Adventurous eating.

I am trying to find my way back to a healthy lifestyle after months of gluttony. Some days I manage better than others. Am I counting points? No. I’m not there quite yet. But am I making better choices? Definitely.

Lately I’ve been trying some new recipes and foods that I haven’t tried before. I’ve also been trying to cut meat out of my diet as much as possible. I’m not trying to be a vegetarian (I like the occasional cheeseburger too much for that) but I am currently trying to make eating meat more the exception than the rule.

That got me looking for vegetarian recipes to try. The one item that kept popping up was quinoa. I’ve been thinking about trying quinoa for a long time, but was a bit intimidated by it and thought that they wouldn’t carry it at my local grocery store. What do you know – they do! It was a bit pricey (I think it was around $4.50 for the box) but I decided it was would be worth it just to say I tried it.

The first recipe I decided to try was a chickpea curry. The recipe itself doesn’t call for quinoa, but I thought it might be good to put the chickpea curry ON TOP of the quinoa to make it last a little longer. Lately, I’ve been trying to cook a big meal on Sunday, then divide it into containers to take for lunches all week. Sure – by the time Friday rolls around, I am super tired of whatever it is I’ve been eating all week, but it is saving me a ton of money (and a ton of calories) since I’m not taking daily trips to the drive through or restaurant to grab lunch.

I ended up really liking the chickpea curry AND the quinoa. I will admit that the chickpea curry didn’t have a strong curry flavor (that is to say it had virtually NO curry flavor) but it was healthy and tasty and paired well with the quinoa. I’d definitely make it again.

The next quinoa recipe I tried was one that I’d seen Fat Bridesmaid write about awhile ago. She was also new to trying quinoa and this recipe for quinoa and black beans was recommended to her. I thought it looked tasty and decided I’d try it as well. The thing I liked most about the recipe was that I had basically everything it called for in my pantry already, which is always a plus.

I really, really liked the quinoa and black bean recipe – more so than the chickpea curry. It made enough for 5 servings, 3 of which I ate for lunches last week. I ate container #4 for lunch today and will bring #5 with me tomorrow. It’s been 9 days since I made it and it still tastes great. I have been adding some shredded rotisserie chicken breast (which, I know, totally contradicts what I just wrote above) for a little extra protein and I think I like it even more with the chicken. The recipe as-is would be great as a side dish but leaves a little bit to be desired as a main dish in my opinion.

I’ve also recently begun eating something that I never thought I could eat. Behold:

Yes, friends…those are raw tomatoes. I know — this probably does not seem remarkable to most people, but it was not long ago that I picked raw tomatoes out of everything. I would request my salads and sandwiches without them. I ate salsa and cooked tomatoes, but couldn’t bring myself to eat them raw. It was mainly an issue I have with food textures…I can’t stand anything slimy or with seeds.

But then, one day, I was at my parent’s house for dinner. My mom had cut up some cherry tomatoes and mixed them with some feta cheese and Greek dressing. She urged me to try it, even though she knew I am not a tomato fan. I resisted. Then she mentioned that she had scooped out all of the slimy, seedy bits from the tomato, leaving just the flesh. That was less scary, so with some trepidation I grabbed a fork and picked up half of a tomato.

I loved it! So much so that I decided to make it myself, which is the picture you see above.

I love that I am still able to surprise myself.

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