Saturday, October 3, 2009

Cooking with Quinoa

Recently I've been slightly obsessed with some healthy lifestyle blogs that I've found. Most of the blogs are about exercising and eating right. They're pretty inspirational and have a lot of good meal ideas. A while back my mom sent me some quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) upon request. Since that time it has just been sitting in my pantry waiting for me to get off my butt, stop cooking the same things over and over, and to try to something new. I know, quinoa can be very demanding! So earlier this week was my first experiment with this nutty grain from South America and the results were awesome! I got the basic recipe from but really switched it up to fit what was in our fridge.

Our quinoa mix had onion, eggplant, zucchini, corn, tomatoes, and black beans, as well as some spices. Chris describes it as "big couscous", but I think it's so much better. It almost pops in your mouth when you eat it. It's slightly pricey, but well worth trying if you haven't discovered it yet.

Another night I made homemade pizza, including the crust. We went sauce less and had roasted eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, feta, mozzarella, and turkey pepperoni. It was delicious! I'm going to try to do at least one new recipe (or at least a variation on something old) a week. I'll keep you posted.

The rest of the week has been pretty typical - work, teach English, run, swim, or boot camp, dog training, etc. I did do my longest long run in almost a year this Friday with a 10 miler. It went well. It's still very humid here, but the heat didn't seem oppressive. My left hamstring is a little sensitive right now so I can't push the pace, but other than that everything was right on.

The big story on Okinawa right now is the grand opening of the BX (Base Exchange for all you non-military) on Kadena Air Base. It opened Friday and is the second largest in the world. We avoided it the first couple days, but since there was no Gator game on and we were up early enough to get there when it opened we decided to check it out this morning.
It is huge! The downstairs has a lot of independent vendors and a food court that will open in November. The part I am most excited about is:
Yep, a book store! Woohoo! I didn't really have a chance to check it out with Chris hovering over me, but you can bet I will.
A lot of it seemed like the same old stuff, just more of it, but there is a Martha Stewart housewares section and it seems like more appliances, some better brands of clothing, and more sports gear.

No blog would be complete without a picture or two of Rana so here goes:
Our sweet 58 pound dog is starting to think she's a lap dog. I'm starting to think she might be a little spoiled.
For her training we had to get Rana an elevated bed. It is supposed to give her boundaries. She seems to like it.
And last, but not least... Most people know it's fall when the air turns crisp and the leaves start to change colors. But for those of us on a tropical island where the typical cues are greatly delayed or absent, I know it's fall when I break out the pumpkin scented candles.
Happy October everyone!


Mandy said...

Your recipes sound yummy. My mouth is watering. Well done on the 10 miler. My shoes haven't done that far since we did Edinburgh. They may never again unless I have a very worthy cause to run for. Rana looked cute on Chris' lap.

Charity said...

I broke out the pumpkin scented candle this week, too!

maria said...

Thanks for the comment! :) I wish I could find things like quinoa here in Japan, but so far no luck. Glad to know I'm not the only one out there, though!

moodycate said...

I've always wondered about quinoa... I will have to give it a try.

Liza said...

Yum! I love quinoa!

Maria said...

We probably won't have too many problems from the typhoons. We are surrounded by mountains. :) I'm teaching English at the moment. I've never taught before, so we'll see how that pans out! Why are you in Japan, again?

Courtney said...

Thanks for commenting on my blog!! I'm glad I got to see a pic of your dog...WHAT A SWEETPEA!!!

And a 10 miler...whoa baby!! You run it out girl!!

Can't wait to follow along on your blog! Hope mine is one of the ones you have been enjoying!!! :>

Adventures in Tri-ing

Anonymous said...

Is Rana Japanese for "Princess" or Queen"??