Quinoa with Turmeric, Peppers, Onions and Broccoli

My Quinoa with Turmeric, Peppers, Onions and Broccoli is a quick and easy meal to prepare and eat post workout, or anytime.

After a race or intense workout, I do 2 things to help my body recover : 1) restore glycogen and 2) reduce the inflammation.  I do this by eating protein with carbohydrates and taking an ice bath.  I sometimes have difficulty eating right after an intense workout either because my appetite is suppressed or the food/protein drinks available are unappealing.  I also don’t look forward to sitting in an ice bath, although appreciate how much better I feel after.

And then I learned from my coach and a doctor friend that turmeric is a natural anti-inflammatory. Turmeric, a relative of ginger, is a major ingredient in Indian curries and makes American mustard yellow. This spice is also a disease-preventive agent and powerful antioxidant. Check out this WebMD article about turmeric:

http://blogs.webmd.com/food-and-nutrition/2012/10/turmeric.html

Add turmeric to protein, such as quinoa, and you have an ideal post work-out “recovery”meal.  While turmeric may not replace my ice baths, it could potentially help in my recovery.

Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 cup finely medium onion chopped (about 1/2 medium onion)
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed well
  • 1 finely chopped red bell pepper
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon corriander
  • ½ teaspoon white pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt to taste
  • juice of half a lime
  • 1 cup chopped broccoli
  • ½ cup toasted pine nuts

Directions:

Heat olive oil in medium saucepan and sauté onions until translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add peppers and quinoa.  Saute until quinoa is lightly toasted.  Add vegetable broth, cumin, coriander, white pepper, turmeric and kosher salt.  Stir together, then add broccoli and bring to a boil.  Cover and simmer for about 12-15 minutes until broth is absorbed and quinoa is tender.  Turn off heat and allow to sit for an additional 15 minutes covered.  Fluff up quinoa and add lime juice and pine nuts.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

Fresh and nutritious ingredients makes this a healthy meal.
Fresh and nutritious ingredients makes this a healthy meal.
Chop broccoli into small pieces.
Chop broccoli into small pieces.
Toast pine nuts over medium heat.  Toss frequently and don't leave them alone.  They burn very easily.
Toast pine nuts over medium heat. Toss frequently and don’t leave them alone. They burn very easily.

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Hearty Manhattan Clam Chowder

This is a hearty soup full of flavor, both spicy and sweet with surprises of saltiness from the bits of bacon.   The chowder is a meal in itself, however this spicy broth pairs nicely with my refreshing Beet & Watermelon Salad.  This recipe yields a generous 8-10 servings.  I freeze half of the soup in individual serving size containers for a fast, nutritious and satisfying meal anytime.

Ingredients

  • 5 slices bacon, cut into small squares
  • 2 cups finely chopped onion
  • 1 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1 1/2 cup chopped yellow bell pepper (green or red bell peppers can be used; I like the color contrast of yellow bell peppers)
  • 1 cup diced carrot
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 3 cups potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 5 – 15 oz clam stock*
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons dried oregano leaves
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme, removed from stems and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper (this will definitely add a spicy kick to the soup which I love; try ¼ tsp to start if you don’t like your soup too spicy)
  • 3 cans 6.5 ounce minced clams
  • 2 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes*, chopped and juices reserved
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley leaves
  • 4 turns of freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch of salt

* NOTE: If you are a gluten-free diet, ensure that the ingredients you are using are gluten-free.

Directions

In a large heavy pot add bacon and render until golden and crispy.  Add onions, celery, bell pepper and carrots and cook for 10 minutes over medium heat, until vegetables are softened.  Add garlic and cook for additional 2 minutes.  Add potatoes, clam broth, bay leaves, dried oregano, thyme and crushed red pepper.  Cover and bring to a boil.

Lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.  Add tomatoes and continue to cook for 15 additional minutes.  Add clams (for less cloudy and clammy taste, drain clams but I sometimes add the whole can, juice and all).  Add parsley and season with pepper and salt.  Simmer on low heat for 10 minutes.  Sprinkle with some chopped fresh parsley when serving.

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Red or green bell peppers can be used however, I prefer the color contrast of yellow bell peppers.
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Cook the vegetables until softened, about 10 minutes.
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Remove the thyme leaves from the stem and chop roughly.
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Mince 4 large garlic cloves.
This spicy and hearty Manhattan Clam Chowder pairs nicely with my sweet and refreshing Beet & Watermelon Salad.
This spicy and hearty Manhattan Clam Chowder pairs nicely with my sweet and refreshing Beet & Watermelon Salad.