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Friday, August 10, 2012

Experimenting In The Kitchen

When I'm not in a hurry to make a meal, and I have time to plan it out, I usually take more risks and try new combinations.

Yesterday I had to make my dinner in the afternoon so I could re-heat it for later because I was going to be out and wouldn't have time to make my meal later. I knew I wanted to make quinoa with some vegetables, but instead of the same old dinner that I had been making as of late, I wanted to jazz it up a little

TA-DA! Okay, so it just looks like your average bowl of quinoa and vegetables, but there is a teeny-tiny secret ingredient lurking amongst the fluffy quinoa. What is it, you ask? Chia seeds! I usually always add chia to my oatmeal because it gives it more volume, so I feel like I'm eating more without stuffing my face with carbs. 

I cooked the quinoa like I normally do, and then added the soaked chia seeds (1 T chia + 5-6 T water, stirred until gel forms), a few more drops of water, and let that simmer in a pot while I finished cooking the veggies. 

Lemon Chick Pea Quinoa Bowl
  • 1/4 c. Quinoa, dry
  • 1 T. Chia seeds
  • 1/3 c. Chick peas
  • 2 c. Spinach, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 c. Grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 c. Yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 T. Garlic, minced
  • 1/2 Lemon, juice of
  • 2 t. EVVO, separated
  • Italian seasoning, to taste
  • Crushed red pepper, to taste (optional)

Once your vegetables and chick peas are cooked and seasoned, toss in the quinoa/chia mixture and stir everything together. Add the lemon juice and the remaining teaspoon of olive oil (the other is used for sautéing) and make sure the ingredients have all married together before serving.

Nutrition (makes one serving): Calories: 390, Total fat: 14g, Sat. fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Sodium: 144mg, Total carbs: 56g, Fiber: 14g, Sugars: 3g, Protein: 15g

I was so looking forward to eating this when I got home yesterday, and I have to say, it was really nice to know that dinner was already made when I walked in the door. The chia seeds definitely did their job because I was already getting that full-feeling even before I finished my bowl! The lemon added a nice light flavor, and I highly recommend adding the crushed red pepper because it added just enough zing. I can't wait to add chia seeds to my quinoa all the time now! Seriously, if you've never had them, do yourself a favor a buy a bag off of amazon. You can thank me later.

Something to think about: How often do you switch up your "staple" meals?

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