Peanut Butter and Jelly Quinoa

Looks like winter is planning to stick around a bit longer. Everyone keeps saying March is the worst month in New England. It sounds like it should be a spring month and we’re all so ready, but Mother Nature keeps us waiting.

Oh well, at least there are cute pictures of puppy paw prints in the snow…

paw prints in the snow

and lattes…

coffee

and peanut butter and jelly quinoa…

peanut butter and jelly quinoa

but I’m getting a little ahead of myself.

Yesterday’s attempt at a quinoa casserole turned out to be a semi-flop. The flavors were good but overall it was way too dry. I ended up eating it with salsa on top but it still didn’t do it for me. I have some ideas on how to fix it and will keep tweaking until it’s sharable.

quinoa casserole

I also made a basil, pear, pineapple smoothie yesterday. I’d never made a smoothie with basil but I had some wilting in the fridge (like always) and thought I’d try. I don’t know what to make of it. At first sip it was not good, then I had another, the pear was making it gritty, still not good. Then I had another sip and another until the whole thing was gone. Hmm, couldn’t have been that bad. 🙂 It definitely wasn’t ready to share, but with the right fruit pairing I’m sure it can be a refreshing drink.

Okay, where was I? Ah, peanut butter and jelly quinoa, yes.

I love pb&j’s. I ate them almost everyday when I was growing up, except on the days I’d switch it up to have a delectable ketchup sandwich. Yup, I just said ketchup sandwich! I bet my mom is wondering why she ever let us make our own lunches.

This quinoa has the same flavorings as a traditional pb&j but is made with healthy quinoa instead of white or wheat bread, plus, no crusts to cut off! Also, if your quinoa is already cooked it takes less than 3 minutes to put together. Perfect for a quick breakfast or kid’s lunch.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Quinoa (vegan, gluten-free, soy-free)

1 cup cooked quinoa

2 tablespoons natural peanut butter

pinch of salt

1/2 cup milk of choice, I’ve been loving rice milk instead of almond lately

1 tablespoon of your favorite jam

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Cook quinoa according to these directions.

While quinoa is cooking mix peanut butter, milk and salt together. If the mixture is to thick add a little bit more milk.

peanut butter and milk

Place quinoa in a bowl.

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Top with peanut butter mixture.

peanut butter and jelly quinoa

Then some jelly.

peanut butter and jelly quinoa

Mix. Eat. Gobble the whole thing up like a kid.

peanut butter and jelly quinoa

Enjoy and Exhale!

Boston’s Winter Wonderland

Whew, that was a lot of snow.

Here are before and after shots of our car. This photo was taken around 4pm on Friday afternoon.

Before

This one around 10am Saturday morning. You can just see the top case of my scooter peeking out from behind the car.

After

As you can see, the storm was intense. Lots of wind and about 2 feet of snow in our neighborhood. We spent the evening inside watching Dexter and drinking wine as predicted. We did go out for a few minutes to let Eli run around in the blizzard, which was quickly followed by more sitting by the fire under a blanket.

Saturday we woke up and took an early morning walk.

Mass Ave Boston

This is Mass Ave, probably one of the busiest streets in the city, completely deserted except for us walkers.

Newbury Street

Here is Newbury, another busy street, without a single car.

Newbury Starbucks

Everything was shut down! No Starbucks for us. 😦

So the rest of Saturday was spent doing this.

Scrabble

Yep, a lot of U’s.

There was also lots of lounging.

Guy

The sun came out with a vengeance yesterday. Blue skies and warm temps. In the afternoon we set out for a much more enjoyable stroll around the city. Look at that sky!

Sledding

There were tons of families sledding in the Commons.

Playing in the snow

Eli was loving the snow, he’s waiting to chase a snowball here.

snow sculptures

This is some random guy building what looked to be cross between a lobster and a shark out of snow (in short sleeves!)

I have to hand it to New Englanders, they know how to make the best of the weather. There were people out running despite the snow filled sidewalks, plenty of cross-country skiers along the river and a huge group of kids making a gigantic fort in the park. Blizzards definitely make you appreciate the sunny days. Too bad it didn’t last, back to gray, cloudy and rainy today but there is a silver lining, a gluten-free blueberry muffin trial that worked!

Happy Monday.

Enjoy and Exhale!

Seeing Red

All anyone can talk about in these parts is the big storm headed our way tomorrow. It could bring up to 24″ of snow and everyone is acting like it’s the first time New England has ever seen snow. I’ve never actually experienced a blizzard myself so I don’t totally understand what the fuss is about but I’m sort of excited to see. Famous last words I’m sure.

Just in case we’re covered in white all weekend, let’s talk red today.

This recipe wasn’t intended as a Valentine’s Day recipe, I’m not really one to celebrate the holiday anyway, but as luck would have it I made this dish in February and I think it would make a great addition to a love themed dinner. It has quinoa in it after all. What’s not to love?

This was an impulse purchase. I don’t usually buy red quinoa, mostly because white quinoa is always cheaper, but I was standing in a ridiculously long Trader Joe’s line last Sunday that wrapped around the aisles and grabbed it on a whim.

