Friday, March 9, 2012

Refreshing Quinoa Salad

About a third way through the month and I've kind of gone down hill a little with my drinking enough water goal. I have, on the other hand, exercised every day. I do find it easy to drink water during and just after a workout but not really any other time. Not sure if I said this already but I also decided I'm not going to weigh myself every day because not seeing an immediate change is a little depressing. I need to be realistic, change is not immediate. It takes hard work and time, so I will try not to let it get to me.
Tomorrow I will be posting pictures of a Quinoa salad I am going to make, recipe from the Jan/Feb 2011 issue of Vegetarian Times. It sounds delicious and I am looking for new recipes for quinoa, because it is delicious and sooo healthy. This is the recipe, if I decide to make any changes I will post that with the pics. :)

Refreshing Quinoa Salad
Serves 12, 30 minutes or fewer
(Vegetarian Times)
1 1/2 cup quinoa
1/2 cup pine nuts
1 English cucumber, peeled and finely diced (2 1/2cups)
3 Roma tomatoes, seeded and finely diced (1/4cup)
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped (1/2cup)
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup olive oil
3 Tbs lemon juice
2 tsp grated lemon zest

1. Bring 2 quarts salted water to a boil. Add quinoa, cover, and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer 12 to 14 minutes, or until quinoa is tender and small "tails" bloom from grains.
2 Preheat oven to 400F. Spread pine nuts on baking sheet, and toast 3 to 4 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool, then transfer to large serving bowl.
3. Drain quinoa, and rinse under cold running water. Drain again. Add quinoa to pine nuts, and stir in cucumber, tomatoes, onion, and parsley. Fold in oil, lemon juice, and lemon zest, add season with salt and pepper, if desired.

Doesn't that just sound delicious?!

Per 1/2-cup serving 167 cal, 4g protein, 10g total fat, 17g carb, 0mg chol, 53mg sodium, 2g fiber, 2g sugar

Monday, March 5, 2012


Today I took a Zumba class at the gym with my mama and a friend from work. It was so much fun! It is great to exercise with friends. Makes the time go by faster. Tho half way through the class I wasn't sure I would make it to the end. It was still a blast and I sweated... a lot!! Which I guess is good, that means I was working it!!
If you haven't triedZumba yet, then I highly suggest it. They have a game for the Wii, I believe. Make sure to stretch and drink plenty of fluids. :)
The past 5 days have gone really well. Exercised every day so far. It was nice in our area yesterday so we took advantage of it and went hiking with some friends.
I've been weighing myself every day, and I think I'm going to have to stop that because day to day the weight fluctuates so much. The goal is to lose weight but also to feel good. So the days where the numbers aren't reflecting I think I have to go off of how I feel. Also I need to remember that the number isn't the most important thing.
Five days in and already starting to feel excited to exercise each time! :) Sweet action!
And don't worry, I will post some more recipes soon. Need some fresh veggies to work with! :)

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Gym, water and tofu scramble!

Today was a success. Started out a little rough. Had plans to meet my husband, Evan, at the gym, and woke up to the streets white with snow, which was beautiful, but cold! It cleared up pretty quick, had sunny blue skies and then hail also today.. but that is the Pacific Northwest for ya. Anyways, we did 35 minutes of cardio on the elliptical machines. Going to tackle weights next time. Baby steps. I can put a check mark next to goal one!
Also, I am about to finish my 4th, count 'em 4!, refill on my water cup which will be 80oz of water for today, but that is good since I did work out and have coffee at work. Someone warned me not to drink too much, that you can actually drown yourself with too much water!! So I will have to read up on that, what is an acceptable amount of water to drink in one day. Have to keep electrolytes in balance. I did eat a banana for a snack, which I know helps with that.
After the gym, we came home and Evan helped me make tofu scramble burritos. They were a little different than I would have normally made them, because I haven't done grocery shopping in a few days. Running low on veggies but obviously you can put whatever you want/can in there. But this is what we did:

Tofu Scramble
Makes 4 servings
1 pkg extra firm tofu (not silken), drained and crumbled*
1 yellow onion (or half an onion if you aren't as crazy about them as me... or 2 if your husband will let you get away with it** =P), chopped 
2 Tbsp garlic, minced
4 cups of kale, rip into  bite size pieces
salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp mustard powder
2 tsp nutritional yeast, or to taste
couple shakes of garlic salt, optional
olive oil for sauteing 
1 avocado

Remove tofu from package, drain and slice into 6 rectangles. Put on a plate with a paper towel, cover with another paper towel and another plate on top to add weight to tofu. Allow to press water out while you prepare the rest of your ingredients. 
Heat a skillet on medium high heat, heat the olive oil, and add onion and saute for 5 minutes, until slightly caramelized, then add garlic and cook for 2 more minutes. Add kale, cook for 5 more minutes, or until kale is slightly darkened, wilted, and it starts to shimmer. Add salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl, and reheat and re-oil to cook tofu. Add crumbled tofu to pan, cook for a minute, until starts to brown, then add the spices and your veggies. Mix all together.
Serve as is, or wrapped in a delicious tortilla with some avocado slices and salsa, which is the preferred method! 

*I suggest having the tofu crumbled before starting to add to the pan because this needs to be pretty quick so you don't burn the tofu. 
**Just playing, that would be a whole lotta onion! But really. Onions are good. 

With dishes like this you can always add whatever veggies you have on hand, but just make sure to start cooking whatever will take longest to cook first (ie. if you are using hard veggies such as carrots, cook those first before say your kale, which btw should be added to everything! Just sayin':)

Oh and fyi, make sure you have convenient access to a potty if you're going to drink 40oz of water in a short period of time.. and not have to be in the drive thru position at work.. almost had to learn that the hard way. Good thing I work with kind people. :)