Nutritious Memories

A slice of nutrition, food, photos, music, life and unforgettable memories


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Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

On  hot summer days do you feel like:

A) Your appetite has decreased

B) Your appetite has increased

C) Both fluctuate from time to time.

D) None of the above


I was thinking of walking to the supermarket, despite the blazing heat ( Well it wasn’t as hot as I imagined). My sister decided to tag along and take advantage of the cool breeze, and to go for some exercise. It was sure nice to have company, and share a  conversation, as we slowly made our way to the supermarket.

I was planning to make a light meal that was cool, refreshing. More importantly. I wanted a meal that did not require much preparation/ cooking time, as I really didn’t feel like making a meal which required more than 15 minutes.

One thing I love about the supermarket I go to is that there is always a sale.

 Luckily it was Quinoa, the prime ingredient of today’s recipe.

Quinoa (KEEN-WAH)  is an edible grain, native to the South Americans. There is a lot of sources which talk about how Quinoa can be added to a balanced nutritious meal. Here are a few pointers.

  • It is gluten-free and wheat free making it safe for those who have a wheat allergy, gluten intolerance or coeliac disease, as quinoa can almost be substituted for any other grain.
  •  It is a good source of fiber and has a low-GI, which is important in regulating blood sugar levels stable.

For more information: http://www.cropsforthefuture.org/publication/Species-brochure/Species%20brochure-Quinoa%20Chenopodium%20quinoa.pdf

For those who have tried quinoa often describe both the texture and flavour as a fluffy, creamy with a slight nutty al dente texture, “which makes it an excellent alternative to rice or couscous”.

The Mediterranean Quinoa salad is a fun and vibrant way of whipping a salad , which encapsulates the traditional Mediterranean flavours, making a lovely and unique salad.

What I enjoyed about this recipe was that I was completely satisfied (not full) after having the salad and a mini chicken schnitzel, which didn’t leave that uncomfortable heavy feeling when you have eaten a lot of food.

There is a good amount of fibre (from the vegetables and Quinoa ) and protein ( from the feta and Quinoa). This combination is suggested to help you feel fuller and control satiety levels, which people who are trying to lose weight may find useful.

After having a bite of this yummy salad, I already knew that the salad as well Quinoa was going to be a part of my staple diet. Cooking with Quinoa offers a lot of exciting and delicious possibilities, which can be adapted into a healthy balanced diet. I Suggest looking for recipes and guides in how you can you can benefit from this nutrient dense food (Refer to some link below this post resource section).

After having a nice light dish, I was still able to go for another brisk walk and to enjoy watching the setting of the sun.


To find this recipe check Sarah’s Blog: http://theflyingonion.wordpress.com/2011/05/21/must-have-been-something-i-ate-book-giveaway/

Resources:


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A new Canvas

When you experience:

  • Disappointment
  • Discouragement
  • Frustration
  • Sadness
  • Confusion

Or any other unpleasant feelings, what thoughts start to run in your mind? Sometimes for me it feels like time has ceased and my mind goes back to the incident, which continues to cause pain and anguish.


I never enjoyed facing trials. However trials always seem to have a smart and crafty way of sneaking up in my life every now and then.

I was 18 ready to finish year 12, and was excited about the possibility of getting into my desired course (which was medicine during the time).  During my final exam as I writing blood fell on my  English exam paper, and that when I  realized that I had blood nose during the examination. The examination supervisor escorted me to the bathroom to see if I was OK. I felt dizzy and was experiencing  a myriad of thoughts as I was in the bathroom for more than 30 minutes. The examiner did redeem the time that was lost. But when I came back to finish my mind went of zone, and because of time I was not able to finish my English exam, (which was the most important exam for me). Or the time I had food poisoning and a severe fever 2 days before my final nutrition exam Anyway back to the main point both of these incidents affected my academic performance dramatically, and where I can wanted to go in life.

During those times I didn’t know what to do, where to go to seek help, how to react (well I was in denial). I didn’t know that I was painting a false perception of myself, on a blank canvas sheet. The canvas that I was painting was full of negative thoughts:

“You really think you can get back up again”

” It’s not worth trying anymore”

“no one really cares”

My troubles were knocking on my door constantly, waiting for me to just open the  door knob, so that it could dominate and encapsulate my mind and my of thinking

My negative thoughts imprisoned me in a small tiny cage. The world was seemed so dark and intangible to me.


I was dwelling on the same issues and was thinking the same thoughts over and over and over again. I really believed that there was no other way for me. But thankfully this was not the truth and the end of my chapter. I was so preoccupied with my problems that I didn’t notice the other pathways that God made available to me.

I am going to do something new. It is already happening. Don’t you recognize it? I will clear a way in the desert. I will make rivers on dry land. Isaiah 43:19

The moment when I decided to think about my trouble in a different way and let go, my world just got bigger and brighter.

