Tag Archives: quinoa

Food Stuff…and stuff.

I haven’t talked about food very much on my blog lately, which is interesting as this originally started out as a food blog… But I abandoned being a

dr-evil

long ago.

But rest assured, food is still my favourite, and I am still eating. A lot. Over the holidays it was way too much, but hey, that’s what the holidays are for.

No, but really it was too much. I am talking chocolate balls for pre-breakfast (and pre-lunch and pre-dinner), drinking nearly every day (not to excess, but at least a glass of wine usually), and eating like every meal was my last. Temporarily this is all well and good, but if I carry on with this in my every day life we would have a bit of a problem.

pants

I’m trying, pants, I am.

Soo naturally I have a couple of New Year’s resolutions revolving around being healthier. Because who doesn’t.

Usually for my New Year’s resolutions I really embrace simple ones like this:

resolutions-eat-cheese

Thank you to my Bestie for sending this to me. (source)

But this year I just feel very good about 2014 and there are several small improvements that I want to make life-wise. Some not food/fitness/health-related…

tbbvUSu(source)

Something like that…

But one thing was to start bringing my lunch to work at least four days a week. I eat oatmeal nearly every. single. day. for breakfast but I have gotten very lazy about making my own lunch. I used to almost every day but then one day I just stopped, and then it isn’t long before you’re out of the habit, and all of a sudden you’re never making lunch again and it’s quick things you grabbed until the end of time. There aren’t even that many lunch options near me anymore, so it was either the grocery store to pick up a salad or a sandwich (but I would always, always have to get some kind of unhealthy snack for the afternoon, so going there was a bad scene), or Tim Hortons, which does not have a lot of healthy options.

Enter: Operation Healthy Lunch.

IMG_9061

Salad with a bunch of good stuff, olive oil and vinegar dressing, and this even included a bed of quinoa on the bottom. While I was making it I was singing to Winnie: “I want to layyyyyyyy you doooooown on a bed of quinoa,” but I’m digressing.

IMG_9071

This was actually an afternoon, or post-lunch snack, and it included homemade hummus made by Evan (chickpeas, tahini, garlic, lemon juice + food processor).

And my favourite lunch this week…

IMG_9082

Quinoa salad, also made by Chef Evan (three kinds of quinoa, black beans, cherry tomatoes, green onions, cilantro, lime juice, S&P = HEAVEN). That is for lunch again today. Evan, by the way, has just been on a cooking mission all week long and it has been fantastic. You may be seeing the phrase “made by Evan” on here a lot.

And so I have made my lunch every day this week, and it feels really good to be back into doing that. It almost feels like a habit again.

I also got this bad boy over the holidays:

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Because I am continuing my resolution to drink three litres of water a day and that is really helping me out. It’s a glass bottle with a little cage in the middle where you can put any kind of fruit or whatever and it infuses your water with delicious flavour. Or you can take the inner cage out and use it as a regular water bottle. I do both and I’ve been using it every day. It’s from Kitchen Stuff Plus if you’re interested (link there, NOT affiliate link, just a regular ol’ link).

Anyway, that’s what’s new with me on the lunch front. I know you were all dying to know.

Here is another New Year’s resolution of mine that I hope to be able to achieve…

CHhVFGg(source)

Working on it!

Have a great weekend!

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Costumes of Halloween’s Past

Hello friends!

So probably you guys are pretty aware that Halloween is coming up…

I am a HUGE fan of Halloween, mostly because of the candy, costumes, and parties. I was always big into dressing up and making my own costumes, or enlisting the help of my mom to make them.

Halloween Circa Grade 5

I was seriously cool, I am aware. So are stirrup pants.

For the past three years our good friends Shane and Candis hosted a pretty awesome Halloween party, complete with crazy decorations and prizes for best costume.

The first year (2008) I was pretty lazy in the costume department.

Ando and I were vampires, and that was definitely a game-day decision. I’m pretty sure we were at Value Village that day looking for stuff to complete our costumes (pretty sweet cape though!).

Alejandrew took his vampire role very seriously.

