Dinner/ Exercise/ Fitness

Superfood Dinner

I made one of my favorite dinners tonight. I like to call it “power salad” because of all the protein that’s packed into one bowl! I found this recipe a long time ago on the 101 cookbooks blog (www.101cookbooks.com) and have made it several times since when I need something quick, easy and rejuvenating to eat! If you have never tried quinoa before, I encourage you to give it a try. It’s FILLED with protein and is actually one of the only vegetarian foods that gives your body a complete protein…and, best of all, its very inexpensive! You can eat it for breakfast like oatmeal with walnuts and dried fruit, in soups, as salads, in baking goods…the list goes on and on. I think its wonderful with a chew and slightly nutty taste. It makes this salad very filling. All the ingredients in this salad are quite inexpensive…most you probably have already in your pantry. Give it a try! Here’s the recipe that I modified to serve one.

Lemon Scented Quinoa Salad with Garbanzo Beans

1/4 cup quinoa

1 tbsp tahini (sesame seed paste)

1/2 smashed garlic clove

1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

1/2 lemon, zested

1/2 cup garbanzo beans

1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 bunch fresh cilantro

1 tbsp small diced red onion

In a small saucepan, add the quinoa and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil, then let simmer for about 15-20 minutes or until all the water is absorbed into the quinoa. While that’s going, make the dressing.

Whisk together the tahini, garlic, lemon juice, lemon zest and olive oil. Set aside.

When the quinoa is done, remove from the heat and put in a bowl. Toss with the garbanzo beans, cilantro and red onion. Mix in the dressing and enjoy 🙂

Serves 1

520 calories, 18 grams of fat

*note: the fat in this recipe is the good type of fat that comes from olive oil and tahini. Your body needs this mono-unsaturated fat to keep on working and protect your heart. Its the same type of fat found in walnuts. So eat and enjoy!


Cooking in my kitchen


The finished, yummy salad bowl!

This afternoon I finished all my work I had to get done and made it to the gym for a 40 minute run on the treadmill. I felt soo much better after I ran! I came home and ate a quick snack of 4 ounces 1% cottage cheese and 1 kiwi while I made my oatmeal for tomorrow morning. Mmm..it’s amazing how good healthy food and exercise can make you feel!

I always try to eat a little bit more on days that I have to work at night because not only have been on my feet running all morning in the kitchen at school and have exercised, but also go to work for about 5 hours at night where all I do is run and seat guests for dinner! I always bring a snack with me to work thats about 100-150 calories and eat it midway through the night (around 8:15 for me) so that I don’t pass out!

No wine tonight because I’m off to work! I’m bringing an Erin Baker’s Mini Breakfast Cookie with me (100 calories- found them at the Fresh Market) to give me some fuel later on!

**adding onto last night….I ended up eating the 100 calorie whole grain cookie around 8:15 along with a small piece of organic dark chocolate I had stashed in my purse. When I got off work around 10:30 I tasted about 2 ounces of wine that was given to one of the servers by his table. It was from a 100 dollar bottle of red wine and was very good—I couldn’t say no when they offered me a tiny taste 😉

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  • Christie
    December 12, 2007 at 9:45 pm

    When you make your oatmeal how much is 10 grams of walnuts and peanut butter?
    Also do you just count calories and not focus on food groups, like referring to the new food guide pyramid, as far as carb servings etc.

  • Danielle
    December 12, 2007 at 11:52 pm

    Hi again,
    Thanks for the quick replies! I’m in my second year so fortunately I’m able to share an apartment with 3 of my friends aka I have a full kitchen. The trouble is, although I can chose to buy natural, healthy food at my own discretion (I have my car too) my roommates eating habits sometimes have negative effects on my good intentions. But! that’s only sometimes and as long as I keep things in focus I am usually mindful of what I fuel my body with. Cooking though, not one of my fortes, so I get nervous when it comes to new and complicated recipes. This salad looks so delicious though and actually not that tough so I am planning on trying it out as soon as I can! Do you have any staples that are really quick, easy and delicious, oh and healthful too, of course? 🙂

  • jaweber
    December 13, 2007 at 1:46 pm


    10 grams of walnuts = about 5 whole walnuts…not chopped or halved or anything. 10 grams of peanut butter is about 2 teaspoons. I used to just put a whole tablespoon of peanut butter in my oatmeal but i love getting the crunch from the toasted walnuts too!

