Healthy Quinoa Lunches and the JK Diet Plan
This was not good for my soul or my ego or my sensitivity - I mean damn it - I am hot hahaha
So began my most healthiest of diets.
NO SUGAR - only half a teaspoon of honey in my morning and evening tea. I went from Skinny Decaf Mocchas to Soy Lattes overnight.
My diet is simple - I don't buy anything from a takeaway outlet and I make everything - so nothing packaged.
I am also now solely into lean meats and salads or vegetables and I graze more as opposed to three solid meals a day. I always eat a mandarin and an apple a day so I do get my sugars, they are just unprocessed and all my fruit is eaten before 3pm every day.
The good thing - I allow myself one day off a week, if need be and this is usually saved for going out with friends to dinner etc.
To assist with my eating plan, good friend Carrie, gave me for Xmas an organic lunch box which is recyclable - a cute little hessian like bag. And inside she filled it with organic health staples. One large jar of Coconut Oil - the best oil for cooking EVER, followed by a bag of chia seeds, to sprinkle on anything in the world and then my very first bag or QUINOA (pronounced keen-wah for dummies).
And this has become my most favourite thing about the diet - I LOVE QUINOA.
12 THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT QUINOA
1. itís delicious
No matter how Ďgood for youí a food is, donít include it in your diet unless it passes the taste test. This stuff surely does - as you will want to cut out carbs and pasta and rice if on a diet this is the ultimate replacement - like cous cous but better and way better for you
2. it has a funny pronunciation
The amount of times I have heard people pronounce it phonetically is funny and the first time I was corrected I went scarlet red - if you have a vegan friend you no doubt have already been corrected a few times - Ďkeen-wahí.
3. itís high in protein
A big positive for vegetarians as Iíve learned recently. Itís also pretty good on iron and fibre, which gets the nutritionists excited.
4. itís gluten free
Everyone can eat it - even fake gluten intolerant people that are gluten free fad lovers
5. it needs washing before use
The surface of quinoa contains a chemical called saponin that has a bitter soapy taste. Most commercial quinoa will already be washed and have the saponin removed but itís a good idea to rinse it just before you use it in case there are residues.
6. it comes in different colours
Just like grapes, quinoa comes in different varieties. The most common is white, but there are also red and black. Iíve only ever come across the white variety. If you can get the red do it - it is amazing - more likely to get this in a health food store where as your Colesworths only stocks white.
7. it comes in different forms
Just like corn, it can be puffed or rolled into flakes or you can buy it whole.
8. it looks like a grain but is actually a seed
9. it has an interesting texture
Something a little like barley with its chewiness, it also has a light fluffiness akin to well prepared cous cous.
10. itís better if you cook it
Follow packet instructions - a good thing to add some flavour if you want - instead of water - use stock
11. you can also eat the leaves
Iím yet to find a souce of fresh quinoa or itís leaves but if you do apparently the leaves are edible. Something like chard or silverbeet.
12. itís becoming more readily available
It's the new "superfood" and is available at pretty much every supermarket. You can get the good stuff at health food stores that is organic blah blah blah but Colesworth health food sections have a good brand
So I made my very own recipe for this one - no inspiration besides my need for yumminess and my health.
YOU WILL NEED:
* 1.5 cups quinoa
* 3 cups water
* 1.5 cups of diced pumpkin
* 1 cup diced sweet potato
* 2 largish chicken breasts, trimmed of fat and whole
* 2 or 3 eggs (hardboiled)
* 1/2 cup peas
* 2TBSP raisins or sultanas
* About 40gms of almonds chopped up
YOU WILL NEED TO:
1) Preheat oven to 225degrees celsius, hard boil your eggs separately on the stove
2) Make sure all your pumpkin and sweet potato is peeled, seeded and diced into 2cm by 2cm sizes - you could chop it how you want really and also add any other roast vegetable you want - I avoid potatoes as they are less nutritious than sweet.
2) Put the vegetables (excluding the peas) into a roasting dish, drizzle with oil - I highly recommend you use coconut oil instead of olive oil for everything now. Then sprinkle whatever herbs you like - I use salt, pepper and chilli flakes over the veg
3) Put in oven for about 45mins
4) 20mins in I put the chicken into a pan on the stove. For the thickest part of the breast I slice through it and kind of butterfly it out or separate that part - whatever you can do to make it all fo similar thickness to ensure even cooking. Lightly drizzle again with coconut oil, I then again sprinkle with whatever herbs I like (I use the same as the veg) and place a lid on the pan and have it at MED heat - the lid on basically steams it and will not dry it out but make sure pan is not too hot - this takes about 20mins to cook - turning once and remove lid for last 5mins, drain the juices and turn up the heat
5) About 10mins before end of cooking place the quinoa in a pan - the general rule of thumb for cooking quinoa is the same for rice 2:1. If you use 1.5 cups of quinoa you need 3 cups of water (or stock). Put this on MED-HIGH heat with a lid - start giving the occasional stir after 5mins so it won't stick - and keep your eyes on it that it doesn't boil over - follow packet instructions if they have it
6) I microwave the peas for 2mins before the end
7) Once chicken is done (check by making a cut and ensuring it is not pink in the centre) I remove to a chopping board and slice into bite sized chunks
8) I then put everything into a big salad mixing bowl and stir/ toss it all to mix.
9) This generally makes me 4 servings - I have a hot one then and there for dinner and have three in tupperware containers for lunches - I take a hard boiled egg with me each day to work and slice over the top
It is filling and it is divine to eat and oh so good for you with limited calories