healthy

My Current Beverage Obsession

Aside from my complete obsession (it’s not an addiction I swear) with wine, I adore smoothies – especially after a tough workout. Ever since I bought my magic bullet I’ve been experimenting with different fruity concoctions, my favourite being strawberry banana :)

I personally find bananas are an extremely underrated fruit – they’re a fantastic source of potassium and magnesium and make the most delicious, thick smoothies! If you haven’t noticed from previous posts, I’m in a constant battle against time, always trying to use up ingredients before they spoil. My former banana usage was the most perfect case of this.

When I lived away at school I would typically buy a huge bunch that, of course all ripened at once, and would eat them leisurely for one and a half days, or what I like to call my perfect-banana-ripeness window. Following my 1.5 days of banana snacking bliss I’d go into panic mode and be forced to eat smoothies for breakfast, lunch, and dinner in a last ditch attempt to consume them all before they turned into black piles of goo and caused yet another fruit fly epidemic. The fruit fly war that my roommate and I battled in our senior year deserves a completely separate post, so I won’t go into much detail now, just know it was horrible and to never trust your semi-hoarder roommate to take out her own garbage. Anyways, one of my roommates (a non-hoarding one) at the time noticed that I kept trying to pawn bananas off on everyone in the house and asked why I wasn’t just freezing them. DUH. It had never actually occurred to me to freeze bananas – I guess I had always just pictured how gross they look when they turn brown in the fridge, but this is easily remedied by peeling and cutting them first! Needless to say, this was a revolutionary moment for me in smoothie making history. Not only do frozen bananas add a ton of flavour my smoothie, but freezing them cuts the need for ice and makes them seem more like ice cream!

Without further ado here’s my delicious healthy strawberry banana smoothie!

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5 medium sized strawberries (frozen or fresh)
3/4 cup frozen banana slices
1/4 cup almond milk
1/4 cup of fresh baby spinach (you can use more or less, I usually just go with a handful)
2 cubes of ice
1/2 scoop of vanilla protein powder

Blend together and enjoy!

What are some healthy smoothie recipes you love? I’m always looking for new ideas! :)

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Chicken Fried Quinoa

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I’m forever trying to find ways to make classic comfort foods more healthy. Tonight I had such a strong craving for chicken fried rice, but the MSG in most takeout versions gives me the WORST headaches. Not to mention the fact that I’m trying to save money for my next trip, so picking up Chinese is pretty much out of the question.

In typical food-fiending fashion I began searching Foodgawker for inspiration and found the perfect compromise – Chicken Fried Quinoa! I’m not exaggerating when I say I have an obsession with this seed. I usually cook a cup of it at the beginning of every week and use it as a healthy filler in my lunches. Whether it be on its own or in some hodge podge salad quinoa is definitely a superfood.

This recipe is super simple and once again can include basically any veggies that you have lying around. If you haven’t noticed a theme yet most of my recipes include a mix of whatever is about to go bad in my fridge!

Chicken Fried Quinoa

2 tbsp canola oil
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced
3 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
2 tbsp hoison sauce
1.5 cups quinoa
1 medium stalk broccoli
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1.5 cup chicken stock
1.5 cup vegetable stock
1 green onion, sliced
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 onion, diced
salt and pepper to taste

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Generously season the diced chicken breast with salt and pepper – no one likes bland chicken! Make sure all the vegetables are prepped and cut beforehand and set them aside.

I had some leftover quinoa from earlier in the week, but if you don’t have a fridge brimming with half eaten (aka forgotten at the back of the fridge) meals like me, you’re going to need to make some! In sauce pan combine both veggie and chicken stock and the quinoa. You could just use either chicken or vegetable stock alone, I just ran out chicken stock … so the perpetual laziness continues! Follow the quinoa’s package directions to cook – typically you need to bring the mix to a boil then reduce the heat so it simmers, cover the pot and cook for 15 mins, or until all the liquid is absorbed and the quinoa is fluffy. DO NOT BURN THE QUINOA – unless you a) want to say goodbye to your pot … burnt quinoa is near impossible to get off or b) want to have the most sore arms in existence from scrubbing said pot.

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In a large frying pan heat the canola oil on medium-high and add the diced chicken breast. I ended up frying it in two batches so that the pieces weren’t crowded. Crowding the pan will make the chicken boil not brown – you want to see that light brownish crispy exterior :) After the chicken is cooked remove it from the pan, reserving the cooking oil, and place it on a plate
covered in paper towel to blot off the excess grease.

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Add garlic, onions, carrots, and broccoli into the same frying pan, season with half the 1 tbsp of both hoison and soy sauce and cook until the onions are translucent and the carrots have softened. Slowly mix in the quinoa until everything is combined. Add the remaining hoison, soy sauce and the eggs, quickly stirring so that the egg breaks up coats everything evenly. Grab your cooked chicken and toss that back in the same pan. Once the chicken is heated through pour it into a serving dish and garnish with green onion.

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If you wanted to make this recipe even healthier you could even swap out the whole eggs for egg whites! What are some recipes you’ve made with healthy ingredient substitutions?