Recipe: Sauteed Chicken and Mushrooms with Quinoa

If you know me, you know that “Hala” and “diet” don’t go in the same sentence. So I wouldn’t say I’m on a diet, but I’m pushing myself to eat better for my health. And better doesn’t mean boring or flavorless, not in the slightest!

I’ve been playing around with some of my favorite go to recipes and ingredients to come up with this delicious yet healthy dish. Sauteed chicken and garlic mushrooms, atop tri-colored quinoa with a side of salad mixed with home made goat cheese dressing. It barely took 30 minutes to prepare and cook, so it’s excellent as a weekly meal prep option.

Sauteed Chicken and Mushrooms
2 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless, optional to cut into halves or cubes
6 cremini mushrooms, de-stemmed and sliced
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
2-4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes, optional
Quinoa
1 cup tri-colored quinoa
2 cups of water
Salad and Dressing
1 romaine lettuce, chopped
3 vined tomatos, diced
1 cucumber, diced
1 tablespoon of goat cheese
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon of dried basil
1/2 teaspoon of tajin
salt and pepper to taste

Season the chicken with salt and pepper on both sides while the olive oil heats up in a saucepan. You can bring the heat a few notches lower before adding the chicken, letting it saute through for about 5-7 minutes on each side, depending on the thickness. Set the chicken aside and use the same pan to saute the mushrooms for about seven minutes before adding the garlic. You may add another tablespoon of olive oil and lightly season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Add the chicken and let it cook for another 5-7 minutes, making sure to taste should you need to add any more salt or pepper.

In a small saucepan or pot, warm the quinoa for a minute before adding the water. Bring to a boil like you would rice or lentils before lowering the heat. Lid the pot and let it cook for about ten minutes.

In a big bowl, start making your dressing. Add the goat cheese, olive oil, salt, pepper, basil, and tajin and mix with a fork. The goat cheese should break down to the texture of your choosing. Dressing is good for up to a week in the fridge. Chop the lettuce and add it to the mix, that way the lettuce is coated with the dressing. Mix again after adding the diced tomatos and cucumbers.

The whole process shouldn’t take you more than 30 minutes. If there are any leftovers, package the chicken and mushrooms, quinoa, and salad separately in airtight tupperware. Should last you at least four days in the fridge. But let’s be honest, this is so good, it won’t last that long!

Belhana welshefa! Buon appetito! Enjoy!

Ramadan Fact of the Day

Did you know that Muslims around the world break their fasts with dates and milk?

I’m working with our team at Pinterest to add more content to the Ramadan 2021 board and will be sharing some more facts like this throughout the month. Do stay tuned to check them out!

May your fasts be easy and your iftar enjoyable, God willing.

Top 10 Healthy Eats in Doha

Top 10 Healthy Eats in Doha
By: Ms. Hala Abdoun for BQ Plus via Zomato
Originally Published: February 2017
Publication Source: BQ-Magazine.com

A new year, a new beginning, a new you! Self-improvement is the top resolution many of us make when we flip a page to the new year. This includes staying positive, being active and eating right.

If you love the food scene in Doha but want to start a healthy eating habit, that kale leaf won’t cut it. The latest collection on Zomato, Healthy Eating, has the top go to spots with delicious, healthy eats. Here’s the top ten rated healthy eats from the collection.

10. Crepeaway

Where: Al Muthanna Complex, Al Hilal
Rating: 3.5 / 5
Lowdown: If you have friends who aren’t really attempting to eat healthy this year, this spot will have you all breaking bread in peace. With a healthy section in the menu listing calories, protein, fiber and carb count, you can chow down at Crepeaway guilt free.

9. Al Jazeera Cafe

Where: Building 4, Katara Cultural Village
Rating: 3.6 / 5
Lowdown: Conceptualized by the Al Jazeera network, you can start your day on the right track. Enjoy your meal with the latest news, interactive setting and beautiful ambiance. Try one of the fruit smoothies, herbal infused teas or grab a bite knowing you’re doing good by your body and global farms.

8. Dine Smart Restaurant

Where: Lulu Hypermarket, Barwa City
Rating: 