Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Quick LUNCH for the Weary

Being a work-from-home mom means that I'm home a lot. It also means that I rarely make it into the shower, it's a good day if I actually make it out of my PJs, and I'm lucky if I have time to eat three solid meals a day. With two little bellies to feed besides my own, meal-time is a mad scramble to fix two different meals for my very picky eaters before they are both screaming their heads off. This leaves very little time to actually prepare a meal for myself, let alone eat it.

So - because I noticed that not eating enough calories was affecting the amount of breast milk I was able to produce, I decided that I had to figure out a way to at least eat an actual lunch every single day. In my endeavor, I have come up with a few tasty lunch-recipes that can be thrown together in 10 minutes or less. They beat leftovers from the night before and frozen Lean Cuisines.

Get my recipe for Fiesta Black Bean Quinoa after the jump...

Do you know what quinoa ( "Qin-wah") actually is? My mom thought it was a pasta, but it's actually a grain - a very healthy grain. Unlike most grains, it's not a member of the grass family. It's actually closely related to beets, spinach, and tumbleweeds. It's high in fiber, protein, phosphorous, magnesium, and iron making it the perfect super-food for moms in need of energy. As far as taste and texture go, to me it tastes similar to brown rice and feels a lot like couscous.

Ok - so here's how you make my recipe for Fiesta Black Bean Quinoa (Just in time for Cinco de mayo!):

1. Start with pouring 2 cups of low-sodium chicken broth into a saucepan. Using stock-in-a-box instead of water will infuse the quinoa with more flavor.
2. To your broth, add 1 cup of quinoa and place on stove and bring to a boil. Once boiling - cover, turn heat down to low and set a timer for 10  minutes.

Whilst your quinoa is steaming...

3. Chop up half of a vine-ripened tomato, two slices of red onion, and some fresh cilantro (I snipped some from my herb garden).
4. Drain and rinse a can of black beans.

At this point, you can even share some black beans with your little one!

5. When your timer goes off, lift the lid over your quinoa and check to see if your broth has been absorbed. If it hasn't, let it steam another 5 minutes, or until all the broth has been absorbed. Here's what it should look like when it's done:

6. Grab a bowl and spoon-in your desired amount of quinoa and black beans and add your chopped tomato, red onion and cilantro.
7. Save your leftover quinoa, 1/2 tomato, red onion, and black beans for another quick and healthy lunch all ready to be heated in the microwave for lunch the next day.
8. Squeeze the juice of a fresh lime over your bowl of Fiesta Black Bean Quinoa.
9. Add a dash of sea salt.
10. Sprinkle with sharp cheddar cheese and your finished!

Now you can E N J O Y!


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