When I got home I noticed an unused pomegranate and thought the two together might make a good combo. Turns out they not only look pretty together but taste wonderful.

red quinoa pomegranate salad

Red Quinoa Pomegranate Salad (vegan, gluten-free)

For the salad:

1 cup red quinoa

2 cups water

pinch of salt

3/4 cup pomegranate seeds

1 cup black beans, drained and rinsed

1 tbsp lemon zest

For the dressing:

2 tbsp olive oil

3 tbsp white wine vinegar

1/2 tsp garlic salt

1.5 tsp maple syrup

1 tsp chopped garlic

1/8 cayenne pepper

Juice of 1 lemon

————

Rinse quinoa then place in a pot with water and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce to medium low heat for 20 minutes or until water has evaporated. Stir to fluff.

Place cooked quinoa in a big bowl with black beans and pomegranate seeds.

Mix dressing ingredients together in a small bowl.

Toss dressing with quinoa, beans and seeds.

Top with lemon zest.

red quinoa pomegranate saladred quinoa pomegranate black bean salad

I ended up eating this salad for breakfast after shooting the photos. 🙂 Yum!

As a total aside, I went to my first power class in many months at Baptiste Yoga yesterday. It was so hot in the room I felt months of cold melt from my body. It reminded me how much I love hot yoga and that as a naturally cold-blooded person it’s important that I feel hot from time to time. I can’t believe I waited so long to go. I have an unlimited month’s worth of classes. If you can’t find me in all the snow I’ll be sweating it out in the studio.

Lastly, teaching 12:15pm at Sangha, 4:30pm at All One and 7pm back at Sangha today. If you’re in Boston come do some yoga!

Enjoy and Exhale!

Little Bits of Random 3, Winter

I was going to do a Superbowl recipe roundup today but my dentist appointment ran long this morning, then there was the gym and subbing. Before I knew it it was late afternoon and going through all my bookmarked recipes felt like a lot of work.

Adding some photos to a post and coming up with short sentences to describe them sounded a lot more manageable and fun.

Little Bits of Random 3, Winter

juice prep

Trying to keep the winter germs at bay with fresh juices a couple of times a week. Finally nearing the end of my grapefruit stash.

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A frozen over Charles River looking toward Cambridge.

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Sad swing covered in snow.

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My favorite part of snow, right after it falls and covers the trees.

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More snow.

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A winter playground.

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My guilty winter pleasure. Please don’t judge. I love me some Bachelor.

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Reflections of the city on the water.

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My new haircut and my first attempt to curl my hair with a straightener. I know people have been doing this forever but I’m not very beauty savvy so it’s taken me a while to get with the trends. I’m not nearly as unhappy as I look. 🙂

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A deep conversation with Eli about the Patriots right after their playoff loss.

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Guy looking on as I ‘work’. Aka look at a pet video online on how to clean dog’s ears.

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Playing in the snow during Wednesday’s run.

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Winter run with my favorite pup.

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A lovely soy chai from Thinking Cup that I had earlier this week while meeting up with a new friend.

Sadly, I don’t have any good pictures of Michael that I haven’t already used in the last few posts.

He works too much! 😦

Hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Enjoy and Exhale!

Goodbye 2012

Like most, I’ve been a little introspective as the year comes to a close. A lot of change happened in 2012. I quit the ad job I’d had for 5 years, moved across the country, decided to teach yoga full-time, started this blog and learned to run in 30 degree weather.

I am so thankful for all of these new opportunities but I would be lying if I said it’s all been a perfectly easy and seamless transition. Like anything new there have been plenty of ups and downs. There have been moments of doubt, days of homesickness for San Francisco and all those I’ve left behind, nights pondering my now stagnant 401k and ego-driven conversations with myself about whether I’m really any good at this teaching thing.

But in the end I’m proud to say that I took the leap. That I didn’t allow fear to get the best of me. Knowing deep in my gut that I will never regret taking this chance regardless of the outcome. I am thankful for the opportunity to ‘start’ again, to reinvent my career, call a new city home, exploring both it and myself.

I am also so grateful to have a such a supportive partner, who believes in me with his whole heart and listens to the craziness and next big idea with complete attention. His confidence buoys mine and this adventure could never have been possible without him nudging me to try.

I have a new appreciation for New Years as it brims with possibility, hope and sparkle. I’m genuinely looking forward to the year ahead and all to come.

We happen to be celebrating in NYC this year. We drove down early yesterday morning after dropping my mom off at the airport. We got a fair amount of snow on Saturday night so the drive was beautiful and white and at 7am it only took about 3.5 hours.

Conn highway Snow on the drive Snow on the drive

For all the times Michael and I have both been to New York separately this is our first time in the city together.

We spent yesterday running with Eli in Central Park, exploring the city and shopping.

On our walk we stopped by Rockefeller Plaza to see the skating rink and tree.

Rock TreeRock Plaza30 Rock

Rock Plaza

Tonight we have reservation for a vegetarian prix fixe at Blossom and then we may attempt to walk near Times Square but don’t think we’ll be willing to brave the crowds.

Wishing you a wonderful end to your 2012 and a great start to 2013. Thank you for supporting my new endeavours as well. This blog wouldn’t be the same without its readers.

Enjoy and Exhale!