Posts Tagged ‘protein’

Yes, I’m on a quinoa kick. I had all this left over from making the Quinoa and Sweet Potato Cakes. So, what to do? Make Tabouleh!

For all you traditionalists out there, I know, I know. Tabouleh is made with Bulgar. And I am a traditionalist with some subjects too. Just not this one.

Quinoa Tabouleh

2 cups cooked quinoa
1 medium tomato, chopped
1/2 small onion, finely diced
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
1 lime juiced and zested
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/8 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

* I had a lime that needed using. 1/4 had been cut off for something else so I chose it for this recipe out of necessity. Use what you’ve got!

In a small bowl combine lime and zest, lemon, olive oil, salt and pepper. Whisk and set aside.

Combine all other ingredients. Toss and top with dressing. Allow to sit so flavors meld for some time.

You could really do anything you like with this. Add other veggies and seasonings. Cook the quinoa in vegetable or chicken stock to add flavor. Having something like this in the refrigerator is a great way to help encourage healthy eating. It makes a perfect snack. You know we should be eating 5-6 small meals a day, right? That isn’t always easy. We don’t have time to chop and cook mid morning or afternoon. Make things like this ahead of time and be READY. This offers protein and nutrients in the quinoa, healthy fats in the oil, health benefits in the parsley and veggies. Pair it with lean meat or hard boiled eggs and cucumber slices or other fresh veggies and you have a great lunch or dinner.

Oh, and it’s super frugal!

Let me know what you think!

Live Well!

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I am in love with sweet potato. And quinoa. Both are some of the most wholesome foods you can nourish your body with.

I really like making “cakes” of all kinds. Brown rice cakes, amaranth and Farro cakes. I started years ago with potato pancakes, but have evolved tremendously. You can mix any vegetables you have on hand with a grain, some seasoning, veggies and eggs and you have a delightful little patty of goodness.

These are incredible!

Quinoa and Sweet Potato Cakes

1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for frying
1 small onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup grated sweet potato
1/4 teaspoon coriander
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon rosemary
2 eggs
1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 tablespoon chopped chives

*I like adding cilantro to these also, but if you aren’t a lover of cilantro than skip it for sure.

Bring 1 cup of water to a boil, add quinoa and half the sea salt. Stir, reduce heat to medium low and cover. Allow to cook 15-20 minutes, until the water has absorbed. You can add great flavor by using chicken or vegetable stock instead of water. Allow to cool.

Saute onions and garlic in oil 3-4 minutes. Add sweet potato, salt, pepper, coriander and rosemary. Cook for another 3-4 minutes.

Whisk eggs, bread crumbs and remainder of seasonings in a bowl. Add the quinoa and sweet potato and mix well.

Shape about 1/4c of mixture into cakes. Fry the cakes in olive oil over medium heat until browned. Be sure to not over crowd the pan.

These are great served with a spicy aioli or herbed sour cream. Excellent set on a bed of baby greens. Don’t be afraid to play with the seasoning. Add some curry or cumin. Some fresh basil, a little lemon zest.

They are also a very frugal dinner option. Quinoa has the highest amount of protein of any “grain” (it’s actually a seed). If you are looking for a healthy meat free option, this is it!

Eat your sweet potatoes! And quinoa!

Live Well!

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For all my vegetarian friends look away now, while you can……

Pork is a far leaner meat than many might expect. Pigs are now raised to be so. However, it can be tricky to cook well. It dries out pretty quickly if you aren’t careful. The loin is the leanest cut, and because of that, the one that dries out the quickest. I am NO expert on meat here, but I do know that the flavor is in the fat. And that not all pigs are created… or raised, equally. Generally, the “supermarket” pork is leaner than those home-grown or specialty grown. Now, you don’t get fat from eating fat… believe it or not! However, many people are still looking for lean cuts of meat. And that is what you have with pork sirloin steaks.

Here is my favorite way to cook them. It adds lots of flavor, which might be missing along with the fat. And the marinade helps keep it moist. It also helps keep you from over cooking it, since all the chili goodness will just burn up if you do.

Adobo Pork Sirloin

1 lime, juiced and zested
1/2t oregano
1T ground cumin
1T minced garlic (mince with a pinch of salt to “melt”)
1-2T chilis in adobo sauce
4-6 pork sirloin steaks, these are boneless

*Tip – put left over chilis in adobo in a snack sized zipper bag, roll/press into a log shape, then freeze. When you need some, simply peel the bag back and slice off desired amount. The rest, first bag and all, can go back in a second bag if you must tear the first to get it out. This makes it VERY easy to slice and use just the right amount.

Mix all the ingredients in a large pan, being sure to mash up the chilis to form the marinade. Toss the pork in the sauce and marinate for 1 hour or more in the refrigerator. Grill on a lightly oiled grill for 4-5 minutes per side if they are thick. A bit less if they are thinner. Of course.

Pork is generally cooked to an internal temp of 160 degrees (National Pork Board recommendation – yes, there is a National Pork Board), but is actually safe medium rare. I don’t eat it medium rare. Ever. But, many gourmet chefs prefer to cook pork to an internal temp of 145-150 degrees.

**This is spicy! Hence the “chili”. If you want to soften it up a bit cut the chili in adobo to 1T or less and add 1-2T of olive oil.

I like serving this with Cilantro Rice and my Easy Fresh Salsa with homemade flax tortilla chips. (I will post links soon)

What is your favorite Pork Sirloin recipe?

Live Well!

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Whoa! I’m on a roll this week.

