Recipe of the Week: Quinoa Pilaf with Shredded Chicken

Quinoa Pilaf with Shredded Chicken qsdg

Recipe from:

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Servings: 4


“Coconut oil, sage, and shredded chicken make this pilaf an easy main dish.”


  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 2/3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage
  • 1 cup shredded cooked chicken meat
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Heat the coconut oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook and stir the onion, celery, and carrots in the hot oil until tender, about 7 minutes. Rinse and add the quinoa, chicken broth, Italian seasoning, and sage. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the liquid has been absorbed and the quinoa is tender, about 20 minutes. Stir in the chicken meat; season with salt and pepper.


Servings Per Recipe: 4

Calories: 312

Amount Per Serving

·        Total Fat: 12.4g

·        Cholesterol: 26mg

·        Sodium: 64mg


Amount Per Serving

·        Total Carbs: 34.3g

·            Dietary Fiber: 5.2g

·        Protein: 16.4g

“Friday Education: Understanding Fascia: What it is & Why you should care”

I remember one of my anatomy teachers telling me that not too many years ago, in the anatomy labs, they used to pull and strip and scrape away as much fascia at they could to get to the bones, muscles, ligaments and tendons – the “real” stuff of the body. Now, thanks goodness, fascia is getting the attention it deserves in anatomy labs, rehab clinics and  yoga and pilates studios.  Now we know that we can make real and lasting changes in our body by addressing our fascia.  If you want to know how to do this, then swing by one of our classes at Balanced Motion and click here to read more about fascia.

Blog of the Week: Hanging out in the Gap

“Hanging out in the Gap”

Some of you might be wondering why I would be writing about hanging out in a Jean Store and what in the world does “hanging out in the Gap” have to do with yoga and pilates.   The gap that I am talking about is a transition that we are in right now in March and as we move in to April. It is the time that some of our winter activities have ended or are ending over the next couple of weeks ( skiing, snowmobiling, icefishing, snowshoeing, hockey…..) and new activities will be starting soon.

Each time this transition happens, we have an opportunity to pause and reflect. There can be a quietness in this transition, an opportunity to do a little less, to simplify if you will. It is similar to the natural pause that happens between our inhalation and our exhalation and our exhalation to our inhalation. During both of these transitions the body isn’t inhaling and it isn’t exhaling…it is pausing. However, if we don’t notice this natural pause ( this Gap) sometimes we miss it and we miss the opportunity for calm in our bodies and in our lives.

I know we are not quite there yet, but as the snow melts, notice that time when you don’t have to either shovel the driveway or cut the grass and how this creates space in our lives. It is the time just before the frenzy of spring clean up in the house and in our yards.   So enjoy this special time “hanging out in the Gap” even if it is only for a short while.


Recipe of the Week: Chicken and Chickpea Stew

Chicken and Chickpea StewChicken and Chickpea Stew

Portions: 4

0.75 cups Couscous, Dry
16 oz. Chicken Breast, Meat Only, Raw
0.75 tsps Table Salt
1 tbsp Olive Oil
1.5 cups Onions, Chopped
2 Garlic Clove
1 tbsp Tomato Paste, Canned
14 oz. Tomato
1 tsp Cumin Seeds
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1.75 cups Chickpeas, Garbanzo Beans or Bengal Gram, Canned
1 cup Chicken Broth, Condensed, Prepared with Water
0.75 cups Zucchini Summer Squash
3 tsps Cilantro





Nutritional Information
Amt Food Weight (g) Cal (kcal) Pro (g) Carbs (g) Fat (g) Chol (mg) Fiber (g)
0.75 c. Couscous, Dry 138.0 518.9 17.6 106.9 0.9 0.0 6.9
16 oz. Chicken Breast, Meat Only, Raw 453.6 498.9 104.7 0.0 5.6 263.1 0.0
0.75 t. Table Salt 4.5 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
1 T. Olive Oil 13.5 119.3 0.0 0.0 13.5 0.0 0.0
1.5 c. Onions, Chopped 240.0 100.8 2.2 24.3 0.2 0.0 3.4
2 item Garlic Clove 6.0 8.9 0.4 2.0 0.0 0.0 0.1
1 T. Tomato Paste, Canned 16.4 13.4 0.7 3.1 0.1 0.0 0.7
14 oz. Tomato 396.9 87.4 5.6 14.3 0.8 0.0 2.0
1 t. Cumin Seeds 2.1 7.9 0.4 0.9 0.5 0.0 0.2
1 t. Ground Cinnamon 2.3 6.0 0.1 1.8 0.1 0.0 1.2
1.75 c. Chickpeas, Garbanzo Beans or Bengal Gram, Canned 420.0 499.8 20.8 95.0 4.8 0.0 18.5
1 c. Chicken Broth, Condensed, Prepared with Water 244.0 39.0 4.9 0.9 1.4 0.0 0.0
0.75 c. Zucchini Summer Squash 84.8 13.6 1.0 2.8 0.2 0.0 0.9
3 t. Cilantro 4.8 1.2 0.1 0.2 0.0 0.0 0.1







Cook couscous as directed on package. Season chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. In a nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Cook chicken, turning once, 2 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to a plate. Cook onion in same skillet, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Add garlic and tomato paste; cook, stirring, 1 minute more. Add tomatoes, cumin and cinnamon; cook, stirring, 2 minutes more. Return chicken to skillet; add chickpeas, broth, zucchini, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Simmer, covered, until chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes. Serve stew with couscous. Garnish with cilantro.

