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Meatless Monday: Green Smoothie

We all know it’s important to eat our veggies, but sometimes it can be tough to incorporate the vegetables we need each day into our diet especially if we may be working long hours or eating on the go.  So, what's the Studio (MDR) solution for you?

A green smoothie, which by the way is a great way to get key nutrients in one quick, easy and, most importantly, delicious drink! (And it's a perfect dessert, snack or meal for Meatless Monday).

You may have noticed the recent upswing in juice cleanses lately (especially right after new years), and while juicing fruits and vegetables is a fantastic way for the body to absorb nutrients, blending a green smoothie provides more nutritional benefits since the pulp isn’t extracted.

Contrary to what you think, you can have fun with green smoothies by trying different concoctions of your favorite vegetables mixed with fruit.  As an added bonus, you can include a spoonful of Greek yogurt for protein, probiotics and a thicker, more filling smoothie!

Here is a fantastic, refreshing smoothie that is low in fat, high in fiber and is gluten free:

2 Cups Spinach
2 Cups Diced Cucumbers
2 Ribs Celery
1 Tablespoon Fresh Ginger
1 Handful Parsley
2 Apples, cored but not peeled
1 Tablespoon Lime Juice
1 Spoonful Greek Yogurt (optional)

Blend all ingredients until very smooth and enjoy!

What are your favorite green smoothie or Meatless Monday recipes? Feel free to share them in the comments section.  Most importantly, cheers to your health!

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Meatless Monday: Black Bean & Tomato Quinoa

A few Saturday's back, we told you about the benefits of adding the superfood Quinoa to your diet. At The Studio (MDR), we aren't just about burning calories, we want you to consume calories too! Here's why. We want to ensure that you have the fuel your body needs to maintain the energy of each strengthening and muscle lengthening class. MORAL OF THE STORY--don't come to class on an empty stomach! With that said, in honor of Meatless Monday, this protein packed recipe is sure to delight your appetite!

Black Bean & Tomato Quinoa

Yield: Makes 4 (side dish) servings Active time: 20 minutes Total time: 45 minutes

Quinoa is a fast-cooking, protein-packed whole grain.  It makes the perfect partner for lime-spiked black beans and fresh tomato.

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons grated lime zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon sugar or 1 packet of sugar substitute stevia
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 (14- to 15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 4 scallions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Preparation

Whisk together lime zest and juice, butter, oil, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl.

Wash Quinoa in 3 changes of cold water in a bowl, draining in a sieve each time.

Add Quinoa and 2 cups of water to a saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat to simmer and cover. One cup of Quinoa cooked in this method usually takes 15 minutes to prepare. When cooking is complete, the water is absorbed and the grains will be translucent and fluffy.

Add Quinoa to dressing and toss until dressing is absorbed, then stir in remaining ingredients and salt and pepper to taste.

Recipe adapted from Epicurious.com.  Read more:  http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Black-Bean-and-Tomato-Quinoa-238939#ixzz1kyHdpGHi

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The Studio (MDR) Superfood Saturday's: And The Quinoa Continues On

It’s Superfood Saturday and today on The Studio (MDR) blog, we’re talking about the super delicious, super grain, Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah). So why does this whole grain hold the key to a healthier you? For one, it's high in protein and fiber at 8 grams and 5 grams, respectively.  Quinoa is also a complete protein, meaning it contains all 9 amino acids which is particularly beneficial for vegetarians and vegans.  A naturally good source of iron, this is a wonderful ingredient to include in your repertoire of recipes.  Even better, Quinoa is as simple to make as rice.

What else can we say about this? Quinoa is gluten free and also contains zinc, vitamin E and selenium, which helps control weight and lowers risk of heart disease and diabetes.

To prepare Quinoa for cooking, either purchase pre-rinsed Quinoa or rinse the Quinoa in a strainer until the saponins are removed. To cook the Quinoa, simply add one part of the grain to two parts liquid in a saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat to simmer and cover. One cup of Quinoa cooked in this method usually takes 15 minutes to prepare. When cooking is complete, the water is absorbed and the grains will be translucent and fluffy.  Add your favorite veggies, nuts or fruits along with olive oil or a light vinaigrette.

Quinoa is delicious and can be served cold or warm. It can be also frozen and reheated.  Check back here on Meatless Monday for a Quinoa recipe that is healthy and satiating!

And if you've tried Quinoa, feel free to share your recipes for our fabulous community in the comments section. This is Superfood Saturday after all so if you eat it, be sure to tweet it!

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