Thursday, March 14, 2013

Balsamic Quinoa Veggie "Salad"

I attended a baby shower at work yesterday; I love baby showers, mostly because I love the opportunity to shop for baby clothes.  It was a lot of fun, and there was this grape “salad” that someone brought that was so good (luckily it was GF).  I asked her for the recipe, I’m going to have to share it at some point.  I don’t know where she got it from but I haven’t had anything like it.  Anyway, there were lots of cute baby clothes, lots of fun with some of the ladies I work with.  I really am lucky, I actually like the people I work with!

On another note, since I had that bad cold and ended up on antibiotics for the resulting bronchitis and sinus infection my immune system has been after my thyroid.  The exhaustion, aching, hair loss and brain fog are back.  Yuck!  I had a bit of a scary moment yesterday on my way home from work.  I was sitting at a light downtown, which I do every day after I leave my parking garage, I let my mind wander for a second then when I came back I forgot where I was.  I wasn’t sure where to turn.  It only took a split-second to come back but it was a scary moment.  That’s when I decided that I’m going to eat as clean as possible the next couple of weeks to get this kicked.  No more eating out, other than when I have to travel for work, I can’t avoid that, but at home I will only eat the food I have prepared.  Healthy, fresh, healing, that’s the mantra for the next few weeks.

Last night I had a green smoothie for dinner, I added some ground flax for fiber and whatever other benefits it provides.  I always feel good drinking it, anything that green (from the spinach) can only be good for me.  I also made a great salad of sorts for lunch today, the recipe is listed below, hopefully you enjoy it as much as I did.  It contains about two servings; I guess it depends on how hungry you are.  I ate half and felt quite full.

Balsamic Quinoa Veggie Salad, makes about 2 servings
(dressing ingredients also listed below)

½ cup quinoa, uncooked
1 cup fat free low-sodium chicken broth
1 tsp olive oil
1 T balsamic vinegar
½ cup chickpeans (if you use canned make sure you drain and rinse well)
½ cup chopped English cucumber
½ cup chopped broccoli
½ cup chopped grape tomatoes
1-2 scallions, chopped finely
3 T crumbled feta

Dressing ingredients:
½ T Dijon mustard
2 T balsamic vinegar (I love vinegar, you may want less)
2 T extra virgin olive oil
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste

1.      Rinse quinoa well then place in a preheated skillet with olive oil to toast just a bit (be careful not to burn it, stir frequently)
2.      Add chicken broth to the pan and bring to a boil, turn heat down and simmer for about 18 minutes or until the broth is completely absorbed
3.      Remove quinoa from the heat and put in a storage container, add the chickpeas and the balsamic vinegar while still warm and mix well (I love vinegar, if you don’t like too strong a taste of vinegar you may want to skip this)
4.      Refrigerate overnight
5.      Dump all of the dressing ingredients into a container (I use a small ball jar) and shake well
6.      Chop up all of the veggies and add to the quinoa along with the feta cheese, top with the dressing and mix well, refrigerate until ready to eat

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