Spicy Chickpea & Quinoa Bowl

This has been the busiest. Month. Ever. We spent August gearing up for the wedding of the century (it did not disappoint–holy WOW, Kitty and Jim!) and have barely had time enough to breathe, let alone cook things we aren’t sure we’ll like.

During the wedding prep (it was a masquerade ball, so we didn’t want to stick out for the wrong reasons), Jason went to Montreal for his all-staff retreat, then my brother came to visit. We then went to Denver where Jas met all my various and sundry friends, and I then immediately headed to Chicago for my work retreat, and finally Jas just got back from New York.

We. are. tired.

xD Still, we’re back at it until the next travel bug bites us!

THIS IS SO GOOD! Spicy and filling and protein packed!

Deliciously spicy, satisfying, and filling chickpea dish. I’m actually not missing chicken (to which my beau is allergic, as he has recently discovered) much today!

Spicy Chickpea and Quinoa Bowls
Serves: 6 Servings
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 cups beef broth
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1-2 jalapeños (seeded unless you’re crazy like us)
  • 2 (15 oz) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes (save like half the juice)
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • ½ tsp. red pepper flakes (or more if you like a lot of heat!) We used a tablespoon. Will probably use two next time.
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper
  • Spinach/kale/green of choice
  • Fresh cilantro, garnish (optional)
  • Hard boiled egg, garnish (optional)
  1. To make quinoa, rinse and soak for about 10 minutes in warm water. Bring 2 cups of beef broth (we used two cups of water and two bouillon cubes) to a boil in a small saucepan, drain quinoa and add to boiling broth. Add 1/3rd to half the can of juice from tomatoes. Cover and reduce heat to a simmer, cooking for about 15 to 20 minutes. Turn off heat and allow quinoa to sit for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork; set aside.
  2. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, drizzle olive oil and sauté onion and garlic  and jalapeños until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the chickpeas, tomatoes and the rest of the ingredients (minus the cilantro), stirring to combine. Towards the end, add the cilantro.
  3. Cover the pan and simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. To assemble the bowls, lay down a bed of greens, place ½ cup quinoa in each bowl and top with a heaping ½ cup of the chickpea mixture.
Serving Size: ½ cup quinoa + ½ cup chickpea mixture • Calories: 342 • Fat: 5.8 g • Saturated Fat: 0.5 g • Carbs: 62 g • Fiber: 10.2 g • Protein: 12.4 g • Sugars: 2.2 g • WW Freestyle Points: 4
Recipe adapted from EatYourselfSkinny.com. If you want a less spicy or all-vegetarian option, use their recipe instead of our modified one! IT IS SO GOOD!

Operation: Rise and Shine is A-Go

Pretty much everything I want out of life hinges on being an early riser.

If I want to exercise and take care of my health, it needs to be in the morning, or I’ll talk myself out of it (because deep-fried sushi and comfy blankets are LIFE).

If I want time to work on my writing, I need to get my shit done early to clear time for that.

If I’d like to ease into my day over a leisurely coffee and reading my work ’emails’ like I used to picture when I was slaving as a teacher, I need to get up earlier.

If I want some moments of absolute peace to myself in the quiet morning before the hustle and bustle and utter nonsense of the day… you get the picture.

I’m better at all of these things in the wee hours of the morning–that is, two and three a.m. when I am still awake from the day.

Alas and alack, I’m with a morning lark; he is so damned chipper every morning that I frequently have to stop myself from throttling him for his sunshiney disposition as the light through yonder window breaks.

Thus, today I begin my conversion to a tried and true morning person.

Things I have tried in the past:

-Setting my alarm clock not only across the room, but in the hallway. Outside my room. I’ll usually wake before it, climb out of bed, and shut it off. Then climb back in bed. I am THAT determined.

-Making a delicious breakfast the night before and thinking of it as I fall asleep. Come morning, what is hunger compared to the heroine that is the snooze button?

-Practice: I have literally practiced “getting up” to “create a routine” to make it “automatic” in the evening. Partner’s smug smirk didn’t sting so much as the fact I slept in the next morning. And the one after.

Others not out of the norm: setting my coffee maker to brew ASAP automatically, signing up for early morning exercise classes, setting multiple snooze alarms, promising myself breakfast burritos… It goes on and on. I hate mornings. Mornings hate me.

But no longer.

Today, I turned to Facebook. And now? I have an action plan.

Tomorrow morning, I have an alarm set for 5:00. I intend to be out of bed by 5:10.

The plan:


  1. Hydro Flask filled with coffee + soymilk. I will drink this at 5 a.m. in preparation for waking.
  2. Partner has agreed to turn on the light when he bounds out of bed; I have agreed not to punch, kick, and/or maim him in any way.
  3. Fuzzy bathrobe and slippers for the 5:10 alarm. Underneath: work-out clothes for Jazzercise
  4. Nice smelling lotions to apply as a reward.
  5. Back-up alarm on the landing. If I’m going to sleep in, I’m going to have to get out of bed for a few minutes AFTER drinking a boat-load of coffee.

Wish me luck. May the odds be ever in my favor.

Want v. Need: Staring Mortality in the Face

At some point, I need to admit to myself that what I like to do and what I need to do to take care of myself are on polar ends of the health spectrum.

Alaspoor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio, a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy. He hath borne me on his back a thousand times, and now, how abhorred in my imagination it is! My gorge rises at it. Here hung those lips that I have kissed I know not how oft. —Where be your gibes now? Your gambols?