Happy Wednesday Friends!
Today’s “What to Cook Wednesday” is a bit of a combination post. We are talking about healthy food that can help you maintain awesome energy levels and food that will allow your body to drop extra calories, which will help all of us fit into our favourite clothing! Healthy and happy at its finest.
My son is five months old and I am always being asked if I actually eat the things I cook. Ha! I am going to take that as a compliment, though I’m not sure if it is one.
With Mommy friends, we are constantly exchanging ways on how to shed the dreaded baby weight our sweet bundles leave behind. But having the time to prep a healthy meal and consume it can be a daunting task when there is so many other things on our plates. (No pun intended!)
So this Wednesday we are going to see how easy it is to eat healthy, and keep your body rejuvenated while on the go.
If you aren’t a mother yet and haven’t had to deal with the “dreaded muffin top” and all-over-chub a baby leaves behind after its nine month stay in utero, then you have much to look forward to! (Pun intended!)
If you are a working individual then this post is definitely for you too!
And this post is for me too! After I have consumed about half of my children’s Halloween chocolate stash.
I know all too well how hard it is to leave for work in the morning, whether to run your kids around or to go to work for the day, and to plan a lunch while you are trying to run out the door to beat traffic is the worst.
And who actually likes making lunches? Not me.
Enter the fastest meal planning ever!!
I went to Wallmart and found some good sized containers. The Ziploc brand were 4 for $2.65.
They are the perfect size to fit a three cup salad.
This lunch idea takes about five minutes to pack up and can feed you for four lunches! I’m not kidding, you should know by now that I only make foods that are quick and easy!
This salad even partially fills up the large “container” on the end.
All extra salad you can throw into your spinach container to pair with your nightly dinner meals. Making dinners a breeze too!
Fast Weekday Salad:
Put about 2 cups of organic quinoa in your rice cooker. (My rice cooker is my handy dandy assistant in the kitchen. We cook all kinds of grain products in it! So easy!)
A large container of pre washed spinach (It is simple and tasty. I used about two and a half cups of spinach per container.)
A package of shredded carrots and broccoli (Found in the salad section of your grocery store)
A large English cucumber, washed and cut.
A package of cherry tomatoes (Halved, if desired)
A red onion, cut finely.
Toasted almonds in place of croutons. (For some extra crunch!)
Once your containers are full, add a 1/2 cup of cooked quinoa on top. It is pronounced “Keen-wah”, though I didn’t know that fact for a long time and probably embarrassed myself a few too many times. Now we both know and there wont be any more blank stares by grocery store employees when you ask where you can find it!
Your salad just went from being “ok” to being “awesome and filling”.
So why is the quinoa so great?? Quinoa is thought to be an ancient grain, but in fact is a seed that is full of nutrients. It is gluten free and has eight essential amino acids. This is a great food for vegetarians to consume, since it is difficult to find foods that have 8 amino acids when on a restricted diet.
If you eat a half cup of quinoa on top of your salad (half of a single serving size), you’ll be getting:
110 calories (37 percent carbs, 7 percent fat, 7 percent protein)
20 grams of carbohydrates (6 percent daily value)
4 grams of protein (8 percent of daily value)
1.5 grams of fat (2.5 percent daily value with no saturated fat)
A glycemic load (blood sugar spike) of only 9 out of 250( great for helping with diabetes!)
2.5 grams of fiber (10 percent of daily value)
10 percent of daily value of folate (forms of Vitamin B)
15 percent of magnesium daily value (beneficial for people with migraine headaches)
14 percent daily value of phosphorous
iron (7.5 percent)
copper (9 percent)
magnesium (almost 30 percent!)
Quinoa is stocked with life sustaining nutrients. No wonder it is becoming quite the trend setting food.
We try to grill up some chicken and add on some almonds for some added protein. Put it all together, and you are set for your healthy, nutrient packed, filling lunch!
Switch up your salad dressings every day and your taste buds wont get bored! Leaving in the morning for the day? Grab a container and add a dollop of cottage cheese to the top. No dressing needed and you add on even more protein.
You won’t be disappointed with this full meal that disguises itself as a salad!
The energy you will have in the afternoon from this vitamin rich salad will be instant proof that you are doing something right for your body.
I truly hope this helps take the guess work out of a quick meal plan for your busy life. I know it has helped us curb cravings for convenience food, and it gives us the peace of mind knowing that we are feeding our bodies with the right fuel to live a healthy and active life.
And indulging in Halloween treats,
everyday once in a while, won’t make me feel so bad anymore 😉