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May 082012
 

Yesterday I was bitten by the skinny bug. Yep, the little sucker snuck up behind me and just when I was feeling really happy maintaining my healthy weight, the skinny bug reminded me that Memorial Day Weekend is rapidly approaching and although my weight is fine right now, my body could look a little better in a bikini. Ok it could look a lot better. I might have some strong abs from so many days of doing crazy Insanity circuits, but if they’re under a layer of flab no one is going to see them. So, I decided that while maintaining a healthy weight has been fine for a while, it’s time to kick my butt back into high gear and get back into bikini-body shape. Oh joy.

Workout

To go along with this new bikini-ready goal, I kicked up today’s workout to another level. First I ran with Jack in the morning and we knocked out our usual mile in no time. Since I am now waking up earlier to exercise, I decided to do an Insanity warm-up from month two after our jog. The month two DVDs are much harder than month one, and the warm-up is a really great way to get my heart rate skyrocketing in a short time. It was hard!

Then after work I did the rest of the Insanity month two DVD and then used my ankle weights to do some strength exercises. Phew! What an intense day. I wish I could tell you how many calories I burned during this evening’s workout, but when I looked down at my heart rate monitor halfway through I realized I forget to press start. Ugh!! Oh well, based on my other days I can guess that I probably burned around 400 calories. Not bad at all!

In between all of that Fabio and I took Jack to the dog park and I brought my new camera. I was experimenting with the settings while Jack played tug-of-war with his friend Oreo and his favorite purple ball.

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Jack is obsessed with that purple ball and we always have to wrestle it out of his mouth when it’s time to leave. One time he willingly dropped it on the ground and Fabio and I were shocked, until he lifted his leg and officially “claimed it.” Clearly my dog has impeccable manners. Oops.

Recipe

Tonight’s quinoa recipe isn’t a recipe so much as a tasty combination of flavors that I enjoyed. One thing I love about eating quinoa (and rice, for that matter) is that you can add any flavors you like and it never has to taste the same. There is so much you can do with quinoa! And although I already have two quinoa recipes on this blog, I’m sure that the longer this blog is around (it’s only been 3.5 weeks since I started it!) the more quinoa combinations I’ll acquire for my repertoire. Mmm lots of quinoa? Yes please. Load up the health benefits and yummy grains please!

For tonight’s quinoa, I first rinsed the grains under running water until it was no longer murky. Then I added the quinoa to a pot with some water and brought it to a boil. When it was bubbling nicely, I covered the pot and reduced the heat to low and cooked the quinoa for about 15 minutes until it was fluffy.

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While it was cooking I chopped some basil from my basil plant. By the way, I always talk about my basil and cilantro plants that I got from a farmer’s market near me, but I’ve never included a picture of them! Well, here’s a picture as of yesterday so you can see how big they are. These pictures were taken after I plucked a bunch of leaves off of both. Sheesh!

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Now you know why I’m always trying to cook with cilantro and basil. There’s so much of it around here!

Anyway, I plucked some leaves from my basil plant a chopped them up so I could add them into the quinoa.

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I also took some sun-dried tomatoes (the kind in a packet, not in oil) and let them soak in some hot water for about 5 minutes to reconstitute them a little. Then I chopped these too and waited for the quinoa to finish cooking so I could add them in with the basil.

When the quinoa was nice and fluffy I dumped in some minced garlic (from a jar), the chopped basil, and chopped sun-dried tomatoes.

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I mixed everything up and then seasoned the quinoa with some salt and red pepper flakes for extra flavor. I served the quinoa along side of some roasted veggies and chicken breasts cooked in tomato sauce.

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It was quite a tasty dinner!

Quinoa with Basil and Sun-dried Tomatoes

Makes 2 large servings

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup dry quinoa
  • 1 1/3 cup water
  • 1 bunch basil, chopped
  • 4 small sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes

Instructions

  1. Rinse quinoa until water runs clear. Add to a pot with water and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat, cooking until quinoa is tender and fluffy.
  2. Chop basil into small pieces, set aside.
  3. Add tomatoes to a small bowl with hot water and allow to sit for about 5 minutes or until they start to regain some moisture (skip this step if using sun-dried tomatoes packaged in oil). Once tomatoes are soft, chop into same size pieces as the basil.
  4. When quinoa has finished cooking stir in basil, tomatoes, salt, and pepper flakes.

I really liked this flavor combination because it had a great Italian taste without being too heavy. It was a perfect light summer side dish. Try it out!

Now for today’s questions: Do you ever get bitten by the skinny bug? How do you balance maintaining a healthy weight and deciding to lose more? I feel like I always want to be a little thinner, but I only get super motivated every now and then and the rest of the time I’m on maintenance mode. But, you gotta do what works for you!

 Posted by on May 8, 2012

  3 Responses to “Quinoa with Basil and Sun-Dried Tomatoes”

  1. Yummm, this looks good! I LOVE sundried tomatoes, so I might have to try this. Although I have like a black thumb of death and kill every plant I come near – so sadly I might have to go BUY some basil first. haha.

    I can’t quite say I’ve ever caught the skinny bug, since I’m still in the process of losing (well, toning more than loosing I guess) – but there is something about the beginning of spring that seems to jumpstart people’s feeling about weightloss. All of a sudden we remember that we have bikinis and shorts hiding in our closets instead of uggs and sweatshirts!

    • Yes!! And it’s like ok, I look fine in my shorts and my bikini and certainly look much better than I used to…but there’s always room for improvement right?? So yeah, I don’t think my habits will change that much I’ll probably just try to ramp up my workouts and eat more veggies less sweets.

  2. .oo noo im hungry congratulations with your new friend leslie.

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