21 October, 2013

Spiced Quinoa Pilaf

 
My blog is slowly turning into a running blog with random healthy recipes added to each blog post. I am not sure I like this new direction yet. It all seems less coherent. On the other hand, my running rules my life these days. The Berlin marathon is done and dusted but had kept me busy for several month. You got your fair share of it. The Dubai running season has just started with the first 10k race last weekend. I am at a loss how to accommodate both in a more synchronized way. Hence the less regular posts/recipes these days.

Have I mentioned before that I am studying to become a Personal Trainer? I have already been asked to develop individual training programs for friends to prepare for half marathons, full marathons or simply to get off the sofa.
Recently I was asked by a parent in my kids' school to design an exercise program for her that will aid weight loss.We haven't started the program yet. I am curious to see whether I will get someone to implement long-term dietary changes in order to achieve results. If you ask me, the dietary side even more difficult than getting someone to exercise.
A Dubai-based fitness company laid out some food rules to go with their exercise program and I agree with it: getting in shape is 20% exercise and 80% food. You cannot out-train a bad diet. Good bodies are built in the kitchen and polished in the gym (or wherever you exercise).

My personal workouts and nutrition go hand in hand. I eat, I sleep, I work out, I run, I race. I am convinced that there is an interdependence between my diet, my sleep, my workouts and my race performances: My food choices impact on the quality of my sleep. Both sleep and food quality impact on my training quality and training load which translates directly to the quality of my race performances.

Exercise and food complement each other. I get the occasional feedback from you guys that you enjoy my rantings about my running. Perhaps I should get a little more serious and share more of scientific running and exercise data  that I read and put into practice on a daily basis, instead of emotional ranting about my injuries, training hiccups and races successes. Would you be interested in that?

Today's recipe is a spicy quinoa pilaf that I made when I cam back from the Berlin marathon. It's a vegan bomb of nutritious ingredients, full of vegetables and spices that have anti-inflammatory properties. An ideal dish to recover from a strenuous race, a hard workout, and to keep the immune system up to fight off any cold or other bugs before they can spread out. I hope you enjoy!
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SPICED QUINOA PILAF

(Print Recipe)

1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 cinnamon stick
3 cloves
2 cardamom pods
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup quinoa, raw
3 cups water

1 cup cauliflower florets
1 cup carrots, chopped
1/2 cup raw cashew nuts

1 cup green beans, trimmed and chopped to 1-inch pieces
1 cup broccoli florets

1/2 cup frozen green peas

fresh cilantro, chopped

Serves 4-6
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In a skillet, heat coconut oil over medium heat. Add cinnamon, cloves, cardamon, ginger, garlic and turmeric and fry until fragrant. 
Stir in raw quinoa, cauliflower florets, chopped carrots and cashew nuts. Add water, season with salt, bring to a boil, cover skillet and cook for 10 minutes over medium low heat. After 10 minutes, add green beans and broccoli and cook for another 5-7 minutes or until all water has been absorbed. Stir in green peas and let stand for another 2-3 minutes. Remove cinnamon stick, cardamom pods and cloves.
Transfer pilaf to serving bowl, Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro. Serve immediately.

8 comments:

  1. Anja, I love the content of your blog - hearing about your training, the highs and lows and especially the recipes that help you get there (extra especially the vegan ones! ). I would certainly love to hear more about your daily routine and the science behind it. Endurance, and everything about it! You were invaluable to my training for Oxfam trailwalker, and I'm looking to glean more from you as we start our training for trekking in Nepal. You're an inspiration :-)

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  2. Hi Anja, my blog is also a mixture of healthy recipes and my sport so I know what you mean.... I cook, I skate, I write about both. I hope others are interested, I have thought about splitting my blog into skating/training and healthy cooking sections but haven't. At least you are a runner, there are a whole lot more runners out there than figure skaters!

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  3. YES!!! i would love love love more about running in your blog. i love hearing about your running experiences and i love receiving a wonderful recipe in the process. yes i am a runner myself too hahaha but food and running are some of my favorite things and your love blog covers the best of both worlds. keep up your amazing work :D

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  4. Not a runner myself but hey, we all need energy and understanding it through your impressive feats is a nice bonus to receiving your brilliance in the kitchen! However, I doubt anyone minds you sharing your worries and defeats so do what works best for you.

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  5. I'm not a runner - and don't aspire to be - but I like the combination and hearing how you keep motivated. I think both things - the food and the running - are such dominant things in your life that it's hard to cut one thing out.

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  6. Hi Anjana, new to your Blog. Excellent recipe and quite an inspiring write up. Glad to follow you for more such content :)

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  7. Exercise and food definitely go hand-in-hand, and I adore reading about people's running experiences and adventures! Also love your recipes, so keep doing what you're doing, lady! This quinoa pilaf looks delicious! Fresh, delicious and healthful!

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  8. Your blog is one of my favorites. I love reading about your running especially, and am fascinated by how incredibly talented and dedicated you are (your times are truly amazing for anyone familiar), and yet you seem so modest and down to earth! You should be very proud of all you have accomplished in running and continue to.

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