Tasty Tuesday – Quinoa Tabbouleh

Hello, hello!

Happy Tuesday!

Have you recovered from the long weekend?

Oh my, I could use another day off just to recupe!

Three day weekends AND birthdays have the tendency to be a bit much, as far as my tummy is concerned. But, you only turn 21 my age once so…..sometimes, you’ve just got to overindulge.

life is short

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As much fun as I had, I’m really glad to get back to my regular eating habits. 🙂

I’m so stoked about this salad I made during my Sunday food prep!

And, I’m stoked that’s it’s Tasty Tuesday and I get to share it with you!

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(Make sure you head over to visit Lena – she’s got an amazing sweet potato-squash soup recipe today! Can you believe Fall is just around the corner?!)

Tabbouleh is a Middle Eastern dish usually made with tomatoes, parsley or mint, onion, and seasoned with olive oil and fresh lemon juice.

I’ve made couscous tabbouleh before and have had tabbouleh made with bulgur. This time, I found a recipe that uses quinoa!

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For those not in the know, quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is basically a superfood that’s jam-packed with protein.

It is also gluten-free and high in calcium and fiber, which makes it perfect for vegetarians and vegans, those who are lactose intolerant, and those who have a gluten sensitivity.

Plus, it’s delicious and works well with so many different flavors! #winning

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I found the recipe in an old Cooking Light magazine (October 1999, to be precise) and knew I had to have it.

Garden fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, sweet raisins, fresh lemon juice……can’t you hear it calling your name?

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Quinoa Tabbouleh
serves 5 (1 cup servings)
adapted from Cooking Light magazine

1 3/4 cups water (or as dictated by package directions)
1 cup uncooked quinoa
1/2 cup coarsely chopped seeded tomato
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley or mint or a combination, if you prefer
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup chopped seedless cucumber (you can use seeded, I prefer the seedless)
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (about 1 decent sized lemon)
2 tablespoons(ish) chopped red onion
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. Cook quinoa according to package directions. Remove from heat; fluff with a fork. Let cool slightly.

2. Stir in tomato and remaining ingredients. Cover, let stand 1 hour (this allows the flavors to really come together). Serve chilled or at room temperature.

3. Fork, nom, dance!

Talk to me: Do you love Middle Eastern food? What’s your favorite quinoa recipe?

– jennifer

Birthday … burpees??? Eat the Bowl Bean Salsa

Hello! It’s Wednesday!

hooray wednesday!

Okay, honestly, that cat has way more energy than I do right now. You see, I went to CrossFit last night.

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Brutal workout. The “filthy 40” in honor of one of the coaches’ 40th birthday. I prefer to celebrate my birthday with wine and cake. He clearly prefers to punish people. With burpees.
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And other things. Like kettlebell swings.

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Then, for some reason, I thought it was a good idea to get up before any sane person this morning and go to CrossFit AGAIN. 12 hours later. What’s wrong with me? #canyousayaddict

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More burpees. Yay.

You’re probably wondering what an MU is. Muscle up.

Yeah.

*sigh* I miss running. But, you know what? I LOVE CrossFit! I really do! One day, I’ll post a video of me doing a muscle up. One day. It might be a while so don’t hold your breath waiting. You will definitely perish. That would be bad.

With all this extra CrossFit I’ve been doing, I need to make sure I’m getting plenty of protein to help repair my muscles. Plus, protein will help heal my muscle strain so I can get back out the door and run! And yes, CrossFit helps too because it’s building strength. Most muscle strains that derive from overuse injuries are usually caused by a strength imbalance and a lack of stretching. So, I’m building strength, making sure I stretch and gobbling up protein!

