Wednesday, July 31, 2013


In The Kitchen...

Quinoa is a super food - but before we go any further talking about it, first we must know how to pronounce it properly and that is "keen-wah"...not "kee-know-wah"...HA! Like some people usually, that's not right. 

Anyways...quinoa is not actually a grain but a seed from a grain-like crop and has a sort of slighty nutty flavor and its texture is firm when cooked properly. 
Quinoa is so yummy. I honestly love it. It's high in protein and is considered a complete protein, meaning that is has all 9 amino acids required in your diet. 
It's high in calcium and has good amounts of phosphorous, iron and fibre. It's gluten-free and is higher in monounsaturated {the good stuff!} fats than wheat or grain and is heart-healthy.
Not only that but it also contains small amounts of omega 3 fatty acids. 
This is why it's a super food! Come on!
Just a word of caution when cooking with quadruple's in size, so when cooking it, remember that it may look like you aren't cooking a lot of it, but trust me, you are. 
It can be substituted for in a lot of grain-like dishes and is cooked similarly to rice - just read up the instructions on the box.
Also, for an FYI, store quinoa in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-6 months or you can store cooked quinoa in the fridge for up to 3 days.
If you did just buy the quinoa and it is in a sealed air-tight package you can store it in a cool, dry place. Just make sure to check on is a seed after all.

So why am I talking about quinoa? Well, first of all, I am really trying to eat a lot cleaner since A) I'm fat B) I'm studying holistic nutrition C) I can't be a fat holistic nutritionist and D) I need to start eating healthier for my...well, health because I haven't been feeling the greatest lately. My mood has been all over the place...I have been especially moody and irritable, quiet, in pain {with my stomach issues} and I am generally NOT MYSELF. A lot of people think that I am a completely different person the last little while and it is's not just diet though, I mean, I have a lot of things going on in my life and the stress isn't helping, but the added cortisol in my system is definitely wreaking havoc and I need to do a major damage control here and quite the lifestyle change. 
My diet is one of those places where I need to reevaluate and change, one of those places I need to start on and figure out. 
While studying I am really honestly blown away by all the information I am taking in and all the things that I genuinely didn't know. The advertising companies out there really know how to brainwash us, it's quite simply, dumbfounding. Utterly bewildering, as to what we don't know with regards to what we are putting into our bodies on a day to day basis. 
Anyways...enough of my rambling...I can do that all day...
Onto a recipe, starring....quinoa!!! Well, actually, it technically isn't the star of the show...more like a B-list actor...but we can make it a star if we level it out with the fish that accompanies it. 
Either way...I am going to give this recipe a try tonight. 

Bon Appetit!

Tilapia & Quinoa with Feta & Cucumber
Protein will keep you full longer, and this recipe has two lean sources of it.
Everyday Food, April 2010.
Prep: 10 mins // Total: 30 mins // Servings: 4

1 cup quinoa
Coarse salt and ground pepper
2-1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound boneless, skinless tilapia fillets, divided into 8 pieces
3/4 teaspoon paprika
1 cup English cucumber {6 ounces}, diced small
1/3 cup roughly chopped fresh dill
1/3 cup feta {1-1/2 ounces}, crumbled
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

STEP 1 - In a small saucepan, bring quinoa, 2 cups water, and 1 teaspoon salt to a boil over high. Reduce to a medium simmer and cook until water evaporates, about 15 minutes. Transfer quinoa to a medium bowl and let cool 5 minutes. 

STEP 2 - In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1-1/2 teaspoons oil over medium-high. Pat fish dry and season with salt and pepper; sprinkle with paprika. Cook fillets until opaque throughout, about 4 minutes, flipping halfway through. Stir cucumber, dill, feta, 1 teaspoon oil, and lemon juice into quinoa. Season with salt and pepper. Divide quinoa among four plates and top with fish.

PS. I am going to try and give you tidbits of info on some of the ingredients I post about in the future - things I learn here and there in my studies as well so you guys can be as informed as I am. :) 


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