Saturday Small Talk

This is truly a glorious weekend. I’m on the east coast. Spending precious time with sweet friends. Friends that I don’t get to see often enough. Friends that I cherish. Glorious weekend, indeed.

I probably won’t get to it this weekend, but I love making eggs benedict. It’s not impossible, but it definitely is tricky. To make the process a bit easier, check out this tutorial for slow poaching eggs. Maybe you could make English muffin bread to go with your poached eggs!

If oats are more your thing, here’s a recipe for green monster overnight oats. Sneak in a serving of greens with your breakfast.

I have camping on the brain recently. It’s spring! The Art of Manliness has a great post about cooking over the campfire. In addition, check out these homemade marshmallows. They’re a thing. I intend to make them this summer. Many times.

Recently, I feel like I have more question marks in my life than I do answers. Jon Acuff wrote a great post entitled “A Map and a Plan.”

I discovered a lovely blog! Stone Soup. From the author: First of all Stonesoup is a blog about deliciousness. Food that tastes good and is also good for us. The fact that the majority of the recipes here contain 5 ingredients and can be made in minutes is a bonus.

I hope that your Saturday will prove to be lovely and joy-filled!

Don Miller wrote a great piece about Why Conflict in Life is Terrific. I’m totally not a conflict kind of person (who is?), but I get what he’s laying down.

March recap

The first few months of the year seem to go so fast. We’re already a quarter of the way through 2012! It’ll be summer (beach weather!) before we know it.

This month, I whittled my middle. Am I actually more toned? Not really sure. But I stuck with it! I went from a 30 second plank to a 70 second one. For that alone, I’m ridiculously proud. Adding 10 seconds a week didn’t feel like torture, and it added up over the course of the month.

I cooked! I made white chicken chili, meatballs, and quinoa. I even attempted chicken cacciatore.

I’m a running goddess. I finished the coach to 5k plan, and have run 3.1 miles twice thus far. Onward and upward!

I signed up for a sprint triathlon! I’m so excited. I have a little over two months to get ready for it.

I traveled more than I planned on this month. That’s always a good time! I spent a weekend in Iowa, and then the next weekend made a spontaneous trip to Michigan. Right now, I’m in Washington, DC. I love road trips!

Enjoy the last couple days of this fine month!

Quinoa Chili Salad

Let’s talk about quinoa (KEEN-wah), shall we? It’s pretty neat.

Some fast facts about quinoa:

  • It’s gluten free. It’s closer related to spinach than it is to any grain.
  • It is a complete protein: it has all 9 amino acids packed into each little seed.
  • It’s high in magnesium (good for heart health. helpful to counteract high blood pressure or high cholesterol)
  • Antioxidants! Quinoa is super high in them, so it will keep your red blood cells safe from free radicals that want to attack.
  • Any benefit that can get from eating whole grains, you will get from eating quinoa, only it’s gluten free.

Convinced yet? Aside from it being good for you, it’s super easy to make. You cook it much like rice or couscous (1 part quinoa, 2 cups liquid), but it cooks up in about 15 minutes. Any dish that you want to eat with rice, you can substitute quinoa.

Here’s a quick and tasty weeknight dinner to get you started on your love affair with quinoa. This is an easy dish to make ahead, as you can serve it hot or cold. It can be the main dish, or you can use it as a side.

Quinoa Chili Salad

Adapted from fANNEtastic Food

You’ll need:

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup broth (veggie or chicken)
  • 1 cup kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 small green pepper, diced
  • 1/2 small onion, diced
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Step 1: Prepare your quinoa. Combine 1 cup quinoa in 1 cup water and 1 cup broth. Boil, then reduce to a simmer until all the liquid is absorbed (12-15 minutes).

Step 2: While that’s happening, chop your veggies and mix them all up with the seasonings.

Step 3: Allow the quinoa to cool a little (it doesn’t need to be cold, you just don’t want it piping hot). Combine all ingredients with the quinoa in a large bowl.

Serve! You can eat this as a hot or a cold dish. As an entree, it will serve 3; however, as a side dish, it could easily serve up to 6.

I wanna know: Discovered any new-to-you, awesome foods recently?