I found this recipe in my Abs Diet Cookbook. It’s essentially a salad/salsa that you eat out of a red pepper bowl. I. Love. Red. Pepper. LOVE. Super easy, yummy, healthy and a change-up in your lunchbox! Of course, you could serve this at dinner time, too so don’t feel like it’s only a lunch food. I’ve paired it with some additional protein – tuna – and some more veggies because, well, veggies are good. You could certainly add some avocado or guacamole to this dish if you have it. Om nom nom!

Guacamole – yay or nay?
Is it just me or is everyone tired today?

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Eat the Bowl Bean Salsa
makes 2 servings

1 can (15 ounce) black beans, rinsed and drained
2 medium tomatoes, diced
2 tablespoons frozen orange juice concentrate
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro (you can certainly sub parsley if you’re not a cilantro fan)
salt
2 large red bell peppers

1. Mix the beans, tomatoes, orange juice concentrate, and cilantro in a small bowl. Season with salt. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to blend.

2. Slice the top off of the peppers and scoop out the core and the seeds. Fill with the bean mixture. Gobble it up.

Per serving:
Calories 282; Fat 2.4g (saturated .1g); Sodium 669mg; Protein 14.7g; Carbohydrates 49.4g

– jennifer

Friday dance, a rain out, pre-workout snack & an upscale sandwich

Hello! Well, we made it. It’s time to do the Friday dance!

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I’m so ready for the weekend. Are you? It’s been a busy week and I’m looking forward to some down time. Okay, so I’ll be cleaning and doing laundry but that makes me happy so it doesn’t count as work. I’m also hoping for some great weather. I’ve been trying to grill for the past few nights but Mother Nature keeps giving us thunderstorms. But, dinner still turned out fabulous – was just missing the grill marks.

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I don’t know about you but I did not want to get out of bed this morning. Not one little bit. But, I did. CrossFit. Yes, I’m addicted.

I was browsing a TON of web sites and paleo recipes the other day and I came across one that looked interesting. A pre-workout shake. I decided to give it a try. I was normally making oatmeal but this would save me time.

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1 1/2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk
Serving protein powder (I used chocolate because that’s what I have. Recipe calls for unflavored to cut out the extra sugars)
1 teaspoon honey (preferably raw, which I don’t have)
1 scoop almond butter (I used about 1/2 tablespoon)
Strawberries (I decided to add these just because)

Blend it all up and enjoy!

And it really held me over! I wasn’t sure if I was going to lose energy because I didn’t eat solid food but I didn’t. I was totally energized and ready to power through the workout. This is my new go-to 4am pre-WOD snack. Om nom nom!

Here’s what we did this morning.

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Seriously? 26# kettlebell press? My shoulders are STILL sore from all those snatches on Wednesday. Fine! 🙂

It really was an awesome workout. Drying my hair after my shower was more difficult. 😉

So, I’m not sure if you know but my blog has a Facebook page. There’s a little button over there on the right that will take you there. You can like it too, if you wish. I generally try to blog every day but some days, well, I order pizza so I have nothing new to share. But, I also share other things on my page that don’t make it into the blog like articles I’ve read with training tips, motivational stories, or just things that I thought were interesting and decided to share. Or, maybe it’s just easier for you to follow my blog that way. Just a suggestion. 🙂 Anyway, I’m also on Twitter (also a link over there) but will throw out the caveat that I’m a big Redskins fan and during football season, well, I can get a little heated on Sundays. #justsayin 🙂

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Lunch!

I made a bunch of extra chicken last night so I could use the leftovers in other dishes. First up, lunch! This is really such a simple idea and you can certainly adjust it to your tastes. It’s basically a sandwich taken to the next level. This isn’t your old-school balogna sandwich that your mom used to pack in your lunch box!

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1 English muffin
Grilled turkey or chicken
Jack cheese (Monterey or pepper)
Sliced avocado
Salsa (You decide the heat)

It’s really good cold but if you have the means to heat it up a little? OM. NOM. NOM.

What is your go-to pre-workout snack/meal? How do you feel about sandwiches? NFL fan? Do you have a favorite team?

– jennifer