Quinoa Mac ‘n’ Cheese, life, and the return of Zumba!

I went to the nutritionist on March 3rd. I only lost two pounds, but I didn’t think it was a big deal. That’s a total of 11 pounds so far this year, with my goal of 1 lb/ week. Not too bad!

I’ve been doing MUCH better on the food front and on the fitness front. I have rediscovered my love for Zumba and now go twice a week at my gym with a friend. The Monday classes are very fast-paced and the Wednesday classes are more lax due to the Wednesday instructor being new. She is great, though and regardless we get a decent workout. I am also trying rowing again (something I have not done in quite some time). I have also done some HIIT on the treadmill (HIIT = High Intensity Interval Training). I am trying to train for another 5K in June! My goal is to beat my time from last year (which was 40 min).

On the food front, I found a GREAT recipe for quinoa mac ‘n; cheese from the March 2012 Shape magazine that I made on Friday! Image

Quinoa Mac ‘n’ Cheese! (courtesy of Shape Magazine)

1 cup whole grain quinoa
1 ½ cups low-sodium vegetable broth
2 medium leeks
2 tsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ 10 oz package of frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 TBSP chopped flat-leafed parsley
¼ tsp fresh ground pepper
¼ tsp salt
2 large eggs
¾ cup crumbled fat-free feta cheese
¼ cup light garlic & herb cream cheese (couldn’t find it so I used whipped chive instead)
¼ cup grated Parmesan Cheese
1 TBSP non-fat milk
Cooking spray
4 garlic whole-wheat bagel chips, crumbled (Omitted for me)

(1) Preheat oven to 375’F. In a large pot, combine quinoa and veg. broth, cover, and bring to a simmer over med-high heat. Reduce heat to low and cook for 30 min or until broth is absorbed. Remove from heat and let rest for 5 min.

(2) Meanwhile, roughly chop only the white and green part of the leeks and discard the leaves. Heat olive oil in a nonstick pan over med-high heat. Add leeks and garlic and sauté for 2 min or until soft. Using a paper towel, squeeze excess water from spinach, add to pan, and sauté for 3 more min. remove from heat and stir in thyme, parsley, pepper, and salt. Set aside. Fluff resting quinoa with a fork.

(3) In a large mixing bowl, whisk eggs and feta together; set aside. Place cream cheese and milk in a small microwavable bowl and heat in microwave on HIGH for 30 sec, then whisk to combine. Mix in parmesan. Spoon mixture into a zip-top sandwich bag, and refrigerate until ready to use.

(4) Add cooled quinoa to spinach and leek mixture. Toss to combine, then stir in egg mixture until combined. Coat a 2-quart baking dish with cooking spray and pile quinoa mixture into it. Snip a corner of the cream-cheese filled baggie and squeeze evenly over quinoa. Scatter bagel chip crumbs on top and mist with cooking spray (omitted because I don’t eat bagel chips… I added 2 TBSP of parmesan and 2 TBSP of Mozzarella cheese instead). Bake for 25 min or until golden. Serve immediately.
Serving Size: 1 cup

Cal: 288
Fat 10g
Sodium 746 mg
Carbohydrates 30g
Fiber 3g
Protein 17g

Also contains 276mg Calcium & 3 mg Iron

Mine came out looking like this…


Let me tell you. IT IS DELICIOUS!!!!

Well, I am off to get ready for work. Have a great day, all!


2 thoughts on “Quinoa Mac ‘n’ Cheese, life, and the return of Zumba!

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