Category Archives: Lunch

Foodie Friday: Grapefruit, Avocado and Quinoa Salad

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It’s the weekend and it’s blazin’ hot here in Texas!  For January anyway…..If I had it my way it’d be 20 degrees cooler for the upcoming 30K on Sunday but doesn’t look like it’ll happen.  Because of this temperature surge, I was craving something crisp and cold for lunch.  I’ve been eyeing this salad from the blog Skinnytaste.  Author Gina, creates healthy but delicious recipes, takes beautiful photos and includes Weight Watchers point values for any of you following that plan.

Be sure to check out her pictures - better than mine!

Be sure to check out her pictures – better than mine!

Ruby Red Quinoa Salad

I love grapefruits.  This time of year always reminds me of the pink citrus fruit because my grandparents would send us big boxes of Texas grapefruits. Lucky girl, now I can just buy them at my neighborhood grocery store!  And they are HUGE.  I hope the crop lasts a while, especially now that I’ve thrown them into a salad mix.

Grapefruits steal the show in this salad

Grapefruits steal the show in this salad

I used Gina’s basic idea for the salad and added chicken for some extra protein and staying power.  Quinoa is a source of protein, and especially good one for being a grain (great vegetarian option)

Here’s what you’ll need for this simply delicious salad:

  • Spinach
  • 1/2 of a Ruby Red Grapefruit, cubed
  • 1/3 c cooked quinoa
  • 1/4 of an avocado, cubed
  • 4 oz roasted chicken
All the toppins!

All the toppins!

I cooked 1/3 of a cup of dry quinoa which yielded about 1 cup of cooked grains.  I used the extra throughout the week for second helpings of this salad or as a base for chicken and veggies.

Same story with the chicken.  I roasted several breasts in the oven at 400 for about 35 minutes – rubbed in olive oil and salt n pepper.  Then I used individual servings for the salad all week, or for dinner some nights.

For the grapefruit, use three sections for the dressing and chop the rest to throw on your salad.

For the dressing:

  • 1.5 tbsp champagne vinegar
  • 1.5 tbsp olive oil
  • Juice from 3 sections of grapefruit
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Makes 4 servings: use throughout the week!
Delicious, easy and healthy!

Delicious, easy and healthy!

So far so good on the attempt to cook more!  And yes, I’ll include salads in that category 🙂

Big weekend plans?!

 

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Chicken, Quinoa and Veggie Soup

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I hope y’all are hungry!  There’s a lotta food in this little post.  Tomorrow is my last practice long run before the St. Jude Half Marathon.  I can hardly believe it.  I’m not really sure how I’m feeling about it…..I’m very encouraged by how great the 7 miler felt on Tuesday but this training cycle has been less than textbook.  But regardless, I get to spend 2ish hours running through the best town with some of my favorite people.  (Just have to survive a few tests and Thanksgiving first 🙂 ).  Despite tomorrow’s distance, I ran an easy 2 miles around the lake this morning – just couldn’t resist.

I’ve started paying more attention to what I’m eating the day before a long run, and have been pretty meticulous today about keeping track.  We’ve studied pretty thoroughly in my Sports Nutrition class how to prepare for endurance events and I’m anxious to see how it affects the run tomorrow.  I’ll share specifically what I learn in a later post but for the most part, today has been a carb-heavy day.  I have a love/hate relationship with these days because I do love most of the food I get to eat but an entire day of it can leave me feeling lethargic.  So I’m working on ways to sort that out.  It’s worth it if my legs feel fresh through 13.1 miles tomorrow.  And it’s just one day out of 7.

All pretty healthy stuff : )

Carb Loading – Fuel for 13.1 miles

You can see from the pictures that it doesn’t mean a free-for all on pastas and bread.  I don’t want to feel like a bloated dough boy….and this isn’t all I ate today, just some of the staples.  Again, I’ll share a more specific and detailed plan if I feel like I nail the run tomorrow 🙂

I spent some time in the kitchen earlier in the week trying out a recipe from the latest edition of Runner’s World.

Runner’s World Recipe

Chicken Quinoa Soup.

The magazine dubbed it the soup “to help you recover faster….amino acids in chicken rebuild broken down muscle tissue, while carbs in quinoa refuel your depleted gas tank….making this optimal for recovery….Quinoa also provides magnesium, which may improve muscle strength in athletes” (page 38).

Since I ran later in the day on Tuesday (around 10 am), lunch needed to be a recovery meal.  It was chilly and soup sounded like just the hearty thing I needed to feel at home again after Monday’s break-in.  My recipe is adapted from theirs based on the veggies I had on hand (see the original recipe here).

Soup veggie pack from HEB.

  • 2 teaspoons oil (vegetable or canola)
  • 1 diced onion
  • 2 sliced carrots

Simmer the above ingredients for 6 minutes, or until onions are clear.  While that is happening, chop the following list (will take longer than 6 minutes…)

LOTS of veggies = Super healthy.

  • 1 pound chicken breast (chopped or shredded)
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 3 celery stalks
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 1/2 head shredded cabbage
  • 1 sliced zucchini

Add all of the above ingredients to the pot (my pot was too small for all the veggies to fit and cook evenly so I had to swap out for the monster pot).  Cook for 5 minutes (chicken does not have to be fully cooked.  It will finish cooking in the broth).

Too much stuff in my pot!

More room!

 

  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 3/4 cup quinoa
  • Parsley to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Quinoa on the veggies

Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat, place a lid on the pot and let simmer for 15 minutes.  Clean up, put your feet up, foam roll etc. 🙂

 

Yummy finished product!

It was so delicious and warm – just the recovery meal I needed.  And the best part is….I’ve got about 6+ containers of it frozen in my freezer!  This recipe makes a TON of soup so be prepared to feed your team, or freeze and eat well for a week.

Happy Friday – it’s Grizz time, then bed time!

 

Foodie Friday: Mother’s Cafe

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Last week I was asking some Austin friends for recommendations on places to eat in my new ‘hood, Hyde Park.  Lynds, the only friend I have who isn’t a transplant (but sadly moved to Tennessee as I left…) suggested Mother’s Cafe.  Between the recipe in today’s earlier post and the meal in this one, y’all will be droolin’ for dinner (sorry!).

Mother’s Cafe and Garden.

4215 Duval Street

512-451-3994

Hyde Park – Mother’s Cafe

The outside had a colorful entrance with flowers and patio seating but it was definitely too hot to think about eating outside.  There was a short wait to sit at a table but within ten minutes we were seated.

Too hot for outside

The inside is spacious and in the back room there’s an above ground pond and some foliage (hence the garden in the title I suppose), and we sat right next to it.

The Garden

The “garden” in the title could also very easily represent all of the vegetables they serve.  It’s a vegetarian cafe (which I am not) but the menu is extensive enough to satisfy even the carnivores.  I opted for the vegetable soup of the day with a side salad.  I spotted several other things on the menu I would like to try, especially some desserts.  Good thing it’s within walking distance, I have a feeling I’ll be here often (and they have live music!)

Soup and salad.

That’s enough food for one day 🙂

Happy weekend.