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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Healthy Food Helping Me Mend

For those who follow me, you know I have been MIA for several weeks.  I have been laid low with Acute Bronchitis and some other stuff that has initials and words...but way TMI for general consumption!  Let's just leave it at I've been sick as can be...but I'm on the mend.

I haven't felt like cooking nor eating since the Wednesday after New Year's.  I got home after 10 days in Austin and the very next night began the downhill slide.  Now, the interesting part of the debacle is that I lost 10 pounds during that episode...but as I got re-hydrated and began to nibble on crackers and toast and lots and lots of yogurt to offset the bad effect of antibiotics...I gained 5 of it back.  Soooo, I'm thinking starting off the New Year 5 pounds down is not a bad thing!  I'd like to keep it that way :-) and that is always a challenge when I get into my baking frenzies.  Since that won't happen for me until Valentine's Day, I'm going to make every effort to eat healthier until then (and through then if I can control myself).

This week-end I did make my family some chicken and dumplings - they were happy.  I made some delicious omelettes for me and my hubby filled with low-fat mozzarella and fabulously beautiful avocado and some sweet grape tomatoes for him.  Those two tasks nearly laid me out again...I have NO ENERGY.

Last night I made some spaghetti for the teen and ate myself a nice salad with the rest of that plump avocado and some beautiful leaf lettuce.  I felt like I wanted to get back to keeping some homemade vinaigrette in the fridge - so I made up a jar of a fairly healthy mixture.  It is indeed yummy.  I like sweet and tart, so my mixture was 1/3 cup Balsamic Vinegar, 1/3 White Wine Vinegar, 1/3 White Balsamic Vinegar, a teaspoon each of salt and pepper, 12 packets of Splenda, and 2 tbsp of olive oil and 2 tbsp of canola oil.  I hate it when my olive oil solidifies in the fridge, so the addition of canola makes it work for me...and I like a more vinegary vinaigrette without as much oil as most utilize.  It is delish I must say!
What's left of the vinaigrette after a salad last night
and dressing the Quinoa Salad today.

This morning I have the doors thrown open, listening to sea birds and ducks calling, the palm trees are rustling in the wind and it is a comfortable mid 60's down on the Texas Gulf Coast.  It is the most normal I have felt in over 2 weeks.  That prompted me to cut up some pineapple, cut up some celery, and to make a container of Quinoa Salad.  Having good food on hand helps me be "better" when making food choices.

For the Quinoa Salad I used what I had on hand.  I have another pasta salad, similar to this, posted and you can find it here.  I also have another Quinoa Salad has "more stuff"...this one is much more simple and I skipped garlic because I just didn't feel like it would feel good in my tummy right now.  Here's what I used:

Quinoa Salad

1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
1 cucumber
1-2 green onions
1/2 cup halved Kalamata olives
1/4 cup crumbled Feta Cheese (I like more but that's all I had)
1/2 cup to 3/4 cup of the vinaigrette described above

Mix quinoa and water in a small saucepan.  Stir and bring to boil.  Reduce heat to simmer, cover and allow to cook until all water is gone...10-15 minutes.  Mine took 12 minutes.
Remove from heat, fluff, and stir in 1/4 cup of the vinaigrette to the hot quinoa.  Stir well.  Allow to cool.

Peel and halve cucumber, scoop seeds from the middle with a spoon, half the halves and dice.
My green onions were fairly large so I just wanted one.  I'm not up to intense oniony flavors yet.
Remove roots, half the onion down the center and finely slice, including all of the green end too.

Add the diced cucumber, thinly sliced onion, Kalamata olives, and Feta Cheese to a bowl large enough to accommodate the entire salad.  When the quinoa is cooled sufficiently, stir it into the vegetables.  Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of the vinaigrette and stir thoroughly.  Allow to chill in fridge.

Next I prepped an entire bunch of celery so I could snack on them at whim (I like to dip them in low-fat Pimento Cheese for lunch too). 

I also cleaned up a bag of sweet peas (excellent sweet crunch) and, of course, peeled, cored, and diced the beautiful Golden Pineapple which is incredibly sweet.

This will help me slowly move back into eating more regular meals and get me back the energy I need to resume normal life.  I miss Zumba terribly.  I tried to do two songs last night and went into a paroxysm of coughing that had me back on the couch gasping for breath.  I'll work on it every night until I can make it 20 minutes.  Then I think I can resume class.  I hope that is by next week, because I feel so weak...where I had been feeling so strong after 9 months of Zumba!

This might not be my most exciting post - but if you take away nothing else, know that starting 2012 in a more healthy fashion can be obtained with a little prep and maintaining good fresh food so you aren't tempted to pick up a cookie and nibble (my downfall). 

So, Bon Appetit, Y'all...  I may not be posting very regularly yet (this endeavor has tired me out and I'm heading back to the couch with my comforter) ...but I'll be back on track within the next few weeks at least!

My yummy lunch plate which I'm almost too tired to eat!





  1. I hope you feel better soon! This looks like a fantastic healthy meal!

  2. Oh you poor thing!! I hope you heal quickly, that is a long time to be sick. I am glad you are nourishing your body with good healthy foods and laying low. That lunch plate looks absolutely delightful. Feel better soon!

  3. I LOVE Quinoa !!!!!

  4. What a delicious salad, this looks amazing! :)

  5. Looks using and eating quinoa!

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