Quinoa and Kielbasa

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I’m a health nut. Sort of.

I love reading books about health, trying recipes, buying cookbooks, following health guru pages and blogs, buying a new cleanse or healthy eating package every few months, researching foods and idea, and freely giving advice to others on healthy eating.  However  [confession time] if you were to shadow me for a week you’d scratch your head because it wouldn’t add up.  After 5 or  6 days in a row of fast-food drive thru (once or even twice a day) you would definitely realize my walk and talk rarely meet.

However this last week I’ve really stepped up and decided that I WANT to live what down deep I love: healthy eating.  It’s not a matter of ability – it comes down to discipline.  On my way home from my store tonight (I own a ladies boutique) I desperately wanted to stop through a drive thru.  I was so tired, and the cravings were calling me.  I put blinders on and headed home, and for the 4th night in a row I have taken the time (which wasn’t very much) to make a healthy meal, and IT WAS DARN GOOD!  No…. it was incredible!

As I was devouring my dinner I wondered why in the world would I – or anyone else – want to trade something as yummy as this for a nasty burrito, fried chicken or whatever (though I love fried chicken), that would make me feel horrible afterward?

I’m determined to change my habits and my taste buds.  Honestly, healthy food is super delicious. (I definitely will still make room for a few indulgences a week.  I’m a huge believer in moderation!).   I’d like to share with you some of the dishes I am discovering.  I hope you take the time to try them. They are not, and probably will never be, fancy but are for people who feel stressed about trying to figure out how to make time to cook at home, rarely have all the ingredients for recipes, or always want to do a cleanse or diet but can’t stand to strictly follow the meal plans that seem to be made for someone with a personal chef. 😁  I stopped feeling guilty that I couldn’t follow someone else’s plan correctly, so I’ve adapted some excellent recipes and meal ideas from a variety of resources and created meals with foods that I had on hand.  While it’s not easy breaking my fast food habit, I want to challenge myself to be disciplined enough to make better decisions at meal time.

Not only will I feel better by avoiding the drive thru, in addition, every time I don’t eat my meal while driving in the car I am sitting down at the dining table with my family – and that is really what it is all about anyway, isn’t it?!

These are dishes I have created or discovered and all using what I dug out of my fridge. (Granted, I have changed my shopping habits, so I try not to have anything too bad in our cabinets or fridge anymore.)

RECIPE #1:  QUINOA & KIELBASA

DISH

Quinoa and Kielbasa

(Up until tonight Quinoa has not been my favorite food, but I decided to try new recipes this week and while this is not one of those recipes, I had some quinoa already cooked so I decided to use it and came up with this quick dish and it was superb!)

Ingredients: (Note:  I didn’t use any measurements.  I apologize ahead of time.  I cook by sight and rarely measure anything.)rq

  • Cooked quinoa (I used Rainbow Quinoa ), probably about a 1/2 c. per person.
  • Polish Kielbasa, sliced (or any other meat you want. This is what was in my fridge.)
  • Zoodles*, handful per person (*zoodles are zucchini noodles.  I don’t have a spiralizer so I purchased mine all ready at Whole Foods and it was less than $2 for the container.)
  • Fresh English Peas (still in the pod.  You can also use frozen.)
  • Onion powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Tarragon
  • Olive oil (or Coconut oil)
  • optional: Pecorino Romano Cheese (sheep cheese), grated
Use a generous amount of olive oil or coconut oil.  I am guessing this is about 2 Tbl.

Use a generous amount of olive oil or coconut oil. I am guessing this is about 2 Tbl.

Heat oil in skillet over medium heat.

Pre-cooking (I steamed) the quinoa and keeping it in the fridge saves a lot of time.)

Pre-cooking (I steamed) the quinoa and keeping it in the fridge saves a lot of time.)

step2

Add the quinoa and sauté for about 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add the kielbasa and spices and cook an additional 3-4 minutes. Add the fresh peas and cook until the kielbasa is browned, stirring often.  

Don't over cook the zoodles or peas.  Just barely warm them up so that they are slightly crunchy.

Don’t over cook the zoodles or peas. Just barely warm them up so that they are slightly crunchy.

 Turn off the heat and stir in the zoodles.  Leave on the heat for a minute while stirring.  Serve warm with fresh grated Pecorino Romano or another hard cheese of your choice.

So yummy.  Remember to eat smaller portions.  I've started using small bowls to help our portion sizes and we don't feel like we are missing out!

So yummy. Remember to eat smaller portions. I’ve started using small bowls to help our portion sizes and we don’t feel like we are missing out.

Let me know what you think.  I went back and made a second batch for lunch tomorrow.  It took me about 10 minutes to fix dinner tonight.  Having the quinoa already steamed was a huge help.

And while you are the table enjoying your meal ask the person across from you if they’ve ever tried riding a unicycle. 😋

Enjoy….

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