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The best recipe? Using what you already have! Super easy Asian style quinoa with vegetables

The best way to guarantee that you'll eat well? Have good (healthy, nutritious) food readily available. Many of our athletic-minded community are parents and seek meals that are healthy and easy.  Easier said than done, right?  Here are some simple ideas/steps and a recipe.

  • Start cooking. If you're a beginner, use recipes that provide nutrition information so you can become educated about food. We like "Cooking Light" Magazine. Stick to the easy recipes at first--pay attention to "hands-on time."
  • Make a lot and break it down.  I mince garlic, chop onion, set out spices, prep the meat, etc., the day BEFORE I actually cook it up.  And I focus on ONE meal...the aforementioned ingredients? "Healthy Pasta Cabonarra" -- I'll let you know how it turns out (okay, but won't keep the recipe).  The objective is to prepare something that can be eaten all week long.
  • Ensure you have a well stocked pantry and freezer. Quinoa, whole wheat pasta, and brown rice cover the carb bases -- and protein too in the case of quinoa!  In the freezer, always have mixed vegetables or whatever your favorites.  You can throw them in soups, mix with the carbs etc. For meats, ground turkey, chicken breasts, or whatever else you desire.  We are big fans of the Trader Joe's Maryland crab cakes (in the frozen section). They are cheap, easy to prepare and have a good nutrition profile.  We also think Costco's Kirkland Brand canned chicken is a pantry MUST have. It's great for any Mexican dish, soup or stew.
  • Get to know the sauce aisle.  I always have TJ's bruchetta mix, the artichoke tapenade, a few of the healthier simmer sauces, the stir-fry sauce, the spicy black bean dip, salsa and of course, a tomato based pasta sauce on hand.

Get cooking, experiment and mix and match.  It's that easy.  Here is an example:

**NOTE: Why Quinoa?  It truly is a super-food. Click here for a previous post about its benefits and another recipe!!!

RECIPE: Asian style Quinoa with Mixed Veggies

Ingredients:

  1. 1 Cup dry quinoa (red or white)
  2. 1 Package (10 oz or so) mixed frozen veggies thawed (We use the Trader Joe's "Hodge Podge" mix)
  3. 1 Bottle Trader Joe's "General Tsao Stir Fry Sauce"*
  4. Soy sauce
  5. Optional: sesame seeds, sesame oil, Siracha, green onion

Directions:

  • Prepare quinoa according to package but add 2 tsp soy sauce to water.
  • As quiona cooks, heat a wok or large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.
    Add the veggies and begin to cook -- to get excess water out -- Add 1-2 tsp soy sauce to pan. Stir. Get the veggies how you like them.
  • Once quinoa is done, add it to the skillet/wok and mix.
    Add 1/4 cup or more (to taste) of the Stir-Fry sauce and mix well.
  • Taste it.
    Add any of the optional ingredients for more flair.
  • Spoon into your Tupperware and enjoy all week!

*The Stir-Fry Sauce is sweet & tangy with a little spice. 1/4 cup has 130 calories and 790 mg sodium-- a lot!! But this dish will feed 4-8 eaters.

What else can I do with this sauce? 

  • Got leftover rice? fry up an egg or two and scramble in pan, add some green onion, a little soy sauce, the leftover rice and some of the Stir-Fry sauce. You have easy fried rice! add some chopped spinach for some green.
  • Forget the eggs above and instead chop up some thawed shumai (Trader Joe's chicken or edamame shu mai is really good), fry up in a hot skillet, add the rice and then the sauce. Add more soy beans for protein.
  • Cube firm tofu or tempe, toss with Stir-Fry sauce and bake at 375 for 20 minutes. Drizzle with more sauce.

COMING VERY SOON:  Athletic-Minded Traveler's recipes in ONE place. We will post a BLOG with ALL of our recipes!!! In the meantime, for more food ideas, peruse our Everything Food Archives.

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