Saturday, August 3, 2013

My First Experience with Quinoa


One thing I promised myself with revamping my weight loss efforts was that I'd jump out of my comfort zone and try some of the "super foods" I keep hearing about.  Foods that are healthy, tasty, and satisfy cravings that can be brought on by certain other foods that I eat.

I'm a carb junkie.  Everyone should know this by now.  No matter how healthy a carb is, I tend to overeat it thus taking away any and all health benefits.  Because, come on, even healthy carbs can do havoc to the waist line if not eaten in moderation.

Because I know that I can't cut carbs out of my diet, I know that there are carbs out there that I need to avoid and others that I can try that give me the health benefits without the normal carb induced feelings of triggering certain binges.

Enter: Quinoa

I've heard a lot about it, yet up until last night, I'd never tried it.

Stop your gasping...I know, it's unbelievable... but truth be told:  I'm not a real big fan of trying new fancy foods because of hype that I've heard about them.

When it comes to healthy eating, I still have somewhat of a rabbit food mentality.  Stick to veggies and lean protein, whole grains (that I'm familiar with) and then just eat less than what I normally eat.

But then what happens? I get bored seeing the same old same old in my pantry and refrigerator, and I start swaying in to dangerous territory looking for something to satisfy my hunger from places I shouldn't be looking.

So, I decided that this time, I'd start trying new things... discovering the plethora of "super foods" and healthy eating options that are out there so that I could avoid the boring scenario I usually get myself in to.

I know that some people may be reading this and be shocked that I consider Quinoa as a new food.  I know it's been around for gazillions of years.  I know that health gurus have been eating the stuff since health junkyism took off.  I'm a late bloomer, what can I say?

But, last night, I bit the bullet and Hubby prepared quinoa for the first time to accompany our dinner.

It wasn't so long ago that we tried couscous for the first time...and Hubby was a little apprehensive.  He's not really all that in to my healthy eating "fads".  He is more of a meat and potatoes kinda guy, but he knows that when I want to eat healthy, I want the whole family to eat healthy with he'll give new stuff a go.  And, thankfully, he liked couscous making the introduction of quinoa a little easier.

Well, unlike Hubby, I actually preferred the quinoa over couscous.  Hubby didn't think the quinoa was bad, but he said he preferred couscous.  It may just mean I need to nudge him to try different seasonings or something when he cooks it... but an OK is better than hating the stuff, so I've got some room to keep trying.

We ate braised lean pork chops cooked with mushrooms, quinoa, and green beans.  The whole dinner was fantastic.  The quinoa was moist, filling, and tasty.  I ate and felt full, and I didn't get the urge to eat again 10 minutes after dinner.

I have to admit, I enjoyed the experience.  Trying something knew.  Feeling good about it.

Adding to my new tries, I discovered Greek yogurt cream cheese the other day.  A perfect companion to my onion whole wheat bagels.  Creamy, yummy, less fat, better for me.  

Life hasn't been all new foods and roses.  I have eaten a few things this week that I shouldn't.  Mainly Klondike bars.  And some Chex mix.  Chocolate Chex mix.  Not in great quantities...but I've strayed a couple of times.  

I bought the kids their new lunch boxes this weekend.  I'm so excited about preparing our lunches every evening, and eating foods I'm picking rather than foods that are being picked for me.  I really feel that going back to work will really help push me in the right direction, and give me the focus I need.  Away from sitting around and doing nothing which leads to wanting to eat because I'm bored.

When I get back to work, I'll be eating because I have to...and that's it.  

Speaking of which, I need to go and get ready... I have to work today.

Till next time!!

a/k/a Mad, Fat Woman


  1. We cook our quinoa in a a broth of some kind (usually just chicken broth) and it infuses a LOT of flavor into it! Also - quinoa is leaps and bounds healthier than couscous (couscous is still basically just a form of pasta and not a ton of nutrients while quinoa is technically a seed and has lots of protein!)

    1. Yeah, I want us to add it to our line-up of side dishes to add with wild rice, couscous, and whole wheat pasta. It's nice to have a big variety to choose from so that we don't get bored eating the same ol' same ol' all the time.

  2. I guess I'll have to give quinoa a try. We weren't too crazy about couscous, so I've kind of shied away from these types of carbs. Thanks for sharing!

    1. I like couscous, but I found that the quinoa had more flavor and wasn't so dry. We added red pepper flakes and some seasoning to it, though. I've heard that you have to jazz it up a bit if you really want it to have some good flavor, but has an almost nutty flavor if it's left unseasoned. I may be wrong about that, though.

  3. I think I have tried Quinoa a total of one times. I'm not positive, but I think I have tried it. I want to try again and recently purchased a bag. Braised pork chops sounds yummy.

    I know how easy it is to go for food when you're bored. Work should help with that at least in the way of proximity to food maybe.

    Have a great week.

    1. Yeah, I loved that it wasn't too hard to cook, either. Hubby does all the cooking in my house, but he likes it if the new stuff I try and introduce is easy to prepare. The quinoa was prepared very similar to rice...almost exactly the same.


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