Wednesday, March 30, 2016

A Recipe and the City

A lot has happened since my last post.  The most notable? My trip to New York.
I started my program at the Integrative Institute of Nutrition last May and it has been the journey of a lifetime.  The amount of life-changing knowledge I have gained cannot be put into words.  I only hope to share some of what I learned through the recipes and tips I post right here. (Note: if you are interested to find out more about the program, email me at zain at

To say I was inspired to meet all the people I did, hear (and feel) the undeniable energy in the air, is an understatement.

I heard some mind-blowing insight from renowned doctors.  The speaker in the picture below is Dr. Dip Maharaj and he talked to us about stem cells, prevention of disease, aging, and immunity.  

It was a 2-day conference and I was in the city for a week, and let me tell you - the city was so good to me.  It took me from winter to spring in a matter of days.  These two pictures are of Central Park - they were taken 3 days apart.  I arrived to -2C and left at 28C.

I discovered this amazing place called Fresh&Co.  A casual restaurant scattered around the city that serves the best quinoa breakfast bowls I ever had in my LIFE.  I can safely say I had breakfast there 5 out of the 7 days I was there.  

This one is the huevos rancheros quinoa bowl.  Heaven.

I also indulged a little.  Being healthy does not mean depriving yourself, so if you see that revamped banana pudding from the most famous bakery in the world, you buy one and enjoy every morsel of it. Zero regrets, zero crumbs left.

I crossed the Brooklyn Bridge and ate the famous coal brick-oven pizza at  Grimaldi's.  It did not disappoint.

This pizza is for 1.  1.  One.

All in all, it was a trip I still reminisce over and now I know why people are mad about the city.

Ok that's done.  Now to the recipe.

Here's my version of the quinoa bowl, except it was for dinner and had no eggs.  It's no replica but the delicious meals I had at Fresh&Co inspired me to come up with the below.

Here's what you need:

2 chicken breasts, marinated in lemon juice, olive oil and salt and pepper
1 can of chickpeas, washed thoroughly 
1 can of red beans, washed thoroughly
One large red onion, chopped
5 to 8 stalks of kale, shredded
2 cups cooked quinoa, fluffed
1 avocado, cut in half with each half thinly sliced
Olive oil
Lots of lemons
Zest of one lemon
Salt and pepper

1. On a griddle, grill, or barbecue, grill the chicken breasts.  Once ready, chop into 1 inch pieces and set aside.
2. In a frying pan, heat a tablespoon of olive oil, and add the chopped onions.  Stir until softened and slightly browned.  Add the kale & lemon zest and stir. 
3. Once the kale has softened, add the chickpeas and red beans, stir carefully.
4. Add the quinoa and mix through, adding the chicken and juice of as many lemons as you like.
5. Season with salt and pepper.
6. Serve in a bowl.  Top with sliced half-avocado and a wedge of lemon.
7. Enjoy!

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