Vegetarian Protein Recipe: Cheesy Quinoa ‘n’ Veggies

Incorporating protein into my meals is very important.  I rely on it to help me feel full, and reap the benefits of the work I put in at the gym.  

A few other benefits are helping maintain a healthy metabolism, filling you up on less calories, help prevent aging, ward off sickness and provide energy.  A study at the U of Illinois found that by increasing protein intake, people experienced increases in fat loss while increasing lean muscle tissue, a win/win situation.  

Most people know that meat is a great source of protein but did you know that quinoa is also a complete and good course for protein?  

An incomplete protein comes in the form of beans, legumes, seeds, nuts, grains and veggies.  Pair them together correctly and you get a complete protein.  A nut alone will not give your body the protein benefits, instead pair almond butter with a slice of Ezekial bread or have broccoli with brown rice.   Animal products, quinoa and soy are complete proteins meaning they have all the essential amino acids required by the body to utilize the protein.

 This weekend I made a delicious lunch out of ingredients that I had lying around.  It was cold and I wanted something that tasted hearty without the added fat and calories.  By adding The Laughing Cow Wedge (only 35 calories), this recipe goes from OK to WOW in 30 seconds.  It was so good, it may become a staple in my kitchen.  

Cheesy Veggies and Quinoa (Serves 1, Time: 15 minutes)

Put water, garlic and quinoa in pot.  Cover and bring to a boil, then simmer for about 10 minutes.  Add in the spinach and other optional veggies (you may need to increase the heat).  Cook for 5 minutes or until water is absorbed.  Uncover and finish cooking if the water has no been absorbed after 5 minutes.  Add in Laughing Cow wedge and enjoy!

For a complete protein snack, use broccoli and brown rice instead of quinoa and spinach.  

Nutrition: Calories 237 cal, Fat 5 g, Sodium 323, Carbs 28, Fiber 6g, Sugar 4 g, Protein 12 g

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