    As for my eating focus….no, I do not focus as much on calories as I do on making sure I eat balanced healthy meals and snacks daily. I don’t follow the USDA food pyramid because I don’t think that fits everyone and I dont eat as much red meat as is listed there. I also try to make much more than “half my grains whole”. I make sure ALL my grains are whole grains! I really do the calorie counting for you all so you know how much my meals are if you want to recreate them at home. I always am interested in how many calories the meals are that I prepare and appreciate it when its listed under the recipe in a cookbook or something. I also just think its really interesting knowing how many calories my body takes in daily because honestly, its usually less than I think it is (on most days that is!)

    When evaluating my diet I think I eat more along the lines of the Mediterranean food pyramid that emphasis whole grains, olive oil, nuts and fish more than meat…I eat a ton of nuts! I also really like the Harvard School of Medicine’s food pyramid that they put together. When you really think about it the USDA is the goverment…and how the goverment says we all should eat. It doesn’t fit everyone by any means!

    On a daily basis I probably eat about 3 pieces of fruit, a couple cups of veggies, 5 or 6 servings of whole grain, 1-2 cups of dairy (including milk and yogurt) and protein coming from soy, beans, fish or chicken. I never worry about the protein part of it because the average american eats way too much protein anyway! I know I get enough! I eat nuts every single day….a handful probably….yum! Here are some links if you are interested in learning more about the Mediterranean diet and/or harvard med.

    sorry for the length, I could go on and on about this stuff! 🙂
    thanks for reading!!

  • jaweber
    December 13, 2007 at 1:59 pm


    I totally understand!! I lived with 2 other girls in college and the temptation was always there to eat good down home southern food all the time..(i went to school in alabama then in south carolina). Some pantry staples that I kept and that I still keep always are:

    Almonds for snacking
    scottish oats
    kashi granola bars
    kashi cookies (i love the dark chocolate ones…so yummy and great for long nights at the library)
    extra virgin olive oil
    whole wheat pastry flour for baking
    some dry cereal for munching like peanut butter puffins
    luna bars
    clover honey
    those 100 calorie packs of popcorn
    TEAS! i love tea!
    kashi crackers
    some cans of beans like garbanzo beans or black beans
    whole wheat tortillas
    whole wheat bread
    organic pasta sauce
    whole wheat pasta
    arborio rice for making risotto
    brown rice
    peanut butter!!!! my favorite 🙂

    hmm..trying to think….in my fridge I like to keep:
    skim milk
    fat free yogurt and 1% cottage cheese
    fresh fruit and veggies
    low fat cheddar cheese
    feta cheese
    some already homemade soups from stores like whole foods
    red raspberry preserves

    and in my freezer I always had frozen chicken breasts, gardenburgers (LOVE these!), frozen meals from whole foods, sometimes I liked to buy the morningstar farms soy chicken fingers and corn-dogs… 😉

    QUICK meals I made when I was really low on time and had to get to class were: just some pasta with marina sauce, cubed pieces of baked tomato basil tofu and some cheese…..or I would heat up a gardenburger with no bun, top with some marinara sauce and a slice of provolone cheese-pop it under the broiler and then eat that with some microwave steamed broccoli and a slice of whole wheat bread…I would always make really big meals on sundays then eat leftovers all week and make things to freeze and eat whenever, like soups, stews, chilies, casseroles….hopefully someday when I finally get around to writing my cookbook all these easy recipes will be in it! haha!