Friday, January 7, 2011

#LetsLunch: Healthy recipes for 2011 (January)

After really falling off the bus and going a little treat crazy following Thanksgiving, I'm definitely ready for some focus in 2011 on my eating and exercising.

Last year was a great start -- I really learned how to lose weight for the first time. When I went to the gym 5 days a week, tracked calories and drank 1 liter+ of water a day, I lost weight. Regularly. In all, I lost 20 lbs last year (net loss, only 14 lbs, after having to re-lose 6 lbs when we moved).

So, I was excited to land on the theme of "healthy recipes for the new year" for this month's #LetsLunch.

#letslunch is a monthly "gathering" of food-loving writers from all over, hosted by Cheryl Tan, of A Tiger In The Kitchen.

We agree on a date and a theme, then each blogger presents his or her recipe on the chosen date (today).

If you are interested in joining, please send a Tweet using the hashtag and introduce yourself!

I made a dish from my friend Thea today. She's been dating my brother for about six years now, and we made this together last month for my mom's birthday.

Thea's Quinoa with Veggies Salad:


I made the quinoa salad yesterday for an office potluck -- at the office. I started the quinoa in the rice cooker, and prepped the veggies while it cooked. This is 2 cups of pre-rinsed quinoa and a quart of low sodium chicken stock.

About 1 teaspoon of salt and powdered garlic (don't judge me.... I was doing this in an office kitchen. Thea used real garlic -- about 2 cloves)

Then let the rice cooker work its magic.

Next, grab your veggies. I used two bright bell peppers and 1 1/2 zucchinis. Thea also uses asparagus, which I'm not a big eater of, so I skipped it here.

If you're cooking at home, dice the veggies and pan fry with the garlic, maybe a little onion until tender.

If you're cooking in an office kitchen, grab the Foreman (yes, we keep a Foreman Grill in our kitchen at work), slice the veggies and grill them.

Toss your grilled and diced veggies with the cooked quinoa, season with some smoked paprika, freshly cracked pepper, fresh chopped parsley and feta cheese. This recipe makes a pretty large bowl-ful!

Check out everyone else's offerings below:

Linda's Mesquite Date Muffins at Free Range Cookies
Steff's Frittata attempt at The Kitchen Trials
Cheryl's Watercress soup at A Tiger In The Kitchen
Mai's Spicy Roasted Cauliflower at Cooking In The Fruit Bowl


  1. You have some lucky coworkers. The fresh-grilled veggies and the quinoa? Yum.

  2. No kidding! As I said earlier, I love that you made this in your office kitchen. It goes to show that you can't let work get in your way of making healthy food! Nice work!

  3. It would also be equally easy (or probably easier) to make on a Sunday afternoon, add a little grilled chicken, then split into 5 tupperwares. Instant lunch for a whole week!

  4. I love quinoa! Am always swapping out rice for quinoa, dumping it into a soup, or stirring it into pancake batter. This simple dish sounds fabulous - and soo healthy! Yum!