And I noticed that there really is something called:

  • Hope
  • A future
  • A tomorrow

Take heart and know that your best days are still ahead.

There was a wise man who once said ” As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he” Proverbs : 23:7.

A transformation does not start from the outside, its starts on the inside. Our minds plays a HUGE  role in regards to the way how we react, feel and view others, ourselves,   and the way how we approach situations and circumstances. That’s when I realized that I was only thinking negative thoughts and nothing positive in my life, my lifestyle reflected what I was truly feeling deep within me.

At the end of my trials I learnt so many lessons that were valuable, (even up till today I still have difficulty going through trials). But now trials have now given me a sense to rejoice. I’m not trying to say smile when you have failed, or when someone you care about is ill or going through a crisis that you should smile and rejoice at that particular moment. That’s probably not a wise way of looking at this. Instead I am learning to envision trials from a new perspective.

Trials are not enjoyable when you step into it, but rather the fact you are accomplishing purpose in them is what makes it a joyful experience, which I learn to develop a mind that is of Christ in the process.

“Count your blessings. Once you realize how valuable you are and how much you have going for you, the smiles will return, the sun will break out, the music will play, and you will finally be able to move forward the life that God intended for you with grace, strength, courage, and confidence. Og Mandino
I’ve thrown away the old  canvas, and now I see everyday as a brand new canvas to paint on. I carefully paint a picture that I  desire to see manifest in my life, a life full of abundance, joy, positive thoughts and praise. I do this so at the end of the day I won’t look at it and wish that I had painted something different.


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Mid morning muffins and grapes

The idea of waking up, and smelling fresh muffins baking in the oven sounds like it’s worth getting out of bed. Well too bad no one was at home when I was making these muffins.

I have a confession to make. I am one those people who is skeptical when it comes to baking. Ask me anything but baking. I love baking but I’m not really good at it (Trust me). Maybe because I have never really baked over the past few years , and the first strawberry cake I made (which was not from the Sara lee  premix cake selection)  absolutely shocking. But I am firm believer that practice does make perfect, which always helps me to turn learn from my past mistakes when I bake something new.

I was reading the Coles and the Woolsworths free monthly magazine. I always read the lunch sections first, as they have amazing lunch recipes for kids going to school and also adults as well. These magazines are really great and interesting to read. I really do suggest visiting to your nearest supermarket store and grabbing a free copy of these magazines. If you are learning how to cook, want to find easy and simple recipes, find meals that are budget friendly and even more, I’m sure these magazines will have a worthy spot in your bookshelf or household.

      

Anyway back to my disccusion. Considering how my brother (Bunmi) enjoyes muffins and fruit, and we don’t usually have muffins, this recipe seemed like a good one to try out.

Feel free to try other fruit if you don’t like dried apricots. Also I included crushed walnuts in this recipe.

I was so caught with the busyness of work and other errands of the day, that  complete I forgot that it was my dad’s birthday (Whoops). He a a few and came back for a few more. Who knew that a few small muffins made a huge smile on dads face saying much he enough his so called birthday cake or I should say  “birthday muffin cake” :P, which not only made his day but also mine.

This recipe makes about 12 muffins.

Preparation: 10 minutes                                                Cooking: 25 minutes.

Ingrediants

  • 1 1/2 cups self- rasing flour
  • 200g Dried or diced apricots.
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 Eggs
  • Icing sugar to dust and green grapes or any fruit that you like to serve.

Method

  1. Preheat tghe oven to 190 degrees Celsius  or 170 degrees Celsius fan. Line a 12- Hole, 1/3 Cup capacity muffin pan with paper cases.
  2. Combine the self-raising flour, apricots, brown sugar in a large bowl. Also add the buttermilk, oil and eggs and Whisk all of the ingrediants together. Be careful not to over mix. Fill the prepared pan.
  3. Allow muffins to bake for 20-25 minutes, or the top of the muffin springs back when lightly touched.
  4.  Allow muffins to cool on a wire rack . Light dust the icing sugar  on top of the muffins and serve with green grapes.


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Watermelon Crush

I woke up bright and early and decided to go outside for a nice walk around the neighborhood. I stared deep into the pure blue sky. The birds were chirping their own melodious tune, as they perched on the tree branches. The leaves were swayed by the winds gentle breeze, along with my skin being soaked up by the warmthness of the delicate sun beam. “Ahh  the perfect summer has arrived” I thought to myself.

…………….Well at least that’s I thought it would be like before I went outside and watched the forecast. Instead it was forty one degrees Celsius, there were no clouds to cover the suns excruciating rays, no birds, no movement in the air. Not sound to be found. The scorching heat and silence dominated the whole premises. The place was desolate. Going for a walk was no longer an option.