He was scary.

The next year I vowed not to leave my costume until the last minute, and I started planning it at the end of August. It was probably my favourite couples’ costume of ours. Can you guess who we are?

Barbie and Ken!!!

That was probably my favourite Halloween year. The party was so much fun. Everyone had awesome costumes, and the night got a little crazy.

Good Times

The Ladies

Check out Amy Winehouse! Her costume was one of the best, for sure.

And last year Andy-pants and I did our own thing, no couples costumes going on. I was the Paper Bag Princess, and he was a sumo wrestler.

Sumo Wrestler & the Paper Bag Princess

His costume killed me. Mainly because of how bowl-legged his costume made him look.

Big Ol’ Bowl Legs

I couldn’t not laugh whenever I looked at those legs.

Andy’s Legulars

(Edit: It’s bow-legged isn’t it? I don’t care, I’m leaving it. Bowl-legged sounds more funny.)

The Paper Bag Princess is a popular Robert Munsch book character, so here is a picture of the actual Paper Bag Princess if you are unsure of what I was going for.

One of my very fave children’s books!

I used those brown yard waste bags from Home Depot for my costume, and just stapled the crap out of it. I also stapled myself into it, so every time I went to the bathroom I had to do a big re-staple, which got a bit annoying.

Sadly though, as the evening wore on my skirt started to rip…

Rippage

Until it eventually ripped in half and I had to tear it off and was only clad in leggings.

And this year…I don’t know what to be! All year long I had an idea in my mind, but I have left it to the last minute and now I don’t think it will work out. I definitely still want to do this costume (which is why I’m being cryptic – can’t tell ya, you might steal my idea! ;)), so I don’t want to do a crappy version of it.

I may do Barbie again and save my good idea for next year. We are going to a different party (sad about this!) so hopefully not many people have seen it.

Eat Time

Onto eats!

My dinner tonight was inspired by my good friend Melissa!

Quinoa Shrimp Goodness

She wrote a comment on my shrimp and quinoa stir fry post saying she was trying quinoa for the first time tonight and making this recipe! (the recipe was actually originally my friend Dawn’s.)

Coincidentally I had frozen shrimp thawing in my fridge that I wasn’t sure what to do with, so as soon as I read her comment I was like BAM! That’s what I’m having.

I made a minor change to the recipe and swapped red pepper for sundried tomatoes, as I am not reallllly the biggest fan of sundried tomatoes and find them to be pretty oily.

Closeup of Deliciousness

Lunch was basically last night’s dinner, and breakfast was oatmeal with peanut butter and honey. I took a pic, but honestly it looks so disgusting there’s no point in posting it. The oatmeal was so good though. I kind of stayed away from oatmeal for the past few months but I think it will be making a huge reappearance in my breakfasts. I do love it so much.

Questions of the Evening

  • Are you dressing up for Halloween?
  • What is your costume?

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Kijiji & Prank Phone Calls

Goooood morning!

So last night was very exciting. Ol’ Ando and I had our first Kijiji experience.

I know Kijiji is Canadian, so for my chums in other countries, it is a local classifieds site, similar to eBay, where you can buy and sell things.

Android is looking to sell his iPhone 3GS (I think it is crazy how much money they are still selling for) and buy, well, an Android (don’t even get me started on this, he is going to regret it). He put his phone up on the site yesterday and has already had several people contact him about it. One guy seemed legit, so Andy-pants talked to him on the phone a few times and they made a plan for him to come over last night to pick it up.

Now, this was awkward. We do not usually make a point of inviting strangers into our home, and after we invited the guy over we started to question whether that was a good idea. We knew the guy’s name so I tried googling him first to see what his story was (I am nosy and google everyone), but he had a really common name and was a tricky little minx to look up.

As we were waiting for him to arrive, our imaginations were definitely running rampant with images of what this guy could be like. What if he was in a gang, and showed up with them in tow? What if he robbed us? What if he was Freddy Krueger?

Bad news.

