(Physical) Fuel for the Journey
I started this blog with the initial aim of providing “spiritual fuel” to nourish the human soul. But ever since my beloved mom was diagnosed with cancer in early 2014 and has been bravely fighting her battle to overcome it, I have joined her on the journey of educating myself on “physical fuel” to nourish the human body. There has recently been a whole new area of research on how nutrition and exercise have played and continue to play a significant role in our nation and world’s state of health. The problem I have found is that we live in such an information-saturated age that it becomes difficult, overwhelming and confusing to sift through and know who to believe!
I don’t know what the answer is other than to pray for wisdom and share pertinent information we have found helpful or impactful in some way. Hence, I am starting a new section of this blog entitled Fuel for the Body, which will include what have been identified as “cancer-preventing” recipes of nutrient-rich foods (in honor of my mom), along with tips I am discovering in my own exercise routines.
One caveat is that I know not all people have access to these nutrient-rich foods. They also tend to be more expensive than regular processed foods. However, given that 1 in 3 women and 1 in 2 men (in America) will face cancer at some point, I think it is worth continuing to at least educate ourselves on what the human body needs to be healthy, as one small preventative measure that we can take. I will be sharing statistics and facts I am learning along the way in hopes that the information will at least “fuel” the fire to learn more and take steps in a direction of health.
My prayer is that with this new topical category, this blog will continue to serve as a portal of inspiration for daily living–both spiritually and physically–so that we truly can live a life “worthy of the calling” we have received in Christ (see Ephesians 4:1). So here we go, with the first featured recipe I just tried this afternoon and I think is too good not to share…
Warm Quinoa and Red Pepper Salad
This plant-based, protein-packed salad features warm quinoa and crunchy raw sunflower and or pumpkin seeds. Quinoa is one of my favorite grains and actually a seed that’s high in protein and fiber. Seeds and nuts contain healthy fats and have antioxidant properties. A classically simple dressing of olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest and tarragon tops off this nutritious dish.
- 1 cup red quinoa
- 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 2 Tbsp. fresh tarragon, chopped (2 tsp. dried)
- 1 Tbsp. lemon zest, freshly grated
- 3 Tbsp. olive oil
- 3 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 3/4 cup jarred roasted red peppers, drained and coarsely chopped
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 – 1/3 cup of seeds or chopped walnuts
- 1 pkg. (5 oz.) baby spinach OR package of lettuce wraps
- In large strainer, rinse quinoa well.
- In large pot over medium heat, toast quinoa until it starts to crackle, about 5 minutes. Add broth and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and gently simmer for 20 minutes. Carefully drain any remaining liquid. Set aside and let stand for 15 minutes.
- In large mixing bowl, add tarragon, zest, olive oil and juice. Gently stir to combine. Reserve 2 tablespoons. Add red peppers and quinoa mixture and toss to combine well. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- In another large mixing bowl, gently toss spinach with reserved dressing or if you plan to do lettuce wraps, leave dressing for all of mixture.
- Evenly divide spinach or lettuce wraps among six plates and top with quinoa mixture. Garnish with nuts or seeds and serve.
- You can also make this in the beginning of the week and use it as a daily lunch item.
Makes 6 servings (lunch for the week!)
Per serving: 270 calories, 14 g total fat (1.5 g saturated fat), 30 g carbohydrate, 10 g protein, 6 g dietary fiber, 150 mg sodium.
Many of the recipes I try are adapted from the American Institute for Cancer Research, here. I recommend checking it out.