Quinoa Salad with a Middle Eastern Twist

This colorful, flavorful, and interesting-textured quinoa salad is a perfect side for anyone and a great main dish for vegans or vegetarians. It’s a great way to take your leftover red quinoa and turn it into something amazing! Using what’s in season now this salad combines persimmons, fresh citrus, herbs, spices, pistachio, and red quinoa for an unbeatable flavor and texture.

Recipe for Middle Eastern Quinoa

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Sweet & Salty Snack: Apples & Cashews

Apples are healthy, cashews are healthy, but sexy . . . not so much. Simply arranging your apples in a colorful circle around cashews can make them much more appealing! Choose different varieties of apples for the best colors and go organic so you can leave the skin on. Go with lightly salted cashews and satisfy the sweet & salty without turning to nutrient-void snacks!

It's so simple!
It’s so simple!

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Strawberry Soup

For breakfast or for a snack, strawberry soup is a delicious treat. It’s high in vitamin C, has calcium, protein, potassium, Omega-3 and is pretty filling!

Ingredients:

1.5 cups frozen strawberries

1/2 cup milk

2 tbsp ground flax seeds

1 banana

1 oz walnuts, sprinkle of chia & decoration

Strawberry Soup

For a more ice-cream like experience, add more frozen strawberries to the mix. To reduce calories, use fat free milk, skip the banana and reduce the amount of walnuts.

Strawberry Soup
Author: 
Recipe type: Breakfast
 
Ingredients
  • 1.5 cups frozen strawberries
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 tbsp ground flax seeds
  • 1 banana
  • 1 oz walnuts
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
Instructions
  1. Blend the frozen strawberries, milk, flax and banana well.
  2. Top with walnuts & chia seeds and serve!
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 500 grams Calories: 537 Fat: 33 Saturated fat: 3 Trans fat: 0 Carbohydrates: 60 Sugar: 34 Sodium: 58 Fiber: 21 Protein: 18 Cholesterol: 10

Strawberry Soup

Toasted Nut Crunchers

One of my favorite foods is nuts. They’re healthy, tasty and add a great crunch to pasta, salads and cereals. Here is a quick recipe to give your pasta dishes more crunch. Not all nuts go together and not all nuts are tasty toasted, but feel free to experiment!

Toasted Nut Crunchers

Toasted Nut Crunchers

Ingredients

2 Tbsp Sliced Peeled Almonds (Raw or Unsalted, Not Roasted)

2 Tbsp Sesame Seeds (Raw or Unsalted, Not Roasted)

2 Tbsp Sunflower Seeds (Raw or Unsalted, Not Roasted)

Instructions

Mix the nuts together and place on parchment paper in the toaster. Toast at 300 Fahrenheit (150 Celsius) until the nuts start to brown. Remove the nuts, let them cool on the parchment and then transfer to a jar for storage. Use on pastas and salads liberally.

Roasted Nuts TIP: Choose unsalted nuts – salted ones will dry out quickly. Roast nuts of similar size together, otherwise they will turn out unevenly.

Puffed Quinoa Cereal

Cereal is so expensive.  Granola.  Puffs with fruit and nuts.  Guess what?  It’s all a giant scam!  Stop buying cereal now and start making your own.  It’s healthier, cheaper and you get to pick quality items – especially if you’re gluten free like me.

Puffed Quinoa DIY Breakfast Cereal

Ingredients: Puffed quinoa, nuts, seeds, dried fruit, chia seeds, flax.

Instructions: Throw whatever is to your liking into the bowl, pour the milk of your choice and THAT’S IT!  No more store bought overpriced fruit & grain for you!

Nutrition TIP: The nutrition of puffed quinoa is great.  A typical serving of puffed quinoa is 50 grams (which is a more than your typical 30 gram cereal serving – you can always eat less) – here is the nutrition for the quinoa:

Values Per 50g
Calories 180 calories
Protein 6.5g
Carbohydrates 32g
Sugar 1.75g
Fat 7.1g
Saturated Fat 0.96g
Fiber 7g
Sodium Trace

Post Gym TIP: I sometimes use this as my after snack.  If I eat it after the gym, I omit the added flax because my naturopath says too much fiber isn’t good in an after gym snack.

Puffed Quinoa Breakfast

Puffed quinoa is my new breakfast buddy!  It’s technically a seed, which satisfies my paleo wannabe side and makes a great gluten free cereal base.  Here is a brand new recipe for homemade puffed quinoa.  Puffed quinoa is high in fiber, protein and iron.  I’m so happy I found something healthy for breakfast that’s tasty, gluten free and filled with nutrients.

Puffed Quinoa Fall Breakfast

Ingredients:

1.5 cups puffed quinoa

1 cup frozen diced mango (I know, right, looks like pumpkin!)

1 oz (28 g) raw, unsalted pumpkin seeds (pepitas)

1 oz (28 g) raw, unsalted walnuts

1 oz (28 g) goji berries

Salt to taste

Milk (I use unfortified rice milk)

Instructions:

Dice and thaw the frozen mango, remove excess water/juice.  Pour the quinoa puffs into the bowl, add the rest of the ingredients and mix.  Add milk to taste and get eating –  quinoa puffs get depuffed pretty quickly after adding milk!  Cut the amount of seeds, nuts & berries in half if you want less calories.

Freezing Mangos TIP: You can freeze mango in large pieces (about 4 per mango) and cut them while they’re still frozen.  For some reason (sugar content?) the mangos don’t seem to freeze all the way and remain soft enough to be cut my a steak knife direct out of the freezer.  Very convenient!

Salt TIP: I like Guerande salts the best and the less expensive grey kind will do just fine for day-to-day use.  I like the shaker with the coarse grey salt in it.  It comes out in little crystals and is just delicious!  So the tip is don’t settle for regular salt.  I tried lots of kinds of salts (pink himalayan salt, red sea salt, dead sea salt, organic salt, regular salt) and finally fell in love with the Guerande.  The earthy taste and simple joy in triggering memories of our trip to Brittany (Bretagne) is completely worth the little bit extra it costs.

The Perfect Breakfast

Welcome to my perfect breakfast!  When I started my weight loss and healthy eating journey, this was my rock.  This breakfast was the solid start to my day that helped me kick start my new healthier life.  My perfect breakfast has treated me well during these past 9 months, during which I have gone from clinically overweight to normal weight.  I have never been so happy to be normal!

So, I want to pay homage to you, my perfect breakfast buddy.  For almost a year I ate you every day, I loved you, I cared for you and now all I can do is set you free!  Anyone looking for a tasty and simple way to kick start healthy eating habits, will want to try you.  I hope to see you when my dairy elimination trial ends, but only if it turns out that it wasn’t you causing my itchies:)

The Perfect Breakfast

Ingredients:

1 Cup Yogurt (Plain, 2 ingredients – milk & enzymes, Full Fat, No Hormones, Organic)

2 Tbsp Ground Flax

2 Tbsp Chia Seeds

1 Medium Sized Apple (Organic Preferably)

1 oz Raw Walnuts

Instructions:

Dice your apple – if it is organic, keep the skin.  If it’s conventionally grown, peel it first.  Place your diced apple in a bowl and cover it with yogurt.  Sprinkle the flax and chia seeds. Top with walnuts.  I like to mix the ingredients together into one big porridge, but I have a weakness for porridgey food.

TIPS on Yogurt Breakfasts: Adding berries is always a good idea.  One or two will do the trick and you can even use them direct from the freezer.  Swapping out the apple for more seasonal fruits is a great idea, just keep in mind that the glycemic index and sugar content of fruits vary.  And if you go for berries and no “fruit” it might be a little tart.