But anyway, no worries, it all worked out okay. Ando and I, our house, and our kitties, are all still intact. The guy actually ended up reminding me of this guy:


Cute and innocent.

And he didn’t bring a gang with him, he brought his dad.

While Ando and Michael Cera were figuring out the phone thing, his dad was regaling me with stories about prank calls, which made me think of the funniest prank call that I have ever received, about 7 years ago.

I had it saved on my answering machine for at least a year, and I made all of my friends listen to it when they came over. I still have it memorized, word for word.

It was spoken with a thick Russian accent, so it will be hard for me to get that across through words, but try to imagine it. Here goes.

“Um, hallo?! This is Yanous calling from 416-657-2693. I call you before to make ze moving for you, but you don’t call me back! We have ze truck with de strong men to make de moving, for as low as the low price of 55 dollars per hour!

We can even do the piano! You know, the one that makes de music….Bang dee bang dee bang. Umm, I don’t know how to play this, but I try.

Or the aquarium, that’s the one with ze fish in it! But in this country, you have de big places. Yanous can help you.

Call me! I am of course Yaaaaanous. Y-A-N-O-U-S. Or you know, if I am not in de place, you can speak with my colleague, his name is Bisdi! B-I-S-D-I. BISDI!

Ohhhhkay, I have to go now to make sandVICH, but I take’a your call. Okay? Bye bye.”

I was dying when I got that message. Dying. Best prank call ever. I wish I still had the recording!

Dinner

I got home a bit late yesterday with traffic and everything, so for dinner I wanted to make something quick and easy so I could get on with the leisuring.

Quinoa! (Not pasta, don’t let the dish fool you.) I used to be intimidated by cooking with quinoa, but man, it is easy. I made this deliciousness by following my friend Mel’s recipe for beans and rice (casado) recipe, only I used quinoa instead of rice. I cooked my quinoa, added a can of mixed beans in, a can of corn, some spices, salsa and shredded cheddar cheese, and it was good to go. So easy. And I love that this dish tastes meaty without having any meat in it!

I took yesterday off the workout thing, so this morning I woke up early to squeeze in a run. I ended up doing just over 4k and felt pretty good about it. Let the turkey eating commence!

I’m off for a lunch date with Andy-roo and my fam, so I will catch ya later!

Have a great Saturday!

What is the funniest prank call you have ever received?

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Cilantro, the Recipe Killa

Let it be known that I love cilantro.  I think it is bright, fresh, and sassy tasting, and I love the refreshing zip it adds when it’s included in salsa (especially Lonestar Texas Grill’s).

Let it also be known, that I fail at cooking with cilantro.  I once absolutely ruined my Mexican Lasagna with too much of it, and I almost did it again tonight with a Mexican quinoa stir fry.

As much as I like cilantro, too much of it is DISGUSTING.  It is basically all you can taste.  It overpowers everything else in the dish.

When I am cooking with it, I will add some, think it doesn’t look like enough, and add more.  It’s bad news.  I thought I learned my lesson the first time I did this… But ol’ Andy-pants has now banned me from adding cilantro to anything he is eating.

So picky.

Shmanyway, despite the cilantro incident, dinner ended up being quite yumtastic.  Thankfully, I was able to pick out most of the cilantro, and counteract the rest with a bit of lemon juice.  Phew.  Dinner saved.

I <3 Quinoa

This quinoa stir fry included onion, garlic, green pepper, corn, kidney beans, salsa, and cheddar cheese (and of course CILANTRO).  While I cooked the quinoa, I stir fried the onion and garlic for 5 minutes before adding the green pepper, corn, and kidney beans.

Colourfully Yummy

I then added the quinoa, 1 cup salsa, and 1 cup cheese to this mix (and the cilantro, but we’re leaving that out ;)), and stirred it all together.

Et voila.

Quinoa Goodness

And here’s the rest of my eats today if you’re interested (and why wouldn’t you be?)

Lunch:

Beastly Salad

A salad beast including romaine lettuce, baby spinach, grape tomatoes, shredded carrot, green onion, black beans, and cashews.  Surprisingly VERY filling and just what I needed after this cheesefest (literally)…

So Cheesy!