This is my new favorite smoothie creation. So good. I was getting board of the usual, as I often do. And I had some sunflower seeds that had been in the pantry for quite some time that needed using. This is what I came up with.

Coconut Nut Smoothie

1/3 banana (I freeze the rest)
3 large chunks pineapple
1 handful organic unsweetened coconut
1 handful unsalted sunflower seeds
2 hands full spinach
1 c coconut milk
1 scoop vanilla protein powder

Combine and blend!

It’s nutty with a hint of coconut and not too sweet. The nuts can leave small bits if not processed well. I don’t mind it, but you could soak the nuts in water for a few hours or overnight to eliminate that. Use the water for cooking pasta or watering plants. My dogs love it.

Live Well!





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Oh my! I just created this and couldn’t wait to tell you about it.

I was at the market picking up haddock for dinner when the salmon caught my eye. I had no idea just how I would prepare it, but had to have some for lunch. So I ordered a sliver and home I went.

I whipped this up in under 10 minutes! It cost only a couple of dollars, but was more satisfying than most of the lunches I have purchased at great restaurants.

Salmon with Spinach and Salsa

Spinach – 2-3 handfuls per serving
Salsa – 2-3 T per serving
ground ginger – 1/4 t per serving
Onion powder – 1/8 t per serving
Curry powder – 1/8 t per serving
Sea salt – pinch
Pepper – pinch
Lemon – a squeeze per serving
Olive oil – 1 T
1 t sesame or ground flax seed

Heat cast iron skillet over medium heat. Season salmon with dried seasonings. Squeeze a bit of lemon over salmon. Add oil to pan and sear salmon 2 minutes per side. Remove to a plate. Add spinach to the pan and toss until slightly wilted. Add salsa until just warm through. Add to plate and sprinkle with seeds.


  • Be sure to grind the seed when using flax. They are better digested and you get the most effect.
  • I keep home-made salsa in the fridge. Be sure you are using a clean, sugar-free, preservative free recipe.
  • Depending on your training/diet plan you may need some carbs with this. Add some brown rice or quinoa. Drizzled with a bit of low sodium soy sauce. Yum!
  • The serving of fish cost me $2 ($7.99 per pound). With the spinach and salsa I think this was under $4 for the serving.
  • If you don’t care for the “fishiness” of salmon try this one! The herbs and salsa really cut that.
  • Be sure you are buying wild caught fish. Always.
  • Did I mention I made it in under 10 minutes? Gathering and returning the supplies. Quick. Easy.

Let me know what you think!

Live Well!

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This is one of my all time favorites! There is just something about cooked olives. They take on this meaty, warm flavor. Yum.

Chicken and Olives

2-3 lbs chicken – boneless, bone in doesn’t matter
1 c olives – I like mixed pitted
1 small onion
1 small fennel bulb
6-8 crimini mushrooms
1/2 c chicken broth
1 t rosemary
1 t sea salt
1/2 t pepper
2 T olive oil

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Pat chicken dry and season with salt, pepper and rosemary. In an oven safe skillet – I prefer cast iron – heat olive oil. Brown chicken on both sides. Remove to a plate. Saute onion, fennel and onion 2 minutes. Add chicken back to pan with olives and broth. Cook in the oven 30-40 minutes until chicken is cooked through.

You can make this without the broth. I have and loved it. This picture is actually without the broth and with kalamata olives. Use what you have. This is a super easy dish and goes great with just about anything. And believe it or not makes eating chicken for the third time this week NOT boring.

Live Well!

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Pot roast is one of those things I always hated. Bleck.

When the vegetables turned to mush, meat became gelatinous and potatoes turned to something close to paste.

Then I got serious about creating a better way, and this is what happened!

Perfect Pot Roast

Roast 4-6 lb.
Carrots 4-6  (1-2 per person) chunked
Onion  1 medium chopped
Fennel  1 small sliced
Crimini mushrooms 6-8 quartered
Shiitake mushrooms 5-6 sliced
Red wine 1/2 – 3/4 c
Sea salt 2 t
Pepper 1-2 t
Rosemary 1-2 t
Crushed red pepper 1 t
Garlic 4-5 cloves smashed or minced
Olive oil 2-3 T

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Season the meat with salt, pepper, red pepper and rosemary making a thick base to crust.

In a heavy bottom pot (I use a cast iron dutch oven). Heat the oil over medium heat. Sear the meat on all sides. Remove the roast to a plate.

Add a bit more oil to the pan. Add veggies and garlic. Saute 2-.3 minutes. You don’t want to cook them through! Just sear the outsides a bit.
Now, add the wine and scrape the bits off the bottom.

Add the meat back to the pot. Place the pot, covered, in the oven and cook for 3 1/2 – 4 hours.

And, you have this…..

Notice, I do not, repeat, do NOT add potatoes. There is something just wrong about potatoes soaking for hours in warm liquid.

Recipe blog fail… I over cooked the veggies in the “on the stove top” stage this time. As you can see. While trying to write blogs, wrangle dogs who have been cooped up too long and chat with just home from school teenagers who love to chatter. They were soft. Too soft. But they don’t have to be. If you hate soft though, you might add the fennel later. About half way through cooking. They tend to get soft. Along with the onions. And don’t add too much wine. The meat will add juice. Too much and you have soup.

If you choose a lean meat you have a delightfully healthy meal. There are no added sugars or fats. No starchy potatoes. Serve it with some healthy greens and feel good about dinner!


 Live Well!

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