Friday Education

Hey Everyone!

Happy Friday 🙂 This week’s friday education is about “The Biggest Mistake People Make When It Comes To Weight Loss”. Click here to view. If you enjoy reading MindBodyGreen articles, click here to see more!

Have a great weekend 😀

Blog of the Week: Tastebud Training Camp

Tastebud Training Camp: My DiFresh Tamarind with leavesscovery of the Fresh Tamarind

As I encourage my clients in the Balanced Weight Loss Program to step out of their culinary comfort zone to try new foods, I have been trying to do the same. I had seen boxes of fresh Tamarinds at one of our local grocery stores (Food Basics, in the refrigerated fruit area) and although I had used Tamarind paste in Asian recipes previously, I had never seen or tried the fresh fruit. Tamarinds, otherwise known as “Indian dates”, have been cultivated in many tropical and subtropical locations around the world. They feature in the cuisines of the Indian subcontinent, South East Asia and South America, particularly in Mexico for a sweet-sour tang. Needless to say they aren’t exactly a “local” fruit.

The fruit is often called a pod and is an odd looking “fresh” fruit in that the skin in crispy, dry and brown. At first blush they don’t look very fresh or appetizing!! I really wasn’t sure how to eat them so I asked my son, who was introduced to Tamarinds by a friend.

He showed me that when you press on the skin it cracks and flakes away (giving the impression of something way past its freshness date! But don’t be discouraged…). Once the skin is discarded and a few fine strings of pith are removed, the flesh is dark brown, a bit sticky and glossy. Each fruit is about 5-6 bites, and has about 8 or so 3mm pits that are easily removed. The flavour and texture is somewhere in the date, prune or dried fig arena. I really enjoyed the flavour and found most of the fruit to be consistently sweet and tasty. I found that eating 1 or 2 fruits really satisfied my sweet tooth in a way that didn’t leave me craving more (something I often experience when eating refined sugary treats).

I was impressed with the nutritional value of raw Tamarinds. Check out the chart below:

Nutritional value per 100g (3.5oz)
Energy 239 kcal (1,000kJ)
Carbohydrates 62.5g
Sugars 57.4g
Dietary Fiber 5.1g
Fat 0.6g
Protein 2.8g
Thiamine (B1) 0.428mg (37%)
Riboflavin (B2) 0.152mg (13%)
Niacin (B3) 1938mg (13%)
Pantothenic acid (B5) 0.143mg (3%)
Vitamin B6 0.066mg (5%)
Folate (B9) 14μg (4%)
Choline 8.6mg (2%)
Vitamin C 3.5mg (4%)
Vitamin E 0.1mg (1%)
Vitamin K 2.8μg (3%)
Trace metals
Calcium 74mg (7%)
Iron 2.8mg (22%)
Magnesium 92mg (26%)
Phosphorus 113mg (16%)
Potassium 628mg (13%)
Sodium 28mg (2%)
Zinc 0.1mg (1%)
Link to USDA Database entry (


μg= micrograms mg=milligrams IU=international units

Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.

Source: USDA Nutrient Database (

Below is a favourite recipe that incorporates Tamarind pulp/paste. Boiling down the fresh Tamarind fruit and removing the seeds works well unless you have the prepared pulp in your pantry. I hope you enjoy!!

Tamarind Spiced Green Beans

Asian Tapas and Wild Sushi Cookbook

This is an adaption of an Indonesian dish. The original calls for long cooking of the beans, but we tend to lean more towards brevity in the cooking process. That said, green beans are one of those vegetables that need to be cooked long enough to develop their natural sweetness. Always look for slender, smallish, tender beans as opposed to the large ones, which are inevitably tough and woody.

  1. Make the Tamarind Sauce. Combine in a sauce pan:
  • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 3 jalapeño chilies, stem removed, chopped
  • 1 tsp. (5ml) shrimp paste or fish sauce
  • 1 tsp. (5ml) salt
  • 2 Tbsp. (30ml) vegetable oil
  1. Sauté over medium heat until the vegetables are softened.
  2. Put the mixture into the bowl of a food processor. Add:
  • 2 Tbsp. (30ml) sesame oil
  • 2 Tbsp. (30ml) Thai fish sauce
  • 1 tsp. (5ml) chili paste with garlic
  • 2 Tbsp. (30ml) tamarind concentrate or softened tamarind pulp
  1. Process until smooth. Set aside.
  2. Wash top and tail:
  • 1 lb. (450g) green beans
  1. Steam until they are crisp-tender, approximately 4-5 minutes.
  2. Heat:
  • 2 Tbsp. (30ml) vegetable oil

When hot, add the beans and ½ cup (125ml) of the sauce. Stir-fry for 30 seconds and turn out onto 4 plates.