Now THAT is CHEESE.  Holy shmoly, that is cheese.  I decided I wasn’t feeling anything at home for breakfast this morning, so I just grabbed a banana and hit up Druxy’s as soon as I got to work for some grilled cheese action.  You choose your bread, cheese, and toppings, and I chose 12 grain bread, havarti cheese, and scrambled eggs.

I had NO idea it was going to be so cheese heavy.  Yowza.  Ah well, I cleaned my plate (or, waxed paper in this case).  It was ridiculously delicious.

Team Buy

A few months ago, TeamBuy (like Groupon, but Canadian) gave me some TeamBucks (like a gift card) to buy something on their site.  Usually gift cards burn a hole in my pocket, but this one I have been saving until I found something good that I actually wanted.  I didn’t want to spend it on something silly like $10 for $25 worth of pizza, you know.

Well I finally used most of it!  I bought a 10-class pass to a Boot Camp nearby, which I am starting tomorrow evening (wish me luck, I may die), and I used some of it today on this:

I am not a beauty expert AT ALL, but I think it’s a pretty good deal, so you guys may want to check that out!

Hope you all have a great night!

PS – I updated my Playlists page with some new beats!

PPS – Thanks for all your well wishes yesterday!  I am feeling allllll betta today!

Question of the evening:

  • Have you ever ruined a dish with too much of one ingredient?

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Some WIAW Action

Gird your loins my friends, it’s time for…

(and thank you to Peas & Crayons for being the brains behind this beautiful eating operation)

Not gonna lie, my eats were pretty stellar today.

First up!

Smoothie-Licious

Breakfast was a portable cup of delicious smoothie that included frozen strawberries, a frozen banana, fresh pineapple, and about a cup of almond milk (plus a little xanthan gum for thickening).

Portable Yumminess

I took this baby to-go, as I had a long car ride ahead.

Downtown Toronto

At least traffic was light!  I headed downtown to meet my coworker Liz, before carpooling to Brock University in St. Catharines.  We have a coaches conference coming up there in the spring so we were just doing a little site visit.

And that is where I scored my lunch.

Big Ol' Stir Fry

A giant chicken stir fry, and the cafeteria had one of those circular grills, so you pick out all your ingredients and they stir fry it in front of you.  Love those.  Why couldn’t my school have one of those?!

Our conference coordinator at the university treated us to lunch, which was a nice surprise.  She really knows the way to my heart and is currently in the running for my favourite person (in the conference coordinating category ;))

It may have been dinner that truly stole the show for me today though…

Quinoa Goodness

Protein-packed quinoa stirfry (I’ll put the recipe up at the end of this post).

I love quinoa more and more each time I eat it.  It has totally replaced rice for me, and it just has a good healthy taste.  With every bite I get the feeling that I am eating something that is so absolutely good for me, and I love it.  Of course it helps that it is tasty.

I Love You, Quinoa

Friends, if you are on the fence about trying quinoa because it has kind of a weird appearance, just buck up and do it.  You will not regret it.  It is fast becoming my favourite easy meal.

I am off to hit the pavement for a run (didn’t happen this morning, whoooops!)  I will see you cheeky minxes later!

Here is the recipe:

Protein-Packed Quinoa Stirfry

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 can any kind beans, rinsed (I used a bean medley that included chick peas, kidney beans and white beans)
  • 1 can green beans, rinsed (you could also use fresh, but I only had canned)
  • half a large red onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup salsa

Directions

1. In a large skillet sprayed with cooking spray (I used olive oil spray, or you could just use a couple teaspoons of oil), add your gaaaahlic and onion.  Cook on low for about 6-8 minutes until translucent.

2. Add both cans of beans, stir, and continue to cook until the beans are warm.

Beannnnnnns

3. Add in the cooked quinoa, stir.

4. Add in the salsa, and stir it alllll together.

Annnnd, deliciousness is born 😉

Stay full, my friends 🙂

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Another Day, Another Quinoa Stir Fry

Bonjour!

