Uh-May-Zing Quinoa Porridge

I had some leftover Quinoa after last night’s dinner, and, thanks to some inspiration from Rene Johnson of Shanti Yoga Studio, I decided to try making porridge with it.  Am I ever glad that I did, because HolyMotherOfGod it was delicious!

This is how I made the nutty flavoured goodness:

Step 1:  I put the leftover cooked Quinoa into a saucepan; I’d say it was about 2 cups-ish.

Step 2: I added enough almond milk to cover the Quinoa. This kind of seemed like too much, and I started to second guess myself…but the milk cooked down nicely and it turned out to be a perfect amount!

I use unsweetened almond milk

Step 3: I added in some other ingredients – 2tblsp of Agave Nectar, 1 full scoop of Mila cut Chia Seed, 1 tsp of Vanilla Extract (wish I had the natural stuff, but no luck today!), and a bunch of shakes of Cinnamon (I REALLY like my Cinnamon!).

Step 4: I cooked the whole mixture over medium heat, stirring OFTEN, until it came to a rolling boil and the almond milk was cooked down. It had a thick and creamy consistency at the end.

Step 5: I added fresh strawberries and blueberries, then enjoyed a DELICIOUS and NUTRITIOUS breakfast – yummy!

So why Quinoa instead of oatmeal, you ask?  Well, for starters, I had some left over from last night’s dinner, and sometimes I just like to try new things.  Secondly, though, Quinoa is so super good for you; it is full of protein and many other nutrients, it’s gluten-free, and it’s high in fiber.  You can read more about the health benefits of Quinoa here.  If you haven’t jumped on the Quinoa bandwagon yet, you should definitely give it a try!

Mixed Berry Smoothie

There are grapes in with the bowl of strawberries; I did not put these in my smoothie, though I'm sure it would still be tasty if I had!

This is what I put into my smoothie yesterday:Okay, it wasn’t actually those particular pieces of food that went into the blender – I didn’t even think to take a picture until after I’d already blended and poured into my smoothie cup.  When I’m hungry I am usually thinking about eating the food rather than taking pictures of it…but I’m getting better and usually remember to snap a picture before I scarf down all the food.  Except for today at lunch.  I forgot to take a picture of my omelette until there were literally only two bites left.  I decided to forgo the picture because it seemed a little pointless…sort of like the rambling that I just realized I’m doing now.

Back to the smoothie.  I love smoothies and I make them a lot.  Like, I drink one six days a week, and on day seven I’m a little sad that I’m not drinking a smoothie and I wish that I had made one before leaving the house, a lot.  This mixed berry one is my favourite and I’d say it’s the one I make the most often.

This is a 16oz/470ml smoothie cup from Tupperware. Notice how the orange colour matches my new Lulu Run: In the Rain Jacket? I did not do that on purpose, I swear!

Ingredients:

strawberries – I slice the green bits off and then cut the big ones in half to make it a little easier on my blender; I probably don’t need to do this, but my blender is old* and I really don’t want to have to buy a new one anytime soon (those babies are expensive!)
blueberries
raspberries
blackberries
a big handful of spinach
I throw all of these ingredients in the blender until it is pretty much full up to the top, then I pour in some unsweetened almond milk, add a scoop of Mila*, and blend it all together.

What was left in the blender after I filled up my smoothie cup

Filling the blender right to the top before blending usually gets me two days worth of smoothie.  I could stretch it to three servings, but I’d feel like I was cheating myself out of fruity goodness, and who wants to do that?  If I really need to have three days worth of smoothie prepared in advance, I will blend to reduce volume, and then add in more fruit and blend again.  I don’t do this three-day prep very often, though, because by day three the mixture has a darker, greyish tinge, and it’s starting to be less than optimally fresh – sort of bitter, if you will.  Two days’ worth is perfect, though – I just pop the top back on the blender, and stick the jug into the fridge overnight.  I give it a super quick blend before pouring on the second morning, just to mix it up and keep it smooth and even.  Quick, healthy and delicious!

*When I say my blender is old, I mean old.  I have had this blender since the very first time a boy lived with me (my first year of University – 2000).  His mother gave it to us, and she had already owned it for a very long time (for some reason I think she actually got it as a wedding gift, or something like that).  Things didn’t work out really well with the boy, and when we split up he didn’t take the blender, so I’ve still got it.  She is a really nice lady, and sometimes I think about her when I make smoothies.  So if for some crazy – strange things are happening in the universe – reason you are reading this, thank you Lila Kinaschuk for the blender 🙂
*Mila is a great product – Chia seed – and I put it in a lot of things, including my daily smoothie.  It deserves some more attention, so I plan to write a whole post about it soon!

No Recipe Tilapia Dinner

So my intention was to make a Sesame Fish recipe for dinner and then write a post about it…but guess what?  It’s pretty tough to make “Sesame Fish” when you are all out of sesame seeds.  It was already late when I got home (I had a lovely massage after school – thanks Phyllis! – and then went back to work for about an hour and a half), I had my heart set on the Tilapia, and I didn’t have time to thaw something else, so I just rolled with it.  I’m cool with that, but it kinda ruined the “recipe” post.  Oh well; you will just have to be cool with it too!

This is my No Recipe Tilapia Dinner:
I sprayed a broiler pan with olive oil and then placed four pieces of Tilapia, which I sprinkled with a bit of Mrs. Dash* original blend and some paprika.  I baked the Tilapia at 350 degrees for about 15-20 minutes (while I was making everything else; I kept an eye on it, so I’m not certain of the time).

Meanwhile, I steamed brocoli and cauliflower (also sprinkled with a bit of Mrs. Dash).  When the veggies were done, I tossed on a little bit of Kraft 4 Cheese Italiano Light.  I also fried fresh mushrooms in a tiny bit of olive oil spray with crushed garlic and a sprinkle of No Salt Montreal Steak spice – yum!

I accompanied the fish and veggies with a nice tossed salad – lettuce, spinach, cucumber, celery, carrots and tomato.  I dressed the salad with a splash of Rene’s Sherry Herb Italian Vinaigrette; I prefer Rene’s salad dressings because they actually have fresh ingredients and need to be refrigerated.  I often wonder what chemicals must be in the salad dressings that can be stored unrefrigerated on the shelf for months at a time.  Hmm…not so appealing!

To top off my meal, I enjoyed a cold glass of almond milk – much better than your typical dairy milk, in my opinion.  I like the unsweetened Earth’s Own (especially because I use it in fruit smoothies where I really don’t need the added sugar), but I have also tried and liked the regular (sugar added) stuff!

All in all, it was a pretty decent dinner, and I would indeed make it again…if I was out of sesame seeds.  Maybe it’s because I’d been thinking about it all day, but the sesame fish would’ve been better.  I’ll pick up some sesame seeds so I can make and review the recipe for you sometime soon!

* I use Mrs. Dash because it doesn’t contain any sodium.