I went for an easy 3.5 mile run this morning to celebrate it being Friday, and I felt pretty good.
I know many of you who don’t see me every day have been anxiously awaiting a belly pic from me. Well, this is the best I could do after my run this morning. Stay tuned for a not sweaty or poorly taken self portrait soon.
New Food Friday: Fun with Quinoa
I have been trying to cook with quinoa more since it is so ridiculously good for you. But if you know anything about my eating habits, you probably know that I am a big texture person. I love the flavor, idea, and nutrition of quinoa, but I really don’t dig its texture. What I usually do is mix it with another grain, usually brown rice. It is great this way and they you get the health benefits (and yummy flavors) of both. However, I still wanted to try some new quinoa recipes to see if I can incorporate it into our diet in different ways.
A few nutritional benefits of quinoa:
1) Complete protein—Quinoa has a higher protein content than any other major grain (1 cup has 9 grams). It is also one of the only vegetarian proteins that is a complete protein as it contains all 8 of the essential amino acids.
2) Detoxifying— Quinoa is high in fiber so it is a big helper with things like constipation and bloating since it is super colon cleansing. Quinoa is also high in vitamin B and folate which help the liver eliminate wastes from the body.
3) High in calcium—Quinoa is one of the best sources of plant-derived calcium around; one cup provides 30 milligrams of calcium. A great way to keep strong bones if you are lactose intolerant.
4) Great for dieting—Quinoa is low in fat, calories and is a source of complex carbs that keep you feeling full longer. It is high in fiber and tons of vitamins and minerals including vitamin B, potassium, magnesium, zinc, folate, calcium…the list goes on! Also, a great grain to eat if you are gluten intolerant, or have celiac disease.
So good for you; just eat it!!
Here are 2 ways to enjoy quinoa: a savory way and a sweet way. Both are very healthy and super tasty. Y is a big fan of both of these recipes (surprising since he has been getting pickier and picker these days), so I would definitely call them kid-friendly.
Side note: I stole both of these recipes from a blog I read called Poor Girl Eats Well. She has some great and cheap recipies and she takes beautiful pictures of them too.
Garlic & Cheese Quinoa Patties
2 cup cooked quinoa
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/3 cup chopped scallions
1/3 cup chopped red onion
4 large cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp sea salt (I ended up adding more as they were cooking)
1 cup panko crumbs
1/2 cup shredded cheese of your choice
EVOO (for pan frying)
- In a large bowl, combine the quinoa and eggs. Add the scallions, red onion, garlic and spices and stir until well combined. Next, add the panko crumbs, followed by the cheese, and mix well.
- Take a small ball of the mixture and gently form it into a 1″ ball, then flatten into a patty. Repeat with the rest of the mixture until you have about a dozen patties. If the mixture is too moist, add a bit more bread crumbs or a small amount of flour. If it’s too dry, add a little water, one teaspoonful at a time.
- Heat a large skillet over medium low heat and add the olive oil. When oil is hot, carefully place patties into the skillet and cook for about 7-8 minutes on each side, or until a deep golden brown. Remove from skillet and cool on a wire rack over a plate lined with paper towels to allow the remaining oil to drain. Repeat with the rest of the patties.
Notes: I found that 7-8 minutes per side was way too long (maybe my patties were smaller). I just kind of eye-balled it to see when they were golden brown. But I have to admit, even the burnt ones were still pretty good.
If you prefer you can bake the patties too for about 20 minutes at 400°. Flip them over and bake for another 5 minutes, until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack, then serve.
Strawberry-Banana Quinoa Muffins
1 1/3 cup quinoa, whole wheat, or all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 TBS melted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 medium overripe bananas, mashed
1 cup cooked quinoa
1 cup finely chopped fresh strawberries
- Preheat the oven to 375°. Prepare a muffin tin with cooking spray or muffin liners. In a small bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and salt, and set aside.
- In a separate, larger bowl, combine the brown sugar, butter, eggs, and vanilla and whisk until smooth. Mix in the dry flour mixture a couple tablespoons at a time, stirring together until completely incorporated.
- When all the flour has been mixed in, add the mashed bananas and the quinoa, and mix well. Add the chopped strawberries (juice & all!) and fold into the muffin batter. Divide the batter among the prepared muffin cups. Bake for about 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of one of the muffins comes out clean.
- Remove from oven and cool for a couple of minutes before removing muffins from pan. Cool on a rack for about 10 minutes, or until ready to serve.
Enjoy! Have a fabulous weekend!!