Sunday, October 18, 2009

discovering quinoa

I heard a lot about quinoa this year, but had yet to try it. I'm still not really sure it is, but from what I understand, it's a seed that has amazing nutritional properties. It's a whole grain, gluten free, and according to our bag, it's "an exceptional source of protein containing all eight essential amino acids and is high in iron, calcium, magnesium, B vitamins and fiber." A while back, we found organic quinoa, by Earthly Delights brand, at Costco of all places and decided to buy a 4 lb bag.

Well the 4 lb bag sat for a while...hey I was out getting married & honeymooning and such. And I guess I wasn't really sure what to do with the mysterious quinoa. But this month, my copy of Food & Wine arrived in the mail, and in it I found the most delicious sounding recipe: Bacon Quinoa with Almonds and Herbs. Can't go wrong with bacon right?

Right! It was a great recipe, and pretty easy too. I've used it twice in the past 2 weeks! I would definitely recommend it if you need a good quinoa recipe! You can prep the herbs in advance, and then the actual cooking time only takes about 30 minutes. The article said this makes a good side dish, but honestly, it's so filling, you can make it a whole meal. Now that I've had quinoa, I wish I could describe it, but I can't. It's just a new and different taste all its own.

Here's some pics to enjoy:

I'm usually not a big fan of parsley, but the fresh parsley went really well with this dish.

We toasted our own almonds. The recipe called for toasted, slivered almonds, but I had a several pound bag in the fridge from Costco and didn't want to waste money on a small bag of slivered almonds. So we just threw our almonds in the food processor and did something more of almond chunks, then toasted in the oven. I think they turned out just as good!

The complete dish in the pot:

The finished product! I also made a side salad of diced yellow & green peppers and cucumbers. I have become a HUGE fan of making my own dressing...ever since Raegan got me hooked on her homemade dressing. It's really fun and it tastes different every time. This dressing was fresh squeezed lemon juice from 3 lemons, white wine vinegar, olive oil, and the leftover fresh chives & parsley from the quinoa recipe. Also had whole grain mustard, roasted garlic, salt & pepper. Yum! And a little feta on top :)

Friday, October 16, 2009

disney wine & dine 2010

It's been a while since I've blogged, so you know it has to be reeeeeeeeally important for me to make this update. Disney added a new race to 2010 - the Wine & Dine Half Marathon!!! Oh my gosh! Can we think of any event that is more perfect for me!? Who's in? We can even do a 2-person relay!

Reasons why this is my dream event:

1 - it's run at night! Finally, a race where I don't have to be up at the crack of dawn (or earlier).
2 - after party at the Food & Wine Festival - as you may recall, this has become a family tradition and I look forward to it every yr!
3 - it's only a half! so only half the training, half the pain, etc. you get the picture!
4 - did i mention Disney World? this place is becoming my magical second home, apparently

Hit me up if you want to go! We have a year to train, that's more than enough time! :)