serve as a healthy replacement for rice,
pasta or couscous

Amaranth Breakfast Bowl

1/3 cup amaranth
3 x the amount of water to amaranth
1 tbsp. ground flax
¼ cup almond milk
1 tbsp. chia seeds
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tbsp. protein powder (I used hemp)
1 medjool date chopped

Fruit of your choice (I used blueberries, strawberries and a little
chopped banana)

  1. Bring amaranth and water to a simmer and cover with lid on low heat for 25 mins.
  2. When done, add in all ingredients except for fruit. Mix everything together and put into bowl.
  3. Put fruit on top and enjoy. You can add a little honey for extra sweetness if desired, but I feel like the dates and fruit give it enough.

Hope everyone is having an incredible day and enjoying the great start
to summer!

A Porridge to Cure Your Winter Blues

Hello everyone! I hope your weekend has been fabulous so far. For those of you in Vancouver, you’re probably looking out your window at the disgusting weather we’re having. It’s freezing! For those of you who are reading from another province (or country!), I give you permission to call me a ‘winter wuss.’ I grew up with cold, dreadful winters in Northern Ontario, but I’ve quickly adapted to British Columbia winters. It’s been pretty cold here this week and by cold I mean minus five. The other night it felt like minus seventeen! My hopes of summer are over. We were having the most beautiful weather in Vancouver just a week ago and now it’s gone!

This is outside now:

This is where I want to be:

Despite my complaints, I do miss some aspects of having a real winter. I grew up ice fishing, snowmobiling and even camping (in cabins) in the winter. The beauty of Vancouver is that you don’t have to drive very far to get a real winter. There are mountains all around and Whistler is not that far away. I haven’t been there, so I have yet to enjoy this luxury.  (I’m hoping to get the opportunity soon; I’ve been anxiously waiting to take a trip there!)

Cold-weather meals are a whole different story. On days like this a healthy salad just doesn’t cut it. You want something warm in your stomach! I guess that’s why a lot of people gain weight in the winter. Many of us hibernate inside eating more and exercising less. I have to say I’ve been quite impressed with myself this winter. I’ve been running almost every day – except today because I got called into work and I don’t want to brave the weather a second time!  I try and eat a salad every day and I limit my intake of sugar – except for my daily two pieces (sometimes more) of organic dark chocolate.

I was definitely craving comfort food when I woke up this morning. I had some left-over quinoa in my refrigerator and decided to come up with something delicious—a Banana and Quinoa Breakfast Porridge! It was warm, delicious and satisfying; exactly what I needed. Here is the recipe:

Banana and Quinoa Breakfast Porridge

1 banana
½ – ¾ cup almond milk
1 tbsp. chia seeds
1 cup cooked quinoa
½ tsp. cinnamon (or more)
1 tbsp. of real maple syrup
Small handful of almonds
1 tbsp. coconut milk (optional)

1 tbsp. shredded unsweetened coconut (optional)

  1. Mash the banana in the bowl. Add the milk, coconut milk and chia seeds and mix well.
  2. In a pot add the banana mixture and cooked quinoa. Cook until desired temperature is reached. You may need to add more milk depending on the consistency you prefer.
  3. Pour into bowl, sprinkle with cinnamon, shredded coconut and almonds. Drizzle with maple syrup and enjoy!

I hope everyone is finding ways of surviving this winter whether it’s bundling up in your comfy sweat pants and watching a movie or making one of your favourite comfort foods!