Becoming Keen on Quinoa

A little adventure for breakfast is a good thing, especially when it comes to quelling cravings for things that might not be that good for you. I’ve been craving oatmeal, but the last few times I had it, things did not go as planned. Because I count my readers as polite company, I will spare the details.

I had picked up a package of quinoa a couple of weeks ago. It’s a seed from a South American plant that doesn’t fit the criteria for a grain for some reason, but it can be called in to pinch hit for wheat and rice in applications such as pasta. It cooks up in about 15 minutes, not unlike rice. It’s higher in fiber and has a lot of protein, so you’ll stay full longer. The flavor is slightly nutty, very pleasant.

Unless it’s part of a pre-rinsed mix, you’ll need to give it a good washing. Put it into a fine-meshed strainer and rinse, rinse, rinse. In its natural state, it’s covered in saponins, soap-like substances that protect the plant by making it taste like, well, soap. Pretty nasty surprise.

Cooking it is pretty easy–it’s a 2:1 ratio of water to quinoa. Bring the two cups of water to a boil with a pinch of salt, then pour in the quinoa and let it go for 15 minutes.

I had half a cup with almond milk, blueberries, stevia, and cinnamon. It did the trick of keeping me full all morning long for not a lot of points.

Savory applications are in order as well. I think I hear a salad or two calling my name.

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One Weird-A**ed Week Later….

This was a weird a**ed week if there ever was one. Here’s hoping that next week is a little calmer.

Monday, Hubby returned to his mom’s house near Detroit for another round of work to get it ready to go on the market. He drove right into the aftermath of a storm that dropped five inches of rain in a ridiculously short amount of time. Any other day, it would have taken him five or six hours to get there. Not this time. Road closures due to flooding pushed him pretty far out of the way, and it took closer to eight or nine hours. When he finally pulled up in front of the house, he noticed that all the neighbors were outside. To a home, everyone had at least three inches of water in their basements. Even his mom’s, even after the money spent on new water lines last summer to avoid this nonsense.

Monday also brought the news about Robin Williams. If you don’t know, please Google it–I am one story away from losing composure again. The outpouring of stories of his kindness (work on behalf of the homeless, supporting differently abled athletes, always ready to say “hi” to a fan) have not failed to amaze me. I hope that he and Christopher Reeve have caught up with each other.

Tuesday, still processing Robin and talking Hubby through his angst over the house. Wednesday brought the news of Lauren Bacall’s passage. Sad, but not of the magnitude of Robin’s passing. I always liked her. Even in my childhood, I had a deep voice, deep enough to mess with telemarketers who thought that I was my father, and hearing her made me feel better about it.

Sometime this week, a shooting of an unarmed young man in a St. Louis suburb lead to peaceful demonstrations that spun into riots when local law enforcement decided to play G.I. Joe and pull out unnecessary heavy artillery. Journalists were harassed as well. It took pulling the locals off the case and sending in the state highway patrol to regain order. Hopefully, all investigations will go smoothly and swiftly.

Things started leveling out yesterday. I made a run to a local drive through for a gyros. Oakley was with me. He found the whole drive through concept fascinating: Mom yells into a speaker, then we pull around the corner to a window  and they hand her a box with food? COOL! He had the same look on his face as he gets when we go to day care or for walks with his aunties on Saturday.

Today I went on a spontaneous breakfast with a friend. I’m still full, even midafternoon. That was a fantastic omelette, and hopefully a sign of a better, calmer week ahead.

A Trieste on Green Drinks

We’re trying green drinks for breakfast these days. You know, the smoothies with green veggies, fruit, and other good stuff like protein powder and almond milk. 

This morning, I had one with spinach, banana, a spoonful of peanut butter, and chocolate protein powder with enough almond milk to facilitate blending. Yum. 

The theory is that the blending process causes the cells in the fruits and veggies to open up, making it easier for the body to assimilate the nutrients. In turn, the body feels nourished and the cravings are reduced so you don’t have urges to overeat. 

So far, I’ve found this to be true. On days when I make a green drink for breakfast, I don’t get the munchies through the day, and if I do get hungry, I can make rational choices about what to eat instead of standing and stuffing my mouth with random bits of food.

Basically, you take one or two kinds of veggies, a half a banana or avocado, and at least one kind of fruit. Add in enough water or milk alternative and protein powder. Buzz in your food processor or blender until liquified and drink. For a thicker texture, use frozen fruit. I also throw in a couple spoonfuls of ground flax seeds.

The only limits are what you have on hand and the blender’s capacity.