Friday, August 21, 2015

Feature Friday: Whole Food Bellies

Garlicky Quinoa and Spinach Brunch Bowl

For those of you who don’t know; we moved this weekend! It was a bit of a process, but we made it, and we are now all settled in our beautiful new home. It’s so lovely!
Garlicky Quinoa
Now, I thought I was well prepared for the big weekend, as I had made lots of snacks for the kidlets, and I had packed all the necessary cooking utensils in an easy to access box.  The best laid plans huh….I forgot my kids have bottomless pits as tummies, and that moving is hungry work for mum and dad too. So the snacks didn’t last long. I also forgot to tell my husband that the box needed to be accessible…so it was only found and unpacked last night.
Ahhh, thank goodness for takeaway :)
Garlicky Quinoa
Now we are (somewhat) unpacked, I have gotten back into the swing of things, and our fridge is full of real food again. Yay! I find it so hard to make good choices if I haven’t prepped for the week, so it was all falling apart for a while there.
Garlicky Quinoa
This meal is delicious. I have had it for second breakfast brunch twice this week already, and my husband requested a double batch, so he could take some to work again today. My husband requesting spinach…unheard of!
Garlicky Quinoa
It takes a maximum of 10 minutes to prepare (if you have pre-cooked your quinoa) and it really packs a punch flavour-wise. The perfect dish to serve up for brunch as it looks quite fancy and cafe-ish with a perfectly poached or fried egg on top, but is a cinch to prepare. I do make it quite heavy on the garlic, so adjust up or down depending on your preferences.
Hubby has suggested it would be perfect with a nice piece of fish nestled on top. I wholeheartedly agree, and will be trying that out this week :) How would you eat it?
Garlicky Quinoa
I would love to hear what you think!

Garlicky Quinoa and Spinach Bowl
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2 serves
Fragrant garlicky quinoa with wilted spinach and lemon zest - fantastic for brunch, with a perfectly poached or fried egg on top. Or make it for dinner and serve with a nice piece of fish.
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 cup chopped spinach (or whole baby spinach to make it even quicker)
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 2 poached or fried eggs (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Heat cooking oil of choice (I used avocado oil) in a medium sized saucepan (with a lid) over medium heat. When hot, add in the chopped garlic. Cook until fragrant
  2. Add in the chopped spinach and lemon zest, pop on the lid and leave for 2-3 minutes, until the spinach has wilted
  3. Add in the cooked quinoa and stir to combine. Cook until just heated through and remove from the heat (I added in about a tablespoon of olive oil here to keep things from drying out)
  4. Serve up, salt and pepper to taste, and add a perfectly poached or fried egg to the top. Enjoy!

Meet Donna

Food was not something we worried about in our house when I was growing up. Don’t get me wrong we definitely ate plenty of it and we ate as a family as often as we could but food was, for the most part, something we ate just because we had to. Except for special occasions….and Friday nights. My parents weren’t into health or nutrition in any big way so food just wasn’t that big a deal. I remember helping my mum bake in the kitchen on the odd occasion, but it was always for a special treat, not something we did often.
My school lunches were filled with rubbish (sorry mum). Not literal rubbish of course but I’m talking chips, chocolate, a carton of juice, a ham sandwich and a wee piece of fruit. Mum wasn’t doing anything unusual, in fact, pretty much all of my friends had a similar packed lunch. I do remember having one friend who would come to school with these little homemade pork pies, salads and raw veggies and every time I saw her lunch I would thank god it wasn’t mine!
I moved out of home for university at seventeen and not much changed. The first couple of years of my degree were fuelled by 2 minute noodles, bake at home rolls with melted cheese and mashed potatoes. I can’t even claim the ‘poor student on a budget’ excuse as I worked a lot through uni and always had money….I just preferred to spend it on beer and music – priorities guys!!!
Then something happened…I met a boy (who would have guessed). He was, in my naive opinion of the time, the ultimate foodie. He had been one of those ‘weird’ kids who had been eating raw veggies and hummus for lunch and had eaten McDonalds maybe once a year. He cooked, he knew about all of these foods I had never heard of (wonton soup?) and food really excited him!
He cooked for me an embarrassing number of times before I finally ran out of excuses and was guilted into cooking for him. Having never used the internet for food research purposes I was way out of my depth in that field and ended up having to borrow a bloody cookbook for the occasion! Needless to say it was pretty average and being the competitive person I am I decided I was going to have to figure out this cooking thing.
Anyway we travelled the world and ate everything in sight and my foodie horizons broadened beyond my expectations. I became a little bit obsessed with all things food and spent a lot of time mastering my culinary skills. I thought I was pretty awesome….until I had my babies.
As soon as I became pregnant and suddenly responsible for the health and nutrition of someone other than myself I had to re-evaluate everything I knew about food! Sure I could cook all these lovely meals which I would never have dreamed about a few years back but they still contained a fair few ingredients I couldn’t in good faith give to my little people. Plus a lot of my lovely recipes called for a couple of hours in the kitchen….haha as if thats going to happen with two kids!
Overnight I became the women in the shop who scrutinises every label before putting anything in the cart, the women who literally dreams of ways to make favourite unhealthy foods into healthier and better versions…I am now even that mum who supplies the ‘weird’ food in the playground! But I will have you know that weird food is so yummy and popular my daughter has to guard her snacks very carefully (she is 2 and she literally guards her food – it’s pretty cute)! Plus I need to be able to make them while wearing one baby and entertaining the other. Oh how life has changed.
My foodie dream in life is to make sure our bellies are beautiful things filled with lovely whole foods that taste amazing :)
Happy eating!

You can check out Whole Food Bellies Here