Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Curried Spinach Chickpeas + Quinoa

When Kyle and I first moved to Chicago we were very hesitant to try ethnic foods. That all changed when we became friends with AJ and Luke from Kyle's rugby team. Both have Indian roots and cultured palates. Once they found out that we had your usual "Hoosier Palate" they invited us to India House in downtown Chicago for some of the best Indian food in the city. From that day forward, I have found a love for Indian cuisine and curry (not the spicy stuff, though!)
I guess rugby guys do dress up every once in a while.
{AJ and Luke at the rugby banquet}
Thanks to AJ and Luke, I've also been experimenting with curry at home. On Monday, I made one of Kyle's favorite vegetarian meals, Curried Spinach Chickpeas with Quinoa. (This inspiration originally came from Cooking Light, but I've added an even healthier twist) Those who know Kyle may find it hard to believe that he would eat vegetarian, but he does a couple nights a week mostly because I only eat meat once or twice a week (I not really fond of meat).

This meal is delicious and filled with protein. For those of you who have not tried quinoa, I highly suggest it. It's a high protein grain, naturally gluten free, and a "smart carb" aka it has a low glycemic index and won't spike your blood sugars. Combine that with chickpeas that are filled with fiber and protein, and you have a well rounded meal high in protein and fiber that will fuel your body, mind, and stomach.

                                             Curried Spinach and Chickpeas with Quinoa
                                                                       Serves 4
1 Medium Yellow Onion, chopped
1 Garlic Clove, minced
1 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 15oz can of chickpeas/garbanzo beans (low sodium), rinse well
1.5 tsp Curry Powder
1 15oz can diced tomatoes (no sodium added), do not drain
1/2 C Water
2 C Spinach
1 C Qunioa
3 C Water

Get Cookin'
1. Saute the garlic and onion in the olive oil for 5 minutes until the onions become translucent. Be sure to stir often so the garlic does not burn.
2. Add the curry powder and diced tomatoes, simmer for 5 minutes.
3. Add the chickpeas and 1/2 C water and bring to a boil. Let simmer for 5 minutes
4. Add the spinach and continue cooking until the spinach has wilted down.
5. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
6. In a separate pot, bring 1 C of Quinoa and 3 C of Water to boil, then reduce to a simmer to cook the quinoa. The quinoa should be fully sprouted and cooked in 10-15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
7. Serve the chickpea mix over the quinoa and starting fueling strong!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Welcome to Fueling Strong

Hi everyone! Welcome to my first blog! I am very excited to share with you some of my favorite recipes that will help you "fuel strong" as well as some of my favorite workouts. I am new to this whole blog thing, but I am very excited to get started. I plan on having some recipes for you this week, but in the mean time if you have any recipe requests and/or workout questions please feel free to comment below.

How did you guys spend your weekend? I spent mine my favorite way, working out outside. A month ago I convinced Kyle (my husband) to run a 10K with me. I knew picking a race that was hosted by the Big 10 would be right up his alley, and I even promised to run the race with him since it was his first race and longest distance.

The Big Ten 10K's inaugural race was great! You can never pass up a beautiful run on the Lake Shore Trail with thousands of other Big Ten fans. The race also gave us an excuse to buy some new Purdue gear, but don't worry Butler fans, this will not become a habit. On the morning of the race we woke up bright and early and had this brilliant idea to just bike to the course since it's hard to get to via public trans. Well, the 40 minute bike ride there got our legs nice and warm, but at about mile 5 we felt our legs getting a bit heavy. We managed to fight fatigue to finish strong and bike back home. I guess you can say it was an inverted duathlon?

                                                                  He did great for his first 10K

My best friend, Amy, also challenged herself by running her first 10K. I love to see people stepping up to new challenges. I encourage you to challenge your body and mind every day! Keep changing up your workouts to keep your muscles engaged and to keep your mind eager for your next workout! Every week I will give you a new move to do to add to your workout routine. This let's work the triceps. Instead of doing your typical dips try this:

  • Chaturaga ... You can check out Lululemon's YouTube video on how to do it  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OKmSpBPvPe8 They give both the beginner and advanced levels. Do 3 sets of 10 reps and enjoy the burn! 
Have a great evening and remember to keep fueling strong!