It is another gorge day here!  I was back to that regular work thang today, so I spent most of the day sitting indoors at my desk, but ho hum pig’s bum, what can ya do?  Hurrah for weather that is finally May-like, at least.

Today got off to a good start with my morning meal!

Kashi Go Lean Crunch

(Side note: I love how sunny and bright it is in the morning’s these days!  Not only are my breakfast pics better, but I wake up feeling naaaiiiice.  I think I may have to start up morning running again…if I can make myself get up early enough.)

Shmanyways, b-fast was Kashi Go Lean Crunch cereal with 1% milk and raspberries.  I don’t eat cereal on its own very often (I prefer to add it on top of Greek yogurt for a little crunch) because I have a seeeeerious problem with portion control.  One serving of cereal is so little!  Half a cup?  Psh, come on.  That will not fill me up in the a.m. (not like oatmeal!), so this was probably two servings…maybe a little more?  Yummy though.

And on the bright side, I saw a list of best cereal’s on the Men’s Health website a little while ago, and Kashi Go Lean Crunch was on it.  So, probably better than two servings of Cap’n Crunch (used to be my FAVE when I was younger ;)).

A leftover quinoa stir fry was consumed for lunch.

Woo, Quinoa!

(I forgot my iPhone in the car and I was too lazy to run down to the parking garage to get it, so I took this crappy pic on my computer’s cam.  You like it.)

I made this quinoa yesterday, and it was basically a variation of the quinoa dishes I have been making over the last several weeks (which can all be found on the ol’ recipe page).  No beans or chickpeas this time, but it included spinach, red pepper, onion, garlic, green onion, and quinoa with a bit of balsamic vinegar.  I cooked the onion and garlic first in a bit of olive oil, then added the veggies, cooked for another five minutes or so, added the cooked quinoa to the pan, added the vinegar, and stirred everything together.

This is what it looked like last night when I made it…

Deeeeeelish

Much better than my crappy computer snapshot (and PS I served this alongside some delishy fishy).

I am LOVING these quinoa dishes!  If you haven’t tried quinoa yet, DO IT!  Also, I want to mention that I cook my quinoa in water, not broth.  I heard from two separate people that they only thought quinoa was okay, and they both cooked it in broth.  I don’t know if that makes the difference, because I haven’t tried it in broth, but when I cook it with water I think it is yummy to the max.  If you tried cooking it in broth and didn’t enjoy it, try water.

Now for dinnah…

Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas

This was one of the very first dishes I made when I started this blog, awww (recipe is linked there if you want to check it out!).  I seriously used to make these all the time, but I haven’t in months. They are an Ando fave.

Some enchilada goodness fell out of the back there, but not to worry, I took care of it ;).  For being on the healthy side, these are deliciously yummy.  I have missed them.

Workout

Tonight’s workout was BodyPump!  We had a sub instructor and she wasn’t as good as the reg, but I still got a great workout.  That bicep track on the latest release is killer, and she switched up the chest track to a tricky one as well.  My arms and chest are burning.  I haven’t been to the ol’ Pump in a week though, so it was good to make my muscles scream!

I really wish I could do BodyPump in the a.m., because with the class, station set-up and take-down, and travel time to the gym, it takes at least an hour and a half out of my evening, phew!  Unfortunately, my gym doesn’t offer BodyPump in the morning until 9am, much too late for me…

What time of day do you prefer to workout?
I would much prefer to workout in the mornings, and then I don’t have to worry about it for the rest of the day.  I hope to start running in the morning before work.  Maybe tomorrow?  We’ll see, don’t get too excited…

I found an article from Women’s Health on losing weight while working in an office that I thought was intriguing, check it out!  Some good tips, and I especially liked #4, scheduling snacks.  I am a GIANT fan of snack scheduling!  And tip #9, place bets.  Andmo’s mom had a Biggest Loser competition at her work and lost 22 pounds!  She used Weight Watchers, and it worked amazingly for her.

But I am outta here.  S’laters!

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