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This morning I was packing my lunch, as I usually do on weekdays. I looked into my well-stocked fridge and found lots of beef, leftover veggies, some week-old berries and dairy galore. Basically everything I’ve been eating for the past week. I wanted something new so I found some fresh tomatoes (red & yellow) on the counter and decided to make a tomato and basil salad (with basil from my garden!), I added a little balsamic, s&p, and then some evoo, but accidentally poured too much and was left with an over-oiled tomato salad. Being the quick problem solver that I am, I whipped up some quinoa and tossed that in, making a perfectly balanced lunch! I felt so proud of myself, diet day 1 is off to an awesome start!Italian Quinoa (serves 2-3):


4 plump red tomatoes, sliced thinly
8 yellow (or red, whatever you like) cherry tomatoes, halved
2 handfuls of fresh basil, chopped (I like to chiffonade them)
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup dry quinoa
1 cup chicken stock (or vegetarian if you don’t eat meat)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper


  1. Cook quinoa in chicken stock according to package instructions (I usually do 1 cup quinoa to 1 cup liquid, bring to a boil, reduce to simmer and cover for 10-15 minutes. A little more liquid will make a softer quinoa)
  2. Combine tomatoes, basil, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper in a medium bowl, and toss well.
  3. Once quinoa is cooked, add to the bowl and do one more toss to combine all ingredients.
  4. Top with some more basil, fresh mozzarella, or a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.