We’re inching even closer to summer which means I start to avoid actually heating things in my apartment, including the oven. Salads and one-pot meals on the stove take precedence (who wants to wash dishes when it’s nice out?)
Ok, not so sssh, but I’m on a diet. One of the things I’ve been emphasizing is eating complex carbohydrates as opposed to simple ones (white anything: sugar, bread, pasta, rice) and as multigrain and “real”/unprocessed as possible.
Every since I discovered quinoa a few years ago, I’ve been pleased to find it pretty often in Italy and I love making a quick salad or main dish with it. The crunchy/popping seeds really appeals to my oral fixation (oops, did I say that?) and gives added satisfaction, and I love that it can be crunchy or creamy, per your recipe’s imagination.
Today’s lunch was quick (if you don’t count the boiling time for the quinoa, that is) and focused on some mini zucchini that my fruit/veg seller gave me for free with some basil as he was probably trying to soften the blow while we paid 4 euro 50 cents for some tomatoes. Ouch.
I added just a light sprinkling of feta cheese and pulled out one of my treasured spice grinders and added a ground sprinkling of salt, pepper & garlic on top. The raw, crunchy zucchini appeased my crunch-fixation, too. I usually like to get at least 2 sources of protein from non-grain/starch sources, so after this bowl I had a few slices of turkey with mustard, too.
I made some extra so I can make a few meals out of it, and it’s a great base for whatever leftover vegetables you have. In wintertime I’d probably make the same meal but saute the zucchini first with some garlic. Serve the quinoa hot or cold, depending on your mood. Some vegetables I recommend adding in: fresh or cooked spinach, tomatoes of all kinds, fresh or cooked fennel, all types of of beans and lentils, sauteed cauliflower, or grilled, cubed vegetables like eggplant, carrots, and zucchini. A sprinkling of nuts (pine, almond, walnut) to finish it off, too. Or just mix the quinoa with a teaspoon of pesto to start for a flavor boost. Also, salting the water and/or cooking the quinoa in broth is another easy way to inject some flavor.
Just in case you were wondering, yes, I really am on a diet. I’ve started another bookmarking / health site called Food Blogger on a Diet (I’ve had the domain for years – I guess my body was trying to tell me something) which will be focused on healthy living and exercise. You won’t find my recipes or photos there, but you’ll find short posts with links to interesting articles about healthy living, other inspiring bloggers, and some food for thought (pun intended).
Check out Food Blogger on a Diet, and if you have a healthy living site or blogger you love, share it in the comments!
Thank you! Thank you! Recently started a diet too and look forward to more recipes at Food Blogger on a Diet.
Oh duh, I read that wrong. Recipes are on this blog.
Camels & Chocolate says
Ooh we’re equally as enamored with quinoa! And dieting is like the least fun thing ever. I’ve (clearly) never been successful at it, so I figure, if you can’t beat them…eat dessert!
Ms. Adventures in Italy says
@Kristin – whatever! :) I’ve seen you in the flesh, you look great to me. I definitely don’t avoid dessert altogether :)