Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Quinoa, Quirks, and Quotes

The 3 Q's. Or at least my 3 current favorite ones.
-Quinoa: That little high protein grain/fruit that is just so CUTE. It's like a little ball with a tail on it. Which of course leads us to number two:
-Quirks: I'm full of them. I do some pretty random stuff. I'm a little OCD, and I periodically exclaim random things. Often these things are related to number three:
-Quotes: I just love them. They make great conversation starters and continuers. They can inspire you or bring tears to your eyes. It doesn't even really matter if they are cliche. They just brighten up our world!

So today, you get all three! YIPPEE!!! (rhyming... falls under category number two. Although often, related to category number three. Not too many words rhyme with quinoa, so I think we're safe on that front.)

Italian Veggie Quinoa 'Risotto'
1 Portabella Mushroom Cap, diced
1 Cup Cauliflower Florets, diced
1/2 Medium Zucchini, sliced into Coins
1 Tablespoon EVOO
2 Cups Vegetable Broth
1/2 Cup Quinoa
1/2 tsp. Basil
1/2 tsp Oregano
1/4 tsp california lemon peel, or lemon zest
Salt and pepper to taste
  1. In pan or wok, heat oil on medium high. Add mushroom, cauliflower, and zucchini. Cook until tender and soft. 
  2. Add quinoa and cook for 30-45 seconds to lightly toast it
  3. Add first cupful vegetable broth, about 1/2 cup at a time. Allow most of it to be absorbed by quinoa before adding second 1/2 cupful.
  4. Add last cup of vegetable broth and cover, reducing heat to low-medium. WALK AWAY and leave for at least 5 minutes. Go for 10 if you can bear the suspense (I couldn't).
  5. Stir it up and make sure all liquid is absorbed. Add spices. Serve and ENJOY!
1 Medium Tomato- about 5 oz
1/4 cup low-fat cottage cheese
Black Pepper
Onion Flakes
Italian Seasoning
1 tsp. Parmesan Cheese, or Nutritional Yeast for Vegans

1. Preheat oven to 250.
2. Cut circle in top of tomato to remove 'lid'- don't cut all the way down through the tomato, just most of the way so you can remove the core. Do your best to hollow it out, making enough room for cottage cheese mixture to go inside.
3. Combine remaining ingredients (all spices are a pinch unless otherwise noted, or to taste.) Using a spoon, stuff into hollowed out tomato.
4. Bake in shallow glass pan for 15-20 minutes, until tomato begins to get soft and cheese mixture gets a little 'oozy'. Serve and ENJOY (with quinoa, rice pilaf, or fluffy Italian bread and green salad.)

Now for the quirks. I noticed as I was writing this post that the tomato ingredients look like an hourglass. This pleased me to no end, for no particular reason whatsoever, except that it's cool. I just like random things, as I mentioned before. I'm a runner. As my XC coach would say, "It's all that oxygen debt catching up with your brain." And I wouldn't disagree with him. My team is crazy.

If you've never had the privilege of being on a XC team, let me just say: you missed out. My team in particular is the most awkward, fun-loving, supportive, kind, generous, silly, happy bunch of teenage girls on the planet. For instance, we did a scavenger hunt run/photo shoot (AKA a 'kodak run'). In every single picture we had to take, someone is doing something completely outrageous, just because that's how we are. Here's some examples:
Notice girl hiding underneath truck... or me posing like a model

Pretending to eat ice front of the closed sign
"Oh look a boat! We need a picture of that!" "Ok! (hops in)" "Sarah, you can't just go on to someone's boat!" "We needed a picture..."
And I've mentioned my little OCD-ishness before. Well, Pinterest drives me nuts every few weeks. I accumulate so many pinned recipes from all of my favorite blogs that I don't know what category to put them in and I have to create whole-new boards and rearrange EVERYTHING. It takes hours.
I love it.
I mean, take a peek at my neat freak grocery list:

But you've probably stopped reading this post by now, since it's far too long. In fact, you just scrolled down to the recipe to see how to make some new food. Don't worry. I've done it, too. No hard feelings. After all, among my quirks: talking to myself randomly. Or singing. Or humming. Like Winnie the Pooh. (he's sooo CUTE. <-- #2)

We'll end on a quote, since I absolutely love them. I hope you enjoy this one (it applies quite nicely to my culinary journey, particularly the baking aspect):
SUCCESS is going from FAILURE to FAILURE without a LOSS OF ENTHUSIASM. ~Winston Churchill

Question Time! I've already shared a bit about my XC team: have you ever participated in organized sports or exercise? Tell me about the great (or not so great) times you had and the funny shenanigans that occurred.

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