I've tried to write up some blog posts about my usual topics (health and law school), but I honestly never get very far because my brain gets bored and tired trying to be creative and informative at the same time. Soooo, I'll just wrap those two topics up for now by saying:
1. I came down with a cold at the end of October that I knew was bad news bears from the start. It ended with me feeling bad enough a week and a half later that I called my doc and went to the hospital where they discovered I was so dehydrated that my heart rate had sky rocketed, my O2 sats had dropped, and I had fever for the first time since I-don't-know-when. They pumped me full of saline, then started some IV antibiotics, and everything had equalized within 12 hours or so, thankfully. I only had to stay in the hospital 4 days this time, which is new to me - it's usually at least 10-14 days, which is why I typically resist caving in and agreeing to be admitted. So it was nice to really only miss out on a few days of life and school. Also thankfully, this unexpected dose of antibiotics and prednisone has bumped my numbers back up to the highest they've been all year, so yay for that!
2. Law school. Almost. Done. Thank. The Lord. I have 2.5 weeks of class left, then finals, then graduation!! Oh yeah, then the bar. Boooo. That will be a super trying time for my health, sanity, and probably every single relationship in my life. I am asking for lots of prayers for good health and diligence! Luckily I have some pretty awesome cheerleaders in my corner, including a husband who has been through the stress of studying for and taking the bar and will loving keep my butt in gear while comforting me when it all feels too much. :)
Ok. Now for the real post. I've been cooking a lot recently, and wanted to share some of the better recipes on here (it seems like an easy post that won't require too much writing creativity!).
"One-Pot" meals have become one of my new obsessions. If I can keep everything contained to a cutting board and a single pot to clean, I am a happy camper and a much more enthusiastic cook!
Today I made this "One Pan Mexican Quinoa" for lunch. It. Was. Awesome. It literally took me less than 10 minutes to get everything in the pot, then I was able to hang out with hubby and enjoy a lazy morning on the couch until it was ready! Seriously worth a try if you're looking for something new, fast, healthy AND tasty.
A few days ago, our sweet, elderly, Mexican neighbors gave us a handful of homegrown peppers from their garden and WHEW are they spicy! The husband laughing told my hubby that his stomach couldn't handle them anymore, but that his wife still ate them. We gave the peppers a nibble and they kinda knocked our socks off. I've been getting gradually more adventurous for using them in my cooking this week, and today I decided to use them in the Mexican Quinoa. I used them in place of the jalenpenos and didn't bother seeding or deveining them. It definitely kicked the spice level of this dish way up there, but the result is sooooooo delicious!
Cooking tip: Where I live in the south, this is common knowledge, but in case there are readers from regions that don't use spicy peppers in half their dishes like we do, always seed and devein your peppers if you want the pepper flavor without the spice. By adjusting how much of the vein and the seeds you use in your dish, you can control how spicy it will be. Another option is to just find a pepper that is labeled "mild", such as a mild hatch chili or poblano pepper. Personally, I like starting with the spice and just toning it down until I get the ideal level of spiciness for the dish.
This dish resembles a quinoa chili with some extra mexican flavors. In the end, I added some chopped red bell pepper and green onions to add some cold and snappy textures to the dish, as well as some feta cheese crumbles. This makes it a more well-rounded meal and the cheese adds a little extra fat to make sure all the vitamins from the veggies get absorbed.
This isn't a very high-fat dish, so if you're looking to put on some weight, you might try adding a few extras. The only real fat sources is the tablespoon of olive oil and the avocado. I would suggest adding cheese for some extra calories. I also think this would be delicious mixed with some kind of meat - perhaps some ground beef or chicken sautéed in some additional olive oil.
NOTE: it took my quinoa closer to 40 minutes to cook down. If yours doesn't look done at 20 minutes, just keep an eye on it every 8-10 minutes until the germ rings start to appear and the soupiness has cooked down.
Let me know if you try it and what you think!
One-Pan Mexican Quinoa