Quinoa: What is It? A Recipe Roundup

Quinoa (pronounced “keen-wah) is one of my favorite healthy foods….unfortunately, most of my friends don’t even know how to pronounce it or how delicious it is. #fitpeopleproblems  Maybe some of them will read this post and decide to give quinoa
a chance. I was glad I did. Micah and I eat quinoa several times a week, and it’s a great healthy staple for your kitchen, especially if you’re on a tight budget or trying to reduce how much meat you consume. 

So, what is quinoa? Quinoa is a seed that comes from South America. It is also the only plant based protein with a complete amino acid profile. This is super important for vegetarians. So in this really tiny package, come a lot of nutritional benefits. Quinoa is also a great source of iron and fiber as well, and it is a complex carbohydrate, so this means, it will help stabilize blood sugar levels….just make sure you eat proper portions.
How to cook quinoa:
Rinse desired amount of quinoa, then boil 1.5 cups of water for every cup of dry quinoa. I like to sub a half cup of water for chicken stock, as the quinoa absorbs flavor really well. Stir and cook until liquid is absorbed. I like to fluff up the grains with a fork. Serve on the side or as a main dish.
If you’d like to buy quinoa, here is where I’ve bought it…(in order of where you can find the best deal.)

– Costco
-WalMart
-Aldi
-Grocery Stores
-Whole Foods/Health Food Stores

Here’s some quinoa recipes for you to try too!

Lime Cilantro Quinoa Salad (Sarah Jane, The Fit Cookie)

                                                  

Quinoa Pizza Bake (Amy, Running Escapades

Cheesy Tuna Quinoa (Amy, Running Escapades

Apple Cinnamon Breakfast Bowl (Sarah Jane, The Fit Cookie)

No-Bake Trail Mix Cookies (Sarah Jane, The Fit Cookie)

Thank you to my fellow #girlsgonesporty , who provided these delicious recipes!

Now it’s your turn! What’s your favorite quinoa recipe! If you haven’t tried quinoa, you should!
Did you try one of these recipes? Let me know! 
Bon appetit!
Julie

What’s in your cart? $30 of Healthy Groceries

Happy Monday! I’m finally recovering from the whirlwind week last week, and getting back on schedule! It was great to spend time with my family, and celebrate my mom’s birthday. We went shopping, seriously, and one of our favorite places to shop is this retail chain in NC and SC called “Hamrick’s”. It’s amazing. Their merchandise selection keeps getting better and better, and this weekend, I’m proud to say that this bargain hunter walked away with a badly needed new pair of ballet flats, a date-night top, a pair of Marika leggings…and a really adorable spring top for (drumroll) $32ish! And the best part: the leggings were only $5!!!!! Micah just got a job closer to home (only 2 miles!) and we’ve been doing 21 Day Fix which is Ah-mazing. I’ve had tummy troubles like IBS my entire life, and the symptoms were GONE by the 3rd day. This is a program we’ll be doing again and again! But you can check all that out on my blog’s 21 Day Fix page. 🙂
This post has been long in coming, but it was inspired by the plethora of people in my life who love to say: “I can’t afford to eat a healthy diet.” Well, good news, you can. I went to the grocery store today, just for you and picked out some amazing foods that are staples of a healthy diet. The best part, I only spent $30.09 for the food pictured below. Through the years, I’ve encountered a lot of people who have heard how important it is to follow a healthy diet, but don’t have any idea of what that means. Let me explain this to you. You need a variety.

What you’re looking at is: 12oz. fresh broccoli
                                            7 bananas
                                            2c. mozzarella cheese
                                            1lb. ground chicken
                                            2 cans no salt added corn
                                            4 cans reduced sodium black beans
                                            2 cans dark red kidney beans
                                            roasted, unsalted peanuts (Make sure there are no added ingredients.)
                                            roasted, unsalted sunflower seeds (I usually buy raw, but they were out.)
                                            1 bag of radishes
                                            2 giant heads of romaine lettuce
                                            1 lg. tub of greek yogurt
                                            1 ginger root
                                            2 bulbs of fresh garlic
I can hear some of you saying where’s the fudge rounds…? Let me explain this: treats are treats…I’ve seen buggies in the store that have about 70% junk food 30% real food. This is where their money is going. They complain about being addicted but have junk food all over their house. Don’t get me wrong, a treat is ok, but if you’re eating a treat everyday, then it’s no longer a treat, it’s part of your diet.

Now to debunk some common misconceptions about healthy eating:

Myth 1: It costs a fortune. You do not need to buy everything organic! I know people that use the cost of organic as an excuse…really? The only ones to be careful about are the dirty dozen, according to my husband, who has a biotechnology degree, and studied what pesticides actually do. Buy in season, and locally, if possible, there’s a reason that this is really popular right now…because it’s cheaper. Buy in bulk. Get another family to go in on the cost of a crate of a particular food. you’ll both benefit from making a healthier choice. Grow your own herbs, instead of paying $3 every time you need fresh rosemary.

Myth 2: I don’t have time. If you’ve never heard of a crockpot, then I suggest that you acquaint yourself with it. This is how I worked 5 jobs and still ate healthily. All is takes is 15 minutes. You actually will spend more time driving somewhere to a drive-thru to eat a much less healthy meal.

Myth 3: Healthy food tastes bad. Trust me, we make some delicious stuff at our house, chili, protein cookies, etc. I had PF Chang’s-inspired clean chicken lettuce wraps for lunch….nom, nom. We don’t eat cardboard. You don’t need all that added junk. I looked at the label for corn meal the other day and 9 out of 10 brands had added wheat flour. We’ve duped ourselves into thinking we need all those fillers, like MSG, bleached flour, modified food starch, but we’re wrong.

Myth 4: I’ll still be hungry all the time. If you’re eating the right portions, the right calories for your activity level and getting enough protein and fiber, that won’t be the case.

Do some research? How healthy is your daily food intake, really?

I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Julie