Amt Food   Cal (kcal) Pro (g) Carbs (g) Fat (g) Chol (mg) Fiber (g)
1 item Onion 48.0 1.1 11.6 0.1 0.0 0.0
4 items Cloves of garlic 18.0 0.8 4.0 0.1 0.0 0.0
3 items Jalapeño chilies, stem removed, chopped 12.0 0.0 3.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
1 tsp. Shrimp paste 20.0 4.0 1.0 0.0 50 0.0
1 tsp. Salt 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
2 Tbsp. Vegetable oil 248.0 0.0 0.0 28.0 0.0 0.0
2 Tbsp. Sesame Oil 242.0 0.0 0.0 27.2 0.0 0.0
2 Tbsp. Thai Fish Sauce 30.0 4.0 2.0 0.0 3460 0.0
1 tsp. Chili paste with garlic 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
2 Tbsp. Tamarind concentrate or softened tamarind pulp 40.0 2.5 8.9 0.5 0.0 0.0
1 1lb. Green beans 158.0 8.64 35.28 1.08 0.0 14.4

Recipe of the Week: Beet and Feta Salad

Beet and Feta Salad

Portions: 667511


  • 5 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 orange
  • 1 garlic glove
  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 oz. feta cheese
  • 6 oz. prune
  • 10 oz. spinach or arugula
  • 3 cups beets, sliced, boiled, drained
  • 3/4 cup chickpeas, garbanzo beans or Bengal gram, canned
  • 2 tbsp parsley, chopped


  1. Wash and trim (but don’t yet peel) beets, then place in a microwave-proof dish with 1 in. (2.5cm) of water, and cover. Cook on high for 10-12 minutes, turning beets halfway through; let cool.
  2. Meanwhile, for dressing, combine vinegar, orange juice, and peel, garlic and dijon mustard. Whisk in olive oil, and season with pepper.
  3. When beets are cool, peel and slice. Combine with parsley, prunes and chickpeas. Drizzle beet salad with dressing and serve over baby spinach, if desired. Top with feta.

Nutritional Information

Amt Food Weight (g) Cal (kcal) Pro (g) Carbs (g) Fat (g) Chol (mg) Fiber (g)
2.5 T. Balsamic Vinegar 37.5 25.0 0.0 5.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
1 item Orange 131.0 61.6 1.2 15.4 0.2 0.0 3.1
1 item Garlic Clove 3.0 4.5 0.2 1.0 0.0 0.0 0.1
2.5 T. Olive Oil 33.8 298.4 0.0 0.0 33.8 0.0 0.0
4 oz. Feta Cheese 113.4 299.4 16.1 4.6 24.1 100.9 0.0
6 oz. Prune 170.1 499.8 3.9 118.8 1.0 00 2.2
10 oz. Spinach or Arugula 283.5 56.7 6.5 6.5 0.6 0.0 1.7
2.3 c. Beets, Sliced, Boiled, Drained 391.0 172.0 6.6 38.9 0.7 0.0 7.8
0.75 c. Chickpeas, Garbanzo Beans or Bengal Gram, Canned 180.0 214.2 8.9 40.7 2.1 0.0 7.9
2 T. Parsley, Chopped 7.6 2.7 0.2 0.5 0.1 0.0 0.3

“Friday Education: 21 Signs You Need To Start Meditating”

Happy Friday the 13th everyone:)
If you have been contemplating taking up meditation here are some great reasons to start. Keep it simple and just start with 5 minutes a day and before you know it you will have created a meditation habit. Find a quiet space to sit and set your egg timer for 5 minutes. You can focus on a positive word(mantra) or your breath to start and if your mind wanders and it will just keep coming back to your word or breath. You could also check out Lorrie’s Meditation class on Friday’s mornings at 9:45. This is a donation class for the food bank.  Click here to read more about the reasons why we should start or continue to meditate.
Happy Meditating:)

Recipe of the Week: Raw Carrot Cake Balls

         Raw Carrot Cake Balls

Raw Carrot Cake Balls

Yield: Makes 18 to 20 balls


  • ¾ cup (175 mL) unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 6 medjool dates, pitted
  • ¾ cup (175mL) walnuts
  • ½ cup (125mL) grated carrots
  • ¼ cup (60mL) hemp seeds
  • ¼ cup (60mL) honey
  • 1 tsp (5mL) pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp (5mL) cinnamon
  • ½ tsp (2mL) nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp (1mL) ground cloves


Reserve ¼ cup (60 mL) shredded coconut in a shallow dish for rolling. Place remaining ingredients in a high-powered food processor and process until fully combined. Form mixture into 1-inch (2.5cm) balls and roll in reserved shredded coconut, coating balls completely. Transfer to a baking sheet and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight. Keep chilled, or freeze in an airtight container (no longer than a few months). Enjoy 1 or 2 as a snack or dessert.