Why I Eat Quinoa.

I eat quinoa in practically every meal. Truly.

I eat it because it’s easy. It takes me seconds to put on the stove and it cooks by itself while I’m making breakfast or dinner. Then, I just store the big batch of it for an instant meal when I’m ready.

I eat it because it’s versatile.  I can eat it warm, or cold. I can put it with my greek yogurt and fruit, or I can make it savory with eggs and spinach. I can replace noodles in my soups with it, thicken vegetable stews with it, and turn it into the base for a phenomenal salad with every vegetable imaginable.

I eat it because it satisfies my appetite. It is filling, sustaining… it satiates me for hours.

I eat it because it makes me feel amazing. I feel light, energized, CLEAN.

Yes, I eat it because it’s ‘healthy’… but ‘healthy’ is hard to swallow if ‘healthy’ brings burden and frustration and confusion. And that’s what most ‘healthy’ trends do these days: burden people with dos and don’ts, calorie counts and carbohydrate components. Most ‘healthy’ talk these days goes against real food and, instead, tangles our mind in the pit of nutritionism, categories, and diet trends.

Quinoa is simple; it’s ancient. It causes me no burden, frustration or confusion.

Eating quinoa is like pulling out my favorite pair of blue jeans and dressing up or dressing down depending on my mood. It’s one of nature’s true superfoods; it was fed to Inca warriors as they headed out to battle thousands of years ago… and it is a prized food of endurance athletes around the world today.

No, I may not be a warrior with armor on, and I may not be running an organized marathon this afternoon. But, as a partner to my husband, a mom of three, a business owner, and a woman who never takes one breath for granted- I am a runner, a warrior, an athlete… and my calling requires physical strength, mental focus, and endurance.

That’s why I eat quinoa.

So this world can keep its diet trends, calorie counts, nutritionism talk, and confusion… I’ll have none of it. Instead, I’ll stick with my best friend, quinoa… and, I’ll be free, and powerful, and fit… and ready to take on the world.

Anyone care to join me?

Rebel on,

-e.

 

AM Northwest: Fried Quinoa Spinach Skillet

Last Wednesday I visited AM Northwest again to share one of my favorite staple quinoa recipes: a fried quinoa spinach skillet. It is warm, savory, packed full of everything we need to energize us through the day… and the best part: it takes less than three minutes to prepare.

All too often I speak to women who say, “I’m so busy getting everyone else out the door in the morning that I didn’t even have time to eat breakfast myself!” But the truth is that when WE fail to care for ourselves, everyone and everything around us suffers. We are more irritable, we’re likely to make poorer food choices throughout the day (and overeat), and our bodies and minds D R A G through our day.

Well, mamas, this recipe leaves us no excuses. This ‘power breakfast’ has tons of protein, tons of fiber, a huge burst of iron – all the things we need when we are feeling fatigued.

(Beyond OUR needs, however, this recipe is what my soccer-playing 6th grader calls her ‘secret sauce’ for a great game. So – not only is it good for us ladies, it’s exceptional for our families who need strength and endurance in their days.)

Rebel on, sister.

Elisha

RECIPE:

  • 1/2 cup precooked quinoa
  • 2 cups raw spinach
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 TBSP uncooked breakfast sausage
  • chili paste
  • black pepper
  • olive oil
  1. Heat your frying pan. (NOTE: You are going to use your frying pan in three sections to make this meal.)
  2. In one third of the pan, brown the sausage. In another third, add a little olive oil to coat the area and fry your two eggs.
  3. When the eggs whites begin to cook, roughly ‘scramble’ the eggs in their place and continuing cooking; at the same time, stir sausage so it browns on all sides.
  4. Once your egg is cooked, add a little olive oil to the third section of your pan and add cooked quinoa. (Spread quinoa into a thin layer.)
  5. Toss the quinoa just a little in it’s place, then stir all ingredients in the pan together. Add the raw spinach, a drizzle of soy sauce, and continue to stir just until the spinach is wilted. Toss with chili paste and black pepper… enjoy!

Fried Peach ‘n Coconut Quinoa

Look what I just cooked up: Fried Peach n’ Coconut Quinoa served over greek yogurt:

I was in between sales calls and emails when the scent of the local peaches on my counter caught my attention. Perfectly ripe, gorgeous in color.

This is usually the time of day I find myself ready for a little snack. So, why not play with the peaches, right?

I went digging around and this is what I came up with: peaches, coconut milk, toasted unsweetened coconut flakes from a cake I made a bit ago, a lime… and, chili pepper flakes that are just too pretty in color to leave out.

I can just hear you now: Wait, Elisha… did you say “fried”?

Yes, FRIED. I took all these goodies and I fried them up in some coconut oil. I know that it seems unconventional – but think peach cobbler without the sugars, or peach pie without the effort. This is a dish you’ll discover (as I did) is perfectly sweet and warm for a cool fall morning, but, most importantly, it is also clean and pure. Just what mama likes.

Here’s what you’ll need for 2-3 servings if you decide to try this at home:

  • Coconut Oil
  • 1 fresh peach, diced
  • 3/4 cup  of cooked quinoa
  • 1/4 cup light coconut milk
  • 1/2 a fresh lime
  • kosher salt
  • black pepper
  • red chili pepper flakes
  • unsweetened flaked coconut
  1. Place about 1 tsp of coconut oil in a hot frying pan and throw in your diced peaches. Allow the peaches to sit for just a minute on one side, then take a spatula and move them around a bit so they don’t stick.
  2. Add an additional 1 tsp of coconut oil and 3/4 cup of cooked quinoa. Stir to coat the quinoa and peaches together, then allow to fry for about a minute without stirring.
  3. Pour in 1/4 cup light coconut milk, and season with just a touch of kosher salt and black pepper. Add in your chili pepper flakes to taste, and a squeeze of fresh lime juice. Stir over heat for another minute… and, that’s it!
  4. Remove from heat. Serve 1/2 cup of your peach ‘n coconut quinoa over 1/2 cup of greek yogurt. Top with flaked coconut… and enjoy!

Happy Monday, everyone!

Rebel on, Elisha

POWER-FULL: Fried Quinoa and Veggies

My role as mama – as “Chief Nutrition Officer” of my home – is to make sure my kids are equipped to think clearly, perform with strength, and feel good as they walk through their day. What they eat for breakfast has a HUGE impact on their performance (just as it has a huge impact on my own performance!)… so I make sure we ALL eat powerful before we head out the door.

Here’s a great recipe for Fried Quinoa and Veggies. It’s just like fried rice – but, with the superfood quinoa as it’s base, it’s the SUPER HEALTHY version. Now, maybe you’ve never thought of fried rice for breakfast… let alone “fried quinoa”. But for me rice is as basic as toast in America… so I LOVE any opportunity to offer this super dish to my family.

Ingredients:

  • Cooked quinoa
  • Corn
  • Peas
  • Carrots
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Eggs
  • Soy Sauce
  • Black pepper
  • Olive oil for sautéing and frying the eggs
Here’s the “how-to”:

FOR VARIATION: Sometimes I throw chorizo sausage or kielbasa sausage into it because the kids LOVE sausage. If you’re making this more for dinner, you can also add chicken chunks, shrimp, or tofu – whatever floats your boat. You can also use whatever veggies you have on hand – like asparagus, bell peppers, cauliflower; any veggies work fabulous!

I’d love to hear how you cook it up in your house – so please come back and share!!

Rebel on,

Elisha