Second Rendition of Lunch For One

Sundays and Mondays are my days off.  My Fiance works on Mondays so its kind of my day of alone time.  On these days, I find myself either playing in the kitchen all day, or running errands all over the city, that we haven’t had time to do during the week. 

Today was one of those days where I have been in the kitchen since I rolled my lazy self out of bed.  I have been preparing some baked goods to trade for Massage and Acupuncture treatments at work.  While my Apple Cake was in the oven (I’ll write about the cake tomorrow), I decided to make myself lunch.

Prosciutto Wrapped Dover Sole, with warm Quinoa Salad.

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Now, I know that most people don’t keep prosciutto in the their refrigerator, I just happened to have some left over from our Charcuterie Plate (Cured Meats and Cheese) dinner last night.

This lunch doesn’t take many ingredients or much time.

Here’s what you need:

Fillet of Dover Sole

2 oz of thinly sliced Prosciutto

1/4 cup of Quinoa

1/4 cup of Grape Tomatoes, sliced

1/4 cup of sliced Pepperoncinis

2 Tbps of chopped Fresh Basil

Splash of Olive Oil and Red Wine Vinegar

1/2 Cup of Chicken Stock

 

Here’s what you do;

Cook the Quinoa in the Vegetable Stock.  Remember, you cook Quinoa like rice, 2:1 liquid to grain ration.  Bring it up to a boil, then reduce to simmer and cover for 8 – 12 minutes.

Toss the Quinoa with the Tomatoes, Peppers and Basil, add the vinegar and olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.

Salt and Pepper the Sole fillet, then wrap it in the Prosciutto.

Heat a non-stick skillet and sear the Prosciutto wrapped fish on each side for about 5 minutes.  

Plate and eat up!

 

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Vacation Recuperation

This past weekend, my fiancé and I travelled to Southern California for our Wedding Shower that was being thrown for us by my family.  Now, when I am on vacation, I tend to throw my “good girl” diet brain out the window.  I eat what’s offered to me, what sounds, looks, or smells good, and whenever I feel like it. 

This weekend was a celebratory weekend to top it all off.  My father, who like me, enjoys feeding people, made an ambitious menu of Hawaiian inspired fare (the shower was Luau themed).  The menu included Hawaiian pulled pork, sausage and meatballs in a sweet and sour orange sauce, cocoanut shrimp, rice with pineapple and macadamia nuts, BBQ beans, Teriyaki chicken wings, Hawaiian Coleslaw, potato salad, macaroni salad, and a variety of other snacks.  Oh, and lets not forget the chocolate fountain.  Yes, that’s right.  A CHOCOLATE FOUNTAIN.

So perhaps I went a little overboard this weekend.  It is because of this, and the inspiration I received from work to come up with a light and nutritious recipe for the summer time, I am sharing this wonderful cold quinoa salad.  I know I posted a quinoa recipe in my last post too, and it was also Italian inspired, but this one is different and equally tasty, I promise.

Tuscan Quinoa Salad

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Ingredients:

–  1 1/2 Cups of Uncooked Quinoa

–  3 Cups of Low Sodium Vegetable Stock

–  3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

–  2 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar

–  1 Tsp of Lemon Zest

–  Juice of 1/2 a Lemon

–  1 1/2 Cups of Grape Tomatoes Halved

–  1/2 Cup of Fresh Basil Chopped

–  1/4 Cup of Fresh Italian Parsley Chopped

–  8 Oz of Fresh Mozzarella or Buffalo Mozzarella Cubed

–  1 16 Oz Can of Cannellini Beans Rinsed and Drained

–  Salt and Pepper to taste

–  1/2 Tsp Red Pepper Flakes (optional) 

Here’s What You Do:

1. In a medium sauce pan, combine the Quinoa, Vegetable Stock, 1/2 Tbsp of Olive Oil, and 1/2 Tbsp of Red Wine Vinegar.  Bring it to a boil, reduce to simmer and cover for 8 – 12 minutes or until the liquid is gone and the Quinoa is tender. This can be different for everyone, I like a little more bite to my Quinoa so I don’t let it cook as long.

2. Transfer cooked Quinoa to a mixing or serving bowl and refrigerate until cold, 30 minutes or so.

3. While the Quinoa is chilling, combine the rest of the ingredients in a bowl to marinate together, then mix it into the Quinoa once it is cooled.

4. Refrigerate the finished salad for another 10 minutes and taste to check if you need more salt or pepper.

Serve chilled.  This recipe yields 6 – 8 servings at 7 Points Plus per serving.

Mangia!

Lunch For One

Hey everyone!  Sorry about not posting for a couple of weeks.  I am getting married at the end of June, and things are starting to get a little hectic.

But that is NO excuse to not make some healthy and delicious home made meals right?

While thinking of healthy and light summer recipes to put in the newsletter for my office, I became inspired to make lunch for myself, instead of going out in search of the elusive Porchetta Sandwich.  I’ll leave that to another day (but I will find one).

I LOVE quinoa.  Quinoa fulfills the desire of rice, the crunch of baked breadcrumbs, and provides the nutrients of a complete protein all in one amazing grain.  So for lunch I decided to make a Warm Italian Quinoa Salad.  We already know I have an obsession with Italian foods, so it seemed like a great idea to me.

For me, it is sometimes tricky to come up with a healthy lunch option, and cut my recipes down so that I only make one serving.  I am so used to cooking for two, and let me tell you, it was hard enough to train myself to just make two servings of food instead of enough for an entire family.  I hate to toot my own horn, but I find my meals so tasty that if I make more than one serving per person, I will eat it ALL.

So what have I done to help myself and my lack of self control out?  I keep my measuring cups close at hand.  I measure and chop everything before I start cooking so that I can see the volume of food I am creating before I even start, and I can make adjustments before the cooking process begins.

So, lets talk about my quinoa salad.

Ingredients:

1/4 cup of uncooked Quinoa

1/2 cup of Vegetable Stock (preferably low sodium)

1 tsp Italian Seasoning (I was kicking myself for using up all of my fresh basil making stuffed mushrooms, which I’ll tell you about later)

1 tsp Olive Oil

1/2 tsp Red Wine Vinegar

1/2 small Zucchini (roughly chopped)

1/2 cup of Grape Tomatoes (roughly chopped)

2 medium sized Crimini Mushroms (roughly chopped) 

1 tbsp Yellow Onion (minced)

1/tsp Garlic (minced)

1 oz Fresh Mozzarella

1 tbs Balsamic Vinegar

Salt, Pepper

Here’s what you do:

In a small sauce pan (and I mean small), combine the Quinoa, 1/2 tsp of olive oil, red wine vinegar, vegetable stock, and Italian seasoning.  Bring it to a boil, cover the pot and turn the heat down to low for 8 – 12 minutes or until the liquid is gone.

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In the mean time, combine all the veggies, onion, garlic, balsamic, and the rest of the olive oil in a saute pan and turn the heat on medium high.  Add a pinch of salt and a bit of cracked pepper to taste, and cook until the zucchini is al dente.

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Definition of Al Dente: to the tooth, or with a bit of bite.

Add the cooked quinoa to the sauteed vegetables and toss them together.  Put it all in a bowl and top with chunks of fresh mozzarella cheese. 

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Sit back and enjoy!

I just finished my own bowl and it was so good, I wish there was more.  Its a good thing I only made one serving.