There is currently a basketball-sized ball of gas inside my abdomen. I haven’t been this bloated since I drank coffee on an empty stomach the morning of the SATs and proceeded to make whale calls with my stomach throughout a 4 hour exam. I think I have reached my limit of vegetables and fruit for a single 24 hour period, and the results are…interesting. Everything I’ve eaten thus far has been delicious, and I’m especially impressed with last night’s dinner (see below), but there is simply no room for easing into an increased fiber intake when you’re cutting out all processed carbs.
On a positive note, however, I went to a wedding reception today and drank three bottles of water while everyone else downed wine and beer. Honestly, it was one of the more difficult social events I’ve had to attend in recent memory, exacerbated by the fact that I didn’t know anyone there and was the youngest person by far, but I’m feeling very proud that I got through it alcohol- and carb-free! Today’s recipe is inspired by my brother and his lovely wife. We spent last weekend hosting them here in Fort Collins, and we spent a good deal of time discussing various vegetarian/plant-based meals we each enjoy making. Their favorite was titled “Mexican Quinoa” and sounded delicious enough to try. Below is what I can remember of what they told me to include and whatever else I had around that seemed like it would be appetizing. Here’s to more beans and less bloat!
- 2 cups uncooked quinoa
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 3 T olive oil
- 2 chicken breasts
- 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 can sweet corn, drained and rinsed
- ~15-20 cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 a red onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 6-7 baby bella mushrooms, sliced
- Juice of 2 limes
- 2 T chili powder
- Cilantro, to garnish
- 1 Avocado
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Prepare quinoa in a rice cooker or pot according to directions (using chicken broth instead of water) while preparing the remainder of the dish.
- Heat a large saucepan over medium heat with the olive oil and place the chicken in when it’s hot. Turn the chicken over after approximately 1 minute and cover pan. Turn heat down to low and let simmer for at least 25 minutes, or until chicken has an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
- While chicken and quinoa are cooking, add the rinsed canned items (black beans, garbanzo beans, and corn) and tomatoes to a large bowl.
- Using a small frying pan, saute the mushrooms, onions, and garlic for 3-4 minutes, just until onions are translucent. Return these ingredients to the bowl with the beans.
- Squeeze limes over ingredients and sprinkle with chili powder, salt, and pepper. Stir to incorporate.
- Once chicken is done, chop it into small cubes and stir into remainder of ingredients.
- Serve bean mixture over quinoa with a large dollop of Greek yogurt and several slices of avocado.
- Breakfast = Scrambled eggs and sweet potato home fries
- Snack = PB&J smoothie (banana, Greek yogurt, peanut butter, strawberries, blueberries, coconut flakes, water)
- Lunch = Homemade red pepper (Peppadews..my newfound loves) hummus with cucumbers and tomatoes
- Dinner = Slow-cooked pork and veggies at the reception
- Dessert = Chia pudding! My first time ever making it and I’ll let you know how it turns out. Also, I turned down cake at the wedding and I feel like that is medal-worthy.