As I went inside the supermarket what immediately caught my attention was the watermelon. The watermelon was on special 0.95 cents for 1/4 of a watermelon. This was great since I had already had a recipe in mind, which required a watermelon.

This recipe is an ideal summer beverage as it is very easy to prepare, requires little kitchen utensils and equipment. What I love about this cool beverage is that the flavours are simple. The watermelon is sweet, juicy and is refreshing, (since a watermelon consist of 92% water). On the other hand the ice and mint form a thick and frosty fruit crush.  If you like a hint of tang in your drink, then adding a hint lemon juice would be a good option.

The blending of the ingredients does not destroy the fiber found in the watermelon. This is a perfect combination as both fiber and water are important in bowel function and regulation.

My youngest brother simply loved this drink that he chucked his chocolate milk drink, (which he thought was refreshing in this heat)  and pleaded me to make another watermelon crush. So off to the store I went (since I wanted one myself too :P).

This recipe was adapted from the book: The Australian W omen’s Weekly 1000 Best recipes from AWW. Thanks jummy 🙂 for letting me use this book.

Preparation

  • 5 minutes makes 1 Cup (250ml)

Ingredients

  • 450g Watermelon flesh.
  • 4 Mint leaves coarsely chopped. And a few leaves to garnish the drink (optional)
  • 1/2 or 1 cup ice ( Depending on how thick you want your crush).
  • 1 Tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice. (optional)

Method

  1.  Wash the mint leaves.
  2.  Carefully remove the watermelon rind (the green part).
  3. Put all in ingredients into the blender.
  4.  Blend all the ingredients until the  has a smooth and thick texture.
  5. Add additional mint leaves on top of the watermelon crush.


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Walking into the New Year of 2012

The New Year is a time, which opens a new chapter in our lives. It signifies the start of something new/preexisting, where people grab their pens, paper and their thoughts, (or should I  now say for some their (iphones, blackberries, androids, etc) and start writing their New Year’s Resolutions). The fact that you have a goal or a resolution, shows that there is something important that you want to see and accomplish this year.


Even in this exciting moment of thinking of “NYS” and goals, I always wonder why some New Year’s Resolutions seem to go down the drain. I’ll admit I have a lot of thoughts and suggestions, but I think you’ll have to invite me to your next News Years party to discuss about this. In this post I’ll only discuss only one aspect.

This is an obvious one (but one I always seem to be a victim of). Just writing some goals down was simply not enough for me to keeping on running towards my goal. I needed a genuine reason why this is was important to me, and most importantly what was I going to do to in order to achieve my goals. This made me understand that my words should correlate with my actions. For example one of my goals was to sit for the Australian Music Examinations Board AMEB  piano grade 2 examination (which consisted of scales, 4 music pieces, aural and sight-reading), and to try an achieve a distinction, as it was my first examination in AMEB music. All the lessons, organizing times for practice, learning curves as well as hard effort and patience (and I mean PATIENCE) were all small stepping stones which led me to successfully pass my examination with a distinction :). If I did not make time for all of this, then I wouldn’t really be making much progress, and I probably would not have crossed this out of my list of goals for the year.

I’ve previously mentioned that maybe just writing may not be enough for some people. But there is something powerful when you stop and seriously take the time to, reflect and ask yourself a series of questions. The goals journal from kikki k was just great for this (used it last and now this year). Here are some of the few questions it has when deciding on a goal.

  1. Define your goal and set an achievable and measurable date for completion.
  2. Why do I want to achieve this goal?
  3. What is holding me back? What obstacles am I facing?
  4. Record each step you need to take.
  5. Describe your reward. ( And More)

S – Specific
M – Measurable
A- Attainable
R- Relevant
T- Time

Mostly importantly I wanted to walk into 2012, with a new mindset and change the way I how perceive situations, experiences and life.

Taking a peek inside the goals journal

I think exposure plays an essential role in our lives. Exposure challenges old thinking,  it changes the way how we see things, and open doors that you may not be familiar. Having the opportunity to exposure yourself by meeting new people, trying a new habit, etc may be what changes you as a person.

walking into an avenue full of leaves at melbourne uni

I needed a new mind over old issues, as my old way of thinking was not helping me out to tackle some problems and goals. If that was the case, then I thought to myself “I’ll never be able to overcome/ achieve them if I can’t think about the situation differently”.

I see lots of great things in the year of 2012 such as starting my Honours in Food science and Nutrition. This will be great year of divine transformation, processing, meeting new people and places and developing more hidden talents that I never knew existed in me. I hope you also feel the same way as well. What do you see in the year of 2012? do you see it as another year rolling by? I am hoping that this will be a year for you where all your resolutions become into reality.

Stay focused, work hard, look back at your resolutions, find people with similar resolutions, and I know you will surely achieve your goals for 2012.

Have a great year and remember something good for me.