Monday, August 22, 2011

ROTW is BACK - Quick 'n Easy Quinoa Pilaf

Okay, I need to get back to blogging & what better way than to share a quick easy recipe that makes for a GREAT meatless meal! I decided to turn Mondays into "Meatless Mondays" to force myself to cook more, try new ingredients and get back on track with the journey to a healthier me! This Quick 'n Easy Quinoa Pilaf is great as a side dish or main course! I added a side of teriyaki stir fried veggies to round out the meal.

Quick 'n Easy Quinoa Pilaf

Prep time: 10-15 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4
Serving Size: 1 cup

1 cup uncooked quinoa

2 cups vegetable broth

1/2 medium onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves, crushed & chopped

1/3 cup diced carrots

1/2 cup diced bell peppers (red, green & yellow)

1 pkg sliced baby Bella mushrooms

2 tbsp olive oil or butter

1 tbsp mrs dash seasoning (garlic & herb)


1. Cook the quinoa in the vegetable broth according to the package directions**. Set aside.

2. Sauté the vegetables in the oil until crisp.

3. Add in the cooked quinoa & mrs dash and sauté an additional 2-3 minutes to combine the flavors.

** NOTE: The quinoa takes about 10-15 minutes to cook in Step 1. You can use that time to chop/dice up the onions, carrots, bell peppers & garlic OR stir fry some veggies as a side like I did!

 - Technically, one serving of quinoa is 1/3 dry, uncooked quinoa, so the 1 cup uncooked quinoa is three servings. The amount of pilaf this recipe makes is about four 1-cup servings from my experience.
 - At four 1-cup servings, the recipe builder on estimates the PointsPlus value to be 6 points. **If you make any substitutions, I suggest you enter the recipe into the Recipe Builder to make sure your points values are as accurate as possible.
 - I found the quinoa in my local Super Walmart. One box makes a good amount of cooked quinoa, but then again, I cook for just me! :)

If you try it, let me know what you think!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Fit 4 Flava ROTW 3/8/11 - Country Lovin Grits in the Oven

After spending my whole life saying "I hate grits!", I became a convert when I stayed at a bed & breakfast in a small town in Georgia for my on-campus interview at Georgia Southern. When I sat down for breakfast the morning of my interview, the owner placed a small ramekin of something that looked rather unfamiliar in front of me. Seeing as how I was staying at a one-woman operation and there were no other breakfast options in sight, I began to eat it and assumed it was some baked eggs casserole. As I was halfway through, I asked "what is this?" and she said "Sausage grits casserole". My immediate reaction was "I don't even like grits, but this is GOOD!" This is my low-fat homage to the Georgia Bed & Breakfast Sausage Grits Casserole! I hope you enjoy!

Country Lovin Grits in the Oven

1 16oz pkg turkey breakfast sausage
1 small onion, chopped
5 cloves of garlic, minced
4 cups fat-free milk
2 teaspoons chicken bouillon
1 cup quick-cooking grits (5 minute kind)
1 c. half and half
1/2 c. light sour cream
2 c. 2% shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided

1. Preheat the oven to 350F. 
2. In a large skillet on medium-high, brown the sausage, onions and garlic. Set aside. 
3. In a large saucepan, bring the milk & chicken bouillon to a boil, stir in the grits, reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook for 5 minutes.
4. Stir in the half and half, sour cream and 1 cup of the shredded cheese into the grits. 
5. Stir in the sausage mixture. 
6. Pour into a 9x13in baking dish. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top and bake until cheese melts and starts to brown. 

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Guess Who's Back!

Well, long time no speak folks! I have been through a LOT this past year - good, bad & ugly. I'm not going to make any promises that I can't keep, so I'm just going to say that I will try to blog as often as I can. For those of you who are either following me on Twitter or connected to me via Facebook, you may have some idea about what's been going on with me since the last time I blogged. Bear with me...

Today, I "stand" before you and confess that I allowed myself to gain back 22.2 lbs bringing my weight loss total back down to 74lbs. That damage didn't happen overnight, but it sure did happen quickly. Over the past 3 weeks, I have lost a total of 4.2 of those pounds again. I could list a number of "reasons" for why this happened, but you know what, I have already forgiven myself and like my Weight Watchers meeting leader said last week, "There are only two options: Make PROGRESS or make EXCUSES." I choose to make PROGRESS.

Notice that I mentioned this idea of "forgiving myself" in the process of making PROGRESS. This is a very BASIC principle that I was VERY capable of doing for others but never seemed to manage to do for myself. Even when I had got to the point where I had lost 96 lbs, I was still beating myself up for "letting myself get SO BIG" and "waiting so long to really put in the effort to lose the weight." As many of you can probably relate, we are often our own worst critics. I convict myself of "negative self-talk" behind the "positive outward expression" that many of you may see me do on a regular basis. Now, I don't consider myself to be a fake, phony or presenting a false image of myself in that regard. That "positive outward expression" has always been an attempt to shut up the "negative self-talk" going on behind the scenes.

The past year has been full of "BUT GOD" moments for me. God is making me into the woman He needs me to be and making the decision to give my life to Christ was the best decision I could have ever made for my mind, body & spirit. I am learning the true meaning of 2 Corinthians 5:17 "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new". I AM a new creation in Christ. While I am more than happy to tell ANYONE my story of anxiety, depression, ADHD diagnosis and insomnia, I no longer lay claim to what this world has placed on me. I AM "... of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world." (1 John 4:4)

There are days when I literally am in tears as I remind myself "I will praise thee (LORD); for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well." (Psalm 139:14), for so many reasons. However, the main reason it brings me to tears is because there was a time when I believed that for everyone else but me and TODAY I BELIEVE IT FOR ME!

So what does all this have to do with Fit 4 Flava? Absolutely, positively EVERYTHING! Understand that if I don't love myself and forgive myself, I am doing this all for the wrong reasons! We all fall, but we ALWAYS have the choice to GET BACK UP! Healthful living requires a HOLISTIC approach. What good is a fit body if my mind and spirit are unhealthy?

As my pastor says, that when you confess your sins, the Lord says that He will not only forgive our sins and iniquities, but He will "REMEMBER THEM NO MORE" (Hebrews 8:12, Hebrews 10:17). So stop bringing up and beating yourself up for sins and iniquities that you have already been forgiven for! God is probably thinking "what sin are you talking about?!?" BELIEVE that you are not only forgiven but that you truly are a NEW CREATION, cleansed of all unrighteousness!

Until next time folks! God bless you all! :o)