Almond Quinoa with Steamed Broccoli

The end of summer means several things to me, including fall weather (yippee!), a new school year, my favorite food time of year, and the approach of fall marathon season. Which means a ramp-up in my training, which in turn means I have to be extra vigilent about eating well and eating enough. After suffering through two consecutive terrible runs last week, and wondering if over-training was the reason, I suddenly realized that I hadn’t consumed enough calories in the days surrounding those runs to sustain me. As my dream man would say, “D’oh!”

Along with eating more during training, though, it’s important that I eat smarter. That means I have to put away the Oreos for the fall and concentrate on getting a good mixture of protein, carbs, fruits, and veggies.

This recipe was a perfect back-on-track recipe for me, though the truth is, it’s a perfect recipe for just about any day. There’s a ton of protein here (quinoa is one of the few plant-based complete proteins, plus you’re getting extra protein from the almonds), and healthy carbs, and of course, all the goodness that comes with broccoli. (Though I actually ate more broccoli than what’s pictured; I piled on about a cup and a half of it.) Not only that, it’s got a simple combination of flavors: the light, fresh flavor of the broccoli; a deeper, earthy taste of the quinoa; and of course, the sweet nuttiness of the almonds. (I used toasted, unsalted almonds; if you use salted, I recommend reducing the salt that you add to the recipe.

So, training or not, this dish comes highly recommended: it’s simple, healthy, easy, and oh-so-yummy.