My post-baby weight loss mantra has more or less revolved around the basic concept of planning ahead and making life simple. As my free time has dwindled to merely a memory, one of the biggest challenges I have faced since becoming a mom has been finding the time to feed myself healthy, balanced meals. Gone are the days where I could spend 20 minutes whipping myself up lunch or dinner; this is a new era I have entered, where 90% of my meals are consumed over my daughters’ head.
Truthfully, if it wasn’t for me dedicating one day each week to food prep, I would probably subsist on popcorn and kale chips alone, but thankfully it hasn’t come to that yet, and I have been able to manage a few recipes that save all week in the fridge, and give me the energy that I need to keep going.
One of those recipes is this Copycat California Quinoa. The original recipe is from Whole Foods, but I loved it so much that I decided to recreate it for myself. Not only did it turn out exactly the same as the original version, but it was also WAY cheaper to make a large batch at home.
I make a double batch of this quinoa every week, and store it in 1 cup portions in the fridge for a quick and easy meal. It’s literally grab and go, which if you are short on time is a godsend. The recipe below is for a single batch, which will make about six 1-cup servings, but feel free to double it up like I do.
Each 1-cup serving comes in at around 250 calories.
- 1 cup red quinoa; thoroughly rinsed
- 2 cups water
- ⅔ cup shelled edamame
- ⅓ cup finely diced red onion
- ⅓ cup red raisins
- ⅓ cup sliced almonds
- ½ red bell pepper; finely chopped
- 1.5 cups unsweetened mango chunks; I use frozen that I defrost ahead of time
- ½ cup unsweetened coconut; large flakes
- ½ cup fresh squeezed lime juice
- ½ cup balsamic vinegar
- Cook rinsed quinoa according to package directions in two cups of water. When quinoa is finished cooking, set aside, uncovered, to cool.
- In a microwave safe dish, defrost mango chunks.
- In a large bowl, combine edamame, red onion, almonds, raisins, coconut flakes, red bell pepper and mango chunks. Stir to thoroughly mix.
- When quinoa is completely cooled, add it into your mixing bowl and stir to combine.
- In a small dish, combine ½ cup lime juice with ½ cup balsamic vinegar. Whisk to combine and add it into your quinoa. Stir to mix.
- Store quinoa in a sealed container for up to 5 days in the fridge.