Quinoa!

 WHAT-I-ATE-WEDNESDAY-NEW-BUTTON-PEAS-AND-CRAYONSToday I’m linking up with Jenn over at Peas and Crayons for What I Ate Wednesday!

I usually don’t do a WIAW, but this week I’ve been obsessed with quinoa.  I’ve been trying to branch out and get creative with some healthier foods.  So this week I went on a quinoa kick.

Quinoa is suprisingly related to beet root and spinach families.    It has more fiber and nearly twice as much protein as brown rice and it is one of the only plant foods that’s a complete protein, offering all the essential amino acids in a healthy balance. Not only is the protein complete, but quinoa grains have an usually high ratio of protein to carbohydrate, since the germ makes up about 60% of the grain. Quinoa is also highest of all the whole grains in potassium, which helps control blood pressure.  Source – Whole Grains Council

So what does this mean for runners like me?  I need both carbs and protein in my diet to fuel my runs as well as build and repair muscle afterwards.  When I get back from a long run, I’m usually pretty rungry, the fiber content will also help me feel fuller longer.  So it seems that quinoa has everything I need in one tiny little package.

This is a salad I made over the weekend that I got from Mark Bittman’s website.  You can find the recipe here.

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It has quinoa, sweet potatoes, red bell pepper, parsley, shallots, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, & salt & pepper – could it be any easier?  The quinoa takes about 15 minutes to cook, so in that time I was able to chop the parsley, pepper, and shallots.  I cheated with the sweet potato and used a bag of microwavable, pre-diced potatoes.  It’s a beautiful dish and tastes great warm or cold.

I used this as a side dish with meatloaf and salmon this week and I added diced chicken to have it for lunch today.

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And Target for the win (as always).  I found these little babies in the frozen food section.

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I’m a working mom and some weeknights if it can’t go in the microwave, it ain’t gettin’ cooked.  Once the salad from above is used up, I’ll break these out for side dishes.

So there you have it, my current food obsession.  I’ve also been obsessed with Sweet Potatoes too.  I’ve always liked them, but ever since I found the microwavable bag of pre-diced potatoes, I’ve been enjoying them more often.  (Those also came from Target. I love that place!)

How do you like your quinoa?  Are you obsessing over a food right now?  Even if it’s not healthy, I want to hear all about it.

 

 

 

 

 

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12 Comments

  1. I LOVE quinoa and I don’t make it nearly enough. Betty likes it too. And I’m right there with you…some nights it’s microwave or bust. All your food looks delicious. 🙂 I am currently asparagus obsessed. I would eat it every day if it wasn’t so darn expensive right now!

    • Unfortunately, I’m the only one who ate it this week. Charlotte is crazy is doesn’t like sweet potatoes. I’m not even sure who she is anymore. So I’m going to try out some new recipes and hopefully find one she likes. Asparagus is awesome. I typically just roast it in the oven with olive oil, salt & pepper. I also found this lemon garlic asparagus sauce (I think the brand is “Red Fork”) that you saute it in – fantastic!

  2. I LOVE quinoa! With any & all types of veggies 🙂 I’m definitely going to try out Mark’s recipe- thanks for sharing! I’m not a fan of sweet potatoes though, so I’ll be subbing butternut squash. Frozen & cubed of course because I cheat too 😉

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