Cooking with Quinoa, Day to Night!

quinoa_fotor2Quinoa is such a fun, delightful little grain. Gluten-free and high in both protein and calcium, it’s a great addition to vegetarian and vegan diets and can work as a wonderful meat substitute for those nights you simply don’t feel like firing up the grill. Even better, quinoa contains nine essential amino acids, making it a complete vegetable protein. It’s versatile, super easy to cook up, and tastes a lot like rice or couscous… easy to flavor any way you’d like!

Whether you’re a quinoa cooking expert or new to the world of this nutty little grain, these recipes will take you all the way from breakfast through dessert, incorporating flavor and nutrition all day long. Cook up a nice big pot of quinoa and start planning this week’s meals today!

1) Blueberry Quinoa Pancakes
2) Roasted Corn and Pesto Quinoa Pizza
3) Cinnamon Apple Quinoa Parfait
4) Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
5) Spicy Chocolate Popcorn with Quinoa Clusters
6) Sriracha Quinoa Bites

What are your favorite unique quinoa recipes? Share them with us in the comments below! 

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

What Do Meals Mean to You?

foodabundanceBloggers, magazines, your best friends… everyone has differing opinions about food. There are the grill-loving meat-eaters, raw-food vegans, and the cheese-loving vegetarians. There are those who adore three big daily meals and those who feel best on five small meals throughout the day. There’s the “natural food” lovers, organic-produce-only purchasers, local food followers… the list goes on and on.

Yet, the more we read and write about food, the more we realize everyone handles food a little differently. There isn’t necessarily a perfect, all-encompassing way for humans to eat, but there is a right way for each individual person to eat and treat their food. 

Food is that which nourishes us and provides us with the sustenance to live. It helps us gain and lose the weight we desire. But there’s more to food than just physical wellbeing.

There’s the mental aspect of food that sometimes feels even bigger and more important. The fond memories of fresh baked cookies coming out of the oven, those ones your mother made that you’ve never been able to replicate. The scent of the first barbecue of the summer, when the weather is finally warm enough to eat outside. The refreshing crunch of an apple during fall when the orchards fully bloom. 

foodFood acts as a scrapbook of memories, connecting us to beloved times and even more beloved people. It’s connects us to our home, not necessarily a physical place, but the past that makes up who we are in the current day. A hodgepodge of family brunches, graduation parties, wedding meals and first dates that create the plethora of memories we hold so dear. 

Whatever and however you eat, it’s difficult to argue against appreciating how much food has given you, whether mental or physical. Those meals that are meaningful travel with you wherever you go, sparking memories of smiles, laughs and a bit of deliciousness. 

What does food mean to you? We’d love to hear your stories of food-based merriment! 

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

All About Summer Hydration

waterWith sunny days and hot temperatures, summer is a key time for dehydration to set in, especially if you’re super active. Being even a little dehydrated can lead to fatigue, muscle cramps, lightheadedness and headaches… symptoms we definitely want to stay away from during our exercise routines.

Staying hydrated also has some awesome benefits; not only will you feel more energized, studies have shown that paying attention to your water intake can increase metabolism and aid in weight loss. It can also keep your skin clear, aiding in a natural, healthy glow. Lugging that reusable bottle around sure seems worth it!

Thankfully, it’s easy to get the hydration you need by adding some extra fluids and buying up some deliciously hydrating produce that’s so wonderful in the summer months. Staying hydrated doesn’t necessarily have to mean chugging down 8 glasses of water a day; there are plenty of creative ways to add more satiating, exciting fluids to your day.

“Eat” Your Water
green-peppers-hydrating-food-400x400
-Cucumbers have the highest water content of any solid food. Nosh on some cuc’s with a bit of salt and pepper or throw some into your water for a hint of extra flavor. 

-Pineapple, kiwi, oranges and watermelon are super hydrating fruits that are delicious this time of year. Incorporate them into your typical summer recipes or eat them raw! 

-Celery is super hydrating and has about 6 calories per stalk. Dip it in some peanut butter for added protein and the perfect post-workout snack. 

-Tomatoes have a super high water content and act as the perfect snack when picked in their cherry or grape varieties. 

-For more ideas, see this list of the most hydrating foods you can eat. 

Hydration Tips
flavoredwater-Sometimes, the body’s craving for thirst can decrease during exercise, the time when your body needs water most. Make sure to drink your fluids throughout your workout, even if you aren’t feeling like you need it.

-Flavor your water with some delicious produce to make it super easy to drink. [20 Ideas for Flavored Water]

-Sports drinks may feel hydrating but often come enhanced with dyes and chemicals. Make your own homemade, natural sports drinks with these recipes: All-Natural Homemade Sports Drinks

-If you’re looking to replenish electrolytes after a particularly long workout but want to avoid conventional sports drinks, look to fruits like bananas and dates. Filled with nutrients like potassium, these fruits plus a few glasses of water replace all you’ve lost during your routine. 

How do you stay hydrated during the summer? What’s your favorite replenishing summertime beverage? Let us know in the comments below! 

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Post-Workout Tips to Stay Strong

There’s nothing worse than coming back from an awesome workout, going into a stretch, and feeling the unfamiliar tug of a pulled muscle. It’s painful and, even worse, keeps you off your routine for a while in order to safely recover.

With our post-workout tips, however, you shouldn’t have any issues with end-of-exercise woes! From the proper protein-enriched snacks to the best way to cool down and stretch, we’ve got your cool-down covered.

Check out the slideshow below and let us know how you slow down after a tough routine.

How do you cool down and stay healthy? Let us know in the comments below! 

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

6 Fresh-Produce-Infused Cocktails

veg_cocktails_fotorSometimes, there’s nothing that cools you down quite like a delicious summer cocktail. At the end of a long week, drinks and laughter with friends or family can be the best way to welcome in a stress-free weekend. And in a world teeming with fresh summer produce, it’s super easy to infuse your favorite drinks with a bit of nutritious goodness!

While cocktails may not be the healthiest things you can put in your body, these ones sure get close. Filled with fresh carrots, delicious summer squash and hydrating cucumber, these cocktails are an awesome way to fit in even more fresh summer fruits and veggies… even when imbibing!

1) Fennel Infused Watermelon Cooler: Fennel, Watermelon Puree, Lime, Vodka
2) Breeder’s Cup: Lime, Cucumber, Horseradish, Vodka
3) The Peas-and-Cucumber Cooler: Peas, Lemon, Mint, Cucumber
4) Root Vegetable Cocktail: Beet-Infused Gin, Honey, Lemon
5) Carrot Mimosa: Fresh Carrot Juice, Parsley, Bubbling Wine
6) Mellow Yellow Margarita: Summer Squash, Mango, Tequila

For more ideas, see Greatist’s 60 “healthier” drinks.

With a few substitutes (like soda water), any of these cocktails can be made into mocktails… so enjoy either way!

What’s your favorite summer cocktail? Let us know! 

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS