Monday, January 31, 2011

Recipe of the week-Quinoa Love

I love quinoa and I love the magazine Eating Well. When I went on their site today I found this delicious Toasted Quinoa Salad with Scallops and Snow Peas recipe. Scallops? Yum! Fresh ingredients? Double Yum! I hope you enjoy this new recipe sometime this week. Make your way over to to find other simple and delicious recipes!
  • 12 ounces dry sea scallops, cut into 1/2-inch pieces, or dry bay scallops (see Note)
  • 4 teaspoons reduced-sodium tamari, or soy sauce, divided
  • 4 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons canola oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa, rinsed well (see Tip)
  • 2 teaspoons grated or minced garlic
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup trimmed and diagonally sliced snow peas, (1/2 inch thick)
  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 cup thinly sliced scallions
  • 1/3 cup finely diced red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish


  1. Toss scallops with 2 teaspoons tamari (or soy sauce) in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  2. Place a large, high-sided skillet with a tight-fitting lid over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon canola oil and quinoa. Cook, stirring constantly, until the quinoa begins to color, 6 to 8 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute more. Add water and salt and bring to a boil. Stir once, cover and cook over medium heat until the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. (Do not stir.) Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Stir in snow peas, cover and let stand for 5 minutes more.
  3. Meanwhile, whisk 3 tablespoons canola oil, the remaining 2 teaspoons tamari (or soy sauce), vinegar and sesame oil in a large bowl. Add the quinoa and snow peas, scallions and bell pepper; toss to combine.
  4. Remove the scallops from the marinade and pat dry. Heat a large skillet over medium-high until hot enough to evaporate a drop of water upon contact. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons canola oil and cook the scallops, turning once, until golden and just firm, about 2 minutes total. Gently stir the scallops into the quinoa salad. Serve garnished with cilantro, if desired.

    Tips & Notes

    • Note: Be sure to buy “dry” scallops, which are scallops that have not been treated with sodium tripolyphosphate, or STP. Scallops that have been treated with STP (“wet” scallops) have been subjected to a chemical bath and are mushy, less flavorful and won't brown properly.
    • Tip: Quinoa is a delicately flavored, protein-rich grain. Rinsing removes any residue of saponin, quinoa's natural, bitter protective covering. Find it in natural-foods stores and the natural-foods sections of many supermarkets.


    Per serving: 326 calories; 15 g fat (1 g sat, 8 g mono); 19 mg cholesterol; 32 g carbohydrates; 16 g protein; 4 g fiber; 713 mg sodium; 511 mg potassium.

    Thursday, January 27, 2011

    Fitness Friday-The Treadmill #3

    Get Climbing-Walk or Run

    Warm-up with a 5 minute easy jog or fast walk at a 0% incline
    Increase the incline to 2% for a 2 minute run
    Increase the incline to 3% for a 2 minute run
    Increase the incline to 4% for a 2 minute run
    Lower the incline to 1% for a 1 minute recovery run
    Raise incline back to 4% for a 2 minute run
    Lower the incline to 1% for a 1 minute recovery run
    Raise incline back to 4% for a 2 minute run
    Lower the incline to 1% for a 1 minute recovery run
    Repeat as many times as you'd like
    Take 5 minutes and end with a cool down by gradually slowing down from a fast walk or slow jog to an easy walk.

    Don't forget to...STRETCH!

    Friday, January 21, 2011

    Fitness Friday-The Treadmill #2

    It's coming to you a little late but coming to you on Fitness Friday non-the-less!
    Since my last treadmill post it has gotten considerably colder outside. Today's high here in Chicago was a whopping 8 degrees that does NOT take in to account windchill! Brrrrrr...if you're like me and don't want to get out and pound the pavement in frigid temps like this here's another treadmill alternative just for you!

    *Please take note of the RPE chart at the end of the page to gauge where YOU will be at when working out!
    Always start with a good warm-up on your treadmill.
    I recommend starting with a good fast walk for at least 5 minutes

    Next, up your speed to an easy pace for 2 minutes
    Then walk for 1 minute
    Repeat 3 times

    Next, up your speed to a faster pace for 3 minutes
    Then walk for 1 minute
    Repeat 3 times

    Add-on's for a longer run:

    Keep your previous pace (or up it if you'd like) for 4 minutes
    Then walk for 1 minute
    Repeat 2-3 times

    Still want more???

    Keep your previous pace (or up it if you'd like) for 5 minutes
    Then walk for 1 minute
    Repeat 2-3 times

    ***No matter the distance, always end a run with a cool down and stretching***

    Cool down with a slower run for 2 minutes then a 2 minute fast walk followed by a 2 minute slow walk. Stretch hamstrings, hip flexors, quadriceps, calves and more if you'd like! Maintaining flexibility is just as important as cardio and strength training. Might as well get it in now that you're thoroughly warmed up from this awesome treadmill run!!!
    *Pace/speed is relative to the person. Upping the speed may be going to 4mph for one person while for someone else it may be 8mph. Go at YOUR pace! This is YOUR treadmill workout. Make it challenging for yourself but not over the top!
     Here is a Rate of Perceived Exertion chart (RPE) to gauge where YOU are at. On your warm-up you should be around 9-11. An easy run is 11-12. Then you WANT your runs to be at 15-17 with a 1 minute recovery walk at a 12-13. Cool down should gradually come down from 15 down to 9 in increments!

    Monday, January 17, 2011

    Recipe of the Week-Veggies w/ Creamy Parmesan Sauce

    We all have family members who just don't like to eat there veggies! Try this creamy Parmesan sauce on any vegetable and those veggies will disappear!

    What you will need:
    1lb of any veggie or mix of veggies
    1T flour
    1 cup skim milk, divided
    1/4tsp salt
    1/2cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
    Pinch of white ground pepper
    Pinch of ground nutmeg

    What to do:
    Steam your veggies just long enough so they are warm, not overfilled and mushy
    Whisk 1/4 cup milk w/ flour in a small bowl.
    Heat remaining 3/4 cup of milk in a saucepan over med-high heat til steaming
    Whisk in flour mixture til thickened. About 3 or 4 minutes
    Remove from heat. Add cheese, salt, pepper and nutmeg
    Drizzle over veggies, serve and ENJOY!!!

    Friday, January 14, 2011

    Fitness Friday-The Treadmill

    With winter in full effect and most of the country covered in snow it's not always easy to get outside and run. Sometimes we need to hit the treadmill to get in a great run or workout!
    The next three installments of Fitness Friday will introduce some good, fast and effective treadmill workouts that will fit your schedule and level!

    Only have 20 minutes? Here ya go...

    Warm-up jog or fast walk for three minutes
    Next, increase the speed to a faster pace (walking faster or jogging) and hold it for two minutes
    Now...Walk for 30 seconds
    Repeat that sequence
    Next, extend YOUR fast walk or run part to three minutes
    Then...Walk for 30 seconds
    Repeat that sequence 
    Then Cool down with a short walk
    If you have more time then repeat each sequence again! 

    The time goes by fast when doing intervals like this! Before you know it you'll have worked up a great sweat, torched some calories, relieved some stress and released mood boosting endorphins into your system!  ENJOY!

    ***Listen to your body. If you need more recovery time than 30 seconds, that's fine. This is your workout and these are just some general guidelines!

    Monday, January 10, 2011

    Dinner w/ Tuscan Herb Olive Oil

    Dinner was packed with flavor and oh so easy!
    Tonight I picked up some Tuscan Herb Olive Oil infused with garlic and Italian herbs along with some really great garlic pasta (both from the Olive Gallery...order online). Regular Olive Oil, garlic and Italian herbs can be substituted as well.
    I came home and sauteed sliced chicken and peppers (from last night's prep), a jar of artichoke hearts and some sun dried tomatoes in 2T OO.
    I served mine on a bed of warm, fresh spinach, a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese and a fork roll of the garlic pasta which was SO good and lightly flavored! I had plenty of carbs today so that's why I stayed away from the pasta tonight. There are plenty of leftovers for tomorrow's lunch!
    I also had a spring mix salad. The dressing was a lemon infused balsamic vinegar (also purchased at the Olive Gallery) with 1tsp of the Tuscan Herb Olive Oil and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese! This was a perfect, light meal that hit the spot! I didn't feel FULL...I felt SATISFIED!
    The Olive Gallery is a wonderful store in Yorkville IL. It's location is a bit odd, but there are lots of goodies to be had inside! I like to support little unique shops like this with all of it's character and variety of everything Olive...check it out online if you don't live nearby!