Sunday, September 26, 2010

Red Quinoa Salad

What a busy weekend! A good weekend ... following a difficult week. I really struggled this past week with fatigue! It was AWFUL! Spending so much time at work just trying to stay awake is hardly productive! Friday morning I slept in a bit and woke up feeling better. I looked forward to a better day only to find myself dropping off again by 1:00. It's so frustrating!! I had to lay my head down every now and then just to make it through the rest of the day. I thought I'd perk up after the walk to the parking lot but within 15 minutes of walking in the door at home, I just had to go to bed. I slept from 6 to 8 ... woke up, had dinner, watched some tv ... and then back to bed at 11:30 and dragged myself out of bed at 8:30 Saturday morning so I could get to a 9:00 meeting with Barb, my personal trainer.

On a positive note, I felt quite a bit better on Saturday for all the extra sleep I got and that was MOST welcome. Before I saw my radiation oncologist a couple of weeks ago, his nurse assistant covered some preliminary things. She asked about all the various side effects. When I told her that I find myself still very tired, she said she had just attended a seminar where a physician who had undergone cancer treatments himself spoke and he really emphasized to his audience that the fatigue is truly awful and can be very long lasting. I was glad to have how I'm feeling validated but also dismayed. I don't know how long I'll feel this way.

Anyway. Enough of my being tiresome!

So. Saturday. I met with my personal trainer and she worked out a little exercise routine for me. It starts with 2 minutes ... yes, you read that right ... TWO minutes ... on the cross-trainer (elliptical). We have one. Two minutes sounds ridiculous but I'm breathing heavily by the end of it, I'm embarrassed to admit. Then some stretches, weights ... 10 of these ... 10 of those ... some extended stretches and then a couple of more tens of these and those. And that's about it. And as silly as that sounds, I do believe that's about right for me right now. Anything more would seem mentally overwhelming. When I said, baby steps, I didn't think we were talking baby turtle steps!

After that I hit the grocery store and then did some house cleaning. I was quite productive and very proud of myself. Kevin was at meetings most of the day and didn't get home until mid-afternoon, after which Rex and Erin came by to watch the Rider game (YEAH, RIDERS) with us and have dinner. It was SO fun! I very much miss having fun and getting together with friends. Saturday was one of the few days I could almost forget myself for a moment. I felt almost normal! That doesn't happen very often. And the weather was fabulous all weekend, too!

Kevin barbequed bison burgers and I made a red quinoa (pronouced KEEN-wah) salad. I'd never made one before ... had never cooked quinoa ... but had liked the salad Hannah made when she was home. I found a recipe on the internet but phoned Hannah to get the details about hers. I was very happy with that way it turned out. I'll definitely make it again. I think you can pretty much throw anything into it and the quinoa cooks very quickly so it's easy peasy. It's also super good for you. Read about it here.

Tonight Kevin and I had leftovers (it keeps well, by the way) and threw it on a bed of mache. Again ... very yummy! If you wonder why the photos look so different, it's because the top one was with flash and the bottom one without.

Here the link to the recipe I basically used ... Red Quinoa Salad.

And here's the recipe with the variations I used.

Red Quinoa Salad

For 6 servings: (I halved everything because I only had one cup of quinoa and we still had plenty).

2 cups quinoa (uncooked)
4 cups water or broth (vegetable or chicken) (I used water - Hannah used broth last time - good either way)
1 teaspoon salt, optional or less (I used Earl Grey sea salt)
1 large English cucumber, seeded if you want, and diced small
1 small red onion, peeled, diced
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, diced (I used halved cherry tomatoes instead)
1 bunch green onions, minced (white and green parts)
1/4 cup cilantro or flat leaf parsley leaves (I used Italian flat leaf parsley)
1/4 to 1/2 cup feta cheese (flaked), optional (I used chopped avacado instead because I didn't have feta and it's what Hannah had used)
freshly ground black pepper to taste


3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar (I just used "a splash" and the juice from half a lemon as per Hannah's instructions)
or you can use white wine vinegar
salt and pepper
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