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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Zucchini 'Pasta" and Quinoa

I constantly have to remind myself that running is not a reason to eat anything and everything I want.  I need to fuel my running schedule with healthy eating habits.  

3 Miles doesn't make me entitled to a Big Mac or an ice cream cone on the go if you are this guy.

And hey... 
every pound I can lose from here to May 
is one less pound  have to haul around for 26 miles. 

Over the past few months I have been doing a better job with healthy eating- with a few slip ups here and there.

I also have to remind myself that I don't need large amounts of pasta rice and breads to fuel my runs.  While I don't cut this group out completely, I have been looking for some low carb alternatives that can satisfy my love for everything carby. 

Up this week:
Zucchini instead of pasta and Quinoa instead of rice.  
And that is how Zucchini "Pasta" and Quinoa was born.  

1 Red Pepper
1 1/4 C Quinoa
2 Zucchini 
1 Lemon
1 Onion
(Chicken breast and Whole Wheat Bread Crumbs Optional)

Caramelize Onions
Cook Chicken
Cut and Cook Zucchini
Roast Red Peppers
Cook Quinoa

I am super impatient so caramelizing onions is always a struggle.  
I cooked 1 sliced onion low and slow for about 40 minutes
 until they looked brown and gooey.  Or close enough to that.

They probably could have gone a little longer
 but I was hungry and bed time was approaching. 

Next I threw the chicken in the oven.
  I dipped chicken breast in whole wheat bread crumbs (used a little bit of water instead of flour and egg)  and baked them at 400 degrees until they were cooked through.  

I was pretty excited and terrified to use my new mandolin.  I used it to cut the zucchini into strips to fool my brain into thinking it was pasta.  I used the guard and managed to slice two zucchinis unharmed.  
No phalanges were harmed in the process. 

Once they were sliced up, I threw them in a pan (onion pan) for about four minutes with olive  oil salt and pepper.  I like them crunchy and I knew they would cook a little longer when I threw them back in the pan later.

I have an electric burner 
so I decided to roast the red peppers under the broiler.  
I sliced them up and arranged them on a baking sheet.  
I turned them every few minutes and roasted them until the skin was starting to blacken.  
Keep an eye on these or you will forget about them and burn them.  
I do that with bread... often. 
I am my mother's daughter.  

Once you pull them out of the oven, throw them right into a sealed tupperware container for about ten minutes.  The steam will make it easier to take off the blackened peel. 

I had no idea how to cook quinoa and thought it would be pretty complicated.  To my surprise it tasted like rice, was healthier, and easier. BAM  

 I followed Whole Foods instructions:   add 1 1/4 cups quinoa, to 2 1/2 cups of water and 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer, covered, until quinoa is tender but still chewy and a white spiral-like germ appears around each grain, about 15 minutes. 

Once again I used the same pan (I hate doing dishes) and some zucchini snuck into the quinoa- oh well.    I diced up my red bell pepper and some cheese, and threw everything back into the pan.  

I cooked it for another minute or two, until everything was warm and the cheese had melted.  I added salt, pepper, garlic powder, lemon juice, and lemon zest.

The colors and textures and freshness really made the dish for me. I added some of the chicken on top to make the meal a little more filling.  But the chicken didn't really add anything and the dish would have been just as delicious without it.  

I am super excited to make this again 
and maybe even try some different veggies.

Healthy, simple ingredients, and I got to use Quinoa for the first time!
  I am obsessed with Quinoa- it is delicious-
 Thanks Jill.

All of these food pictures and my run this morning 
are making me so so hungry. I wish running didn't make me so hungry all the time.  It can be pretty counter productive. 

I started off my morning by taking the dogs out for a nice and slow 6 mile run in the rain before work.  
Thankfully my Lulu coat kept me nice and dry.  

I love my Garmin and I love that it is water proof.  
Nice feature for a New England Spring. 

It was 34 degrees out but I am stubborn 
and wanted to wear my new shorts. 
My thighs were numb and red. 
A runner can never be too colorful 
or have too much neon.  

Olive ran 6 miles while the 11 year old 
Great Dane joined us for the last mile.
A good run and some sleepy pups will make for a good day at work.  
I am really starting to enjoy this change in my running routine.
Except for the super hungry mornings. 

What is your favorite Quinoa recipe?

Anyone know any Great Danes who are 11 years old and can actually run? 
 I was quite impressed.

Happy Running!

1 comment :

  1. yum! this looks delicious! I'll have to try this recipe. I make spaghetti squash a lot but I've never made zucchini noodles!


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