zesty quinoa

Zesty Quinoa Salad

With the new year officially in tow (Happy 2014!) I’m sure many of you are looking to check a few resolutions off the list – some of which might include adopting a new healthier diet or dropping a few post-holiday pounds. In my opinion quinoa brings you the best of both worlds – it is a superfood packed with nutrients that stays low in calories and as a bonus is super tasty! It is a complete protein (supplying you with all 9 essential amino acids) AND is cholesterol & gluten-free! No wonder it was called “the gold of the Incas” 😉

Zesty Quinoa Salad

This quinoa salad won’t disappoint. It’s full of color and flavor that packs a punch. Fresh ginger and garlic add a spicy note while golden raisins add a touch of sweetness for the perfect combination. Get excited – your path to this deliciousness begins now.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 c. quinoa
  • 2 tsp.  ground cayenne
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, chopped
  • 1/2 large red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 TBSP Extra-Virgen Olive Oil
  • 3 scallions, sliced
  • 3/4 c. (1/2 can) chickpeas
  • 1/4 c. diced red onion
  • 1/4 c. (handful) cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1/4 c. (handful) golden raisins
  • salt & pepper

MAKES 2 SCRUMPTOUS SERVINGS

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Start by cooking the quinoa – preferably in broth of some sort for added flavor. Next, chop up the fresh ginger, garlic, red onion, bell pepper, tomatoes and scallions. Once the quinoa is fully cooked, combine it with the veggies (except the scallions) in a large bowl. Add in the EVOO, lemon juice and ground cayenne. Pour in half a can of chickpeas, mix it all up, and top it off with scallions, raisins and a touch of salt & pepper! Delish and super easy to make – eat up and enjoy 🙂

Click here to see the nutrition facts

Don’t forget to subscribe for more healthy recipes & comment below if you try this one out! For another way to enjoy this tasty superfood, take a trip to the Caribbean with my Pineapple Quinoa Salad!

xo SkinnyGirl

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Tropical Fried Rice

Tropical Fried Rice

fried rice

Today I’m sharing one of my very favorite recipes! I don’t know if you’re like me, but I can eat ridiculous amounts of fried rice. When I go to Benihana I eat more than should be humanly possible. In homage to my love for the stuff I came up with this healthy version so that I no longer have to feel bad about eating an absurd amount of food. Also, spice lovers rejoice: I’m heating up the kitchen with this one, get ready.

You’ll Need:

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 lb shrimp
  • 2 c whole grain brown rice (I used organic)
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1- 2 habanero peppers finely chopped (depending on your spice tolerance)
  • ½ onion diced
  • ½ red onion diced
  • 1 bell pepper (I used green) diced
  • 6 tbsp soy or tamari sauce
  • 1 tbsp grapeseed oil (or canola oil)
  • ½ pineapple core, diced into chunks (or 1 can of pineapple chunks)
  • 1 small mango, peeled & diced
  • 1 small head broccoli, chopped in florets
  • 3 tsp cayenne powder
  • 3 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 TBSP sriracha (OPTIONAL)
  • 3 c. chicken stock (OPTIONAL) for rice

Makes 8 good-sized servings

Click to view nutrition facts

Start by cooking your rice. I like to cook my rice in chicken stock because it give the rice a richer flavor & chicken stock is very low in calories. If you read my last post then you know my favorite brand to use is Pacific Foods.

After you’ve got the rice going, chop up your veggies, peppers, pineapple & mango, & mince the garlic.

Heat up your skillet & pour in one tablespoon of grapeseed oil, then season the shrimp with salt, pepper, and 2 tsp of cayenne, garlic powder, and oregano. Cook the seasoned shrimp in the skillet with 2 teaspoons of the minced garlic. After cooking the shrimp for about 2 minutes, add in the remaining vegetables & fruits – including the rest of the garlic.

fried rice

In a smaller, separate skillet scramble the 4 eggs with salt & pepper. Your rice should be about done now so you can pour it into the shrimp skillet & add the eggs once they are finished cooking.

Add the remaining cayenne & garlic powder (1 teaspoon, each) into the skillet & stir. Mix in 6 tablespoons of soy or tamari sauce (I happened to have tamari so I used that) & sprinkle with salt & pepper.

If you really want to set your mouth on fire add the optional tablespoon of Sriracha (I’m obsessed with the Rooster). However, be warned – this will be VERY spicy! Only add the extra spice if you REALLY REALLY LOVE spicy food like myself 🙂

This recipe is so full of flavor and healthy! The great thing about spice is that it kicks up the metabolism & can actually help you lose weight – so eat up & enjoy the fruits & veggies. The amazing thing about this recipe is that the whole thing only has 1 tablespoon of oil, but trust me, you will LOVE it! Each serving is only 329 calories so fill up that plate 😉

Don’t forget to join the cool kids club: subscribe on the left to stay updated on all the healthy recipes & tips that I’ve got to offer! Happy cooking!

-SkinnyGirl