The easiest, yummiest, Instant Pot Mexican Quinoa Meal to Make

best instant pot mexican quinoaI have joined the Instant Pot community since becoming a full time RV family. In the RV, there’s a stove, oven, and a microwave/convection oven. So why would I need something else to cook with you may ask? For one, I am not a big microwave fan and I have never cooked anything in a microwave/convection combo oven before, but I have used a pressure cooker and slow cooker for many years and feel comfortable with those. Also, the oven and stove run off a LP tank and we have to have it filled. That means taking the 37 foot RV to somewhere to fill the tank which is not too bad, but still a bit of a hassle.

So, enter the Instant Pot.

The Instant Pot has saved me space in that I am able to use it for sauteing, pressure cooking, rice cooker, and slow cooking so far(there are several other functions, such as yogurt function, that I have yet to try, but want to!). It does not create much, if any, moisture when cooking, which is great in an RV.

So, on to my yummy, easy, mexican quinoa recipe I made! I was trying to use what I had already in my pantry and refrigeration, so this is how I came up with this dish.

Mexican Quinoa Instant Pot Dinner

1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks

1 onion, diced

1 red, yellow or orange bell pepper, diced(I had mini colored bell peppers on hand and used about 6)

1 tomato, diced(or use 1 can diced tomatoes Muir Glen Organic Tomatoes, Diced, 14.5-Ounce Cans (Pack of 12))

1,4 oz can diced green chilis ( Ortega Diced Green Chiles, Mild, 4 Ounce (Pack of 12))

1 can black beans( Westbrae Natural Organic Black Beans, 15 Ounce Cans (Pack of 12))

1 can corn(Green Valley Organics Whole Kernel Supersweet Corn, 15 Ounce (Pack of 12)

1 cup quinoa(White Quinoa, 4lbs, USDA Organic by Anthony’s – Gluten Free & Non GMO)

1 1/2 cups water or broth(Frontier Broth Powder, Vegetable Flavored, 16 Ounce Bag), you’ll add this to the blended mixture to make up to 2 cups worth combined.

1/2 teaspoon Trader Joe’s Chile Lime Seasoning Blend, 2.9 oz

1 teaspoon cumin(McCormick Gourmet Organic Cumin Ground, 1.5 oz)

2 garlic cloves, chopped

Salt and pepper to taste(Redmond Real Salt, Ancient Fine Sea Salt, Unrefined Mineral Salt, 26 Ounce Pouch (2 Pack))

Method:

Saute the onion and bell pepper for a few minutes on the saute function in 1 tablespoon olive oil or butter. Add in the garlic, stir for one minute, add in tomato and saute for five minutes. Scrape the saute mixture into a blender. Add the green chilis to the blender along with the cumin, chile lime seasoning and salt and pepper. Let cool in blender while sauteing the sweet potatoes. Put sweet potato pieces into the Instant Pot on the saute function, adding oil as needed.   Saute for five minutes, or until slightly brown. Turn off Instant pot and add the quinoa(make sure to rinse the quinoa in a sieve first). Blend the mixture in the blender until smooth. Taste to see if more seasoning is needed. Put in enough water or broth to make 2 cups of liquid and pour into Instant pot and stir gently. Put the lid on the IP(instant pot) and press the rice button.

Serve with avocado, cilantro, fresh lime, sour cream, and cheese, if so desired.

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food journal diet weightloss

Why you need a food journal(free pdf!)

Have you ever wondered if a food journal might help you with your health and wellness journey? Do you have unexplained symptoms such as headaches, bloating, fatigue, or nausea? Do you feel like you have been dieting and watching what you eat, but still are not losing the weight? If any of these apply to you, a food journal will most definitely help you! By writing down what you eat and drink everyday for a couple weeks, along with how you feel after eating, you will many times, pinpoint where you are struggling diet-wise or find foods that cause those unexplained symptoms. When I was practicing midwifery, I would always give my clients a handout to chart their food and water intake for the first month and bring it back to me at their next prenatal visit. Many times, the women would be amazed at what they ate, what their diet was lacking, or even discover they were not eating enough. It is also a great way to make sure you are drinking enough water. Many of us go about each day dehydrated. It’s amazing how much better our bodies work when hydrated properly.

I have a free printable Food Journal page for you to give it a try. This is just one easy method. If you like this printable, you may print multiples and hole punch them to put in a 3 ring binder to keep it all together so as to see your progress. Or, you could get a notepad, small notebook, jot it into the notes section on your device as well, whatever is easiest for you!

I will write more in another blog post about using your food journal to help you reach or maintain your health and wellness goals. Happy food journal-ling!

 

Yummy ways to get your stomach bug fighting vitamin defense on

The other day I listened to a webinar from the Franklin Institute of Wellness on the stomach bug and ways to combat it along with pertinent information about it.

There are so many misconceptions about the stomach bug  and what works effectively to protect yourself from it and how to keep form getting it. One of her recommendations was vitamin A. I never really think of vitamin A much. I’m typically looking at vitamin B, D, or C frequently. Vitamin A is so important to our health though!

It helps specifically with inflammation and boosting the immune system, two key factors to fight and build defense against illnesses like the stomach bug.

It is best to get your daily intake of Vitamin A with food as it is easy to get too much by supplementing with it. I have a couple recipes below for you to try out that has some vitamin A rich nutrients, such as carrots and sweet potatoes. Ginger is great for inflammation and boosting the immune system as well, so it is incorporated into these recipes.

Here is the link to the webinar: https://franklininstituteofwellness.com/free-stomach-flu-webinar/

I believe she leaves it up for a year.

 

Gingered Carrot Soup

I modified an old recipe card I had from Williams Sonoma.

Ingredients:

1 Tbs. coconut oil

6 large carrots, peeled and cut into chunks

1 onion, thinly sliced

2 celery stalks, thinly sliced

3 Tbs celery leaves, chopped

2 cups water

2 cups vegetable broth

1 Tbs tapioca flour

1/4 cup coconut milk

1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions

2 Tbs grated fresh ginger

In a large saucepan over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the carrots, onion, celery, and celery leaves and sauté for 5 minutes.

Stir in the water, broth and tapioca flour. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until the carrots are tender, about 2o minutes.

Transfer the soup, in batches, to a blender or food processor and purée until smooth.

To serve hot, return soup to pan and stir in milk and green onions. Reheat for a moment over low heat, not letting soup boil, then stir in ginger.

To serve cold, pour into a large bowl and stir in milk, green onions and ginger. Cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate until chilled thoroughly, at least 4 hours or up to 3 days.

Serves 6.

 

The next recipe is Orange Creamsicle Smoothie. It is so delicious! It’s from a Clean Eating magazine. Here’s the link to the recipe though: http://www.cleaneatingmag.com/recipes/orange-creamsicle-smoothie

A couple of things I did differently; I used a whole orange in place of the orange juice and I didn’t have fresh turmeric, so I used dry powdered tuneric from my spice shelf.

 

Have fun trying these out and stay healthy!

The best blueberry smoothie to get your daily dose of resistant starch

The week is almost over! Here’s a great recipe to add in that good  resistant starch I blogged about earlier this week(Why you need more starch in your life).

Ingredients:

1 cup frozen blueberries

1 green banana*

1/4 cup gluten-free oat bran

1 cup nut milk

1/4 teaspoon Ceylon cinnamon

1 tablespoon of honey, agave, or maple syrup to taste

Blend all in a blender. May add in more or less milk to make it to the consistency you prefer.

 

*make sure it’s a green banana to get the most resistant starch

 

Why you need more starch in your life

Many of you in the health circles have most likely heard of prebiotics by now. If you haven’t heard of them, that’s okay!

Prebiotics are food for probiotics. It comes in the form of what’s called resistant starch. Resistant starch does just what the name implies, resists digestion until it hits the large intestine where it feeds those good gut bacterias hanging out there and promoting the making of butyrate. Many balk when they hear the word “starch” and “carb.” But, the good resistant starches naturally occurring in foods are extremely healthy and will not cause weight gain. In many instances, it might even cause weight loss! Certain prebiotic foods contain specific types of fiber, consisting of inulin, oligiofructose, and trans-galactooligosaccharasides. Inulin, in particular, while stimulating healthy gastrointestinal tract, it also aids in constipation, stimulates bone health by assisting in calcium absorption, and may lower the risk of atherosclerosis by decreasing blood triglyceride levels.

Now, many processed foods contain resistant starches, but these are not the ones that are the healthy startches. RS1 is one of the good ones that is found in whole foods, seeds, legumes, and unprocessed whole grains. RS2 is another found in some starchy foods, like green bananas, plantains, and raw potatoes. There are five different types total. To keep it simple, just remember that RS1 and RS2 are the good starches.

How do you incorporate RS into your daily diet? Easy! Try eating plantain chips, adding a green banana to smoothies, and adding onions and/or garlic to your dishes. Jicama, Jerusalem artichokes, legumes, and cold potatoes are more options. Some like to use banana starch to make into gluten-free pasta or adding a couple tablespoons to a smoothie. I highly recommend to get your daily dose of RS through Whole Foods, but I know some days its easiest to use a shelf-stable item. Stay tuned for a couple tasty recipes high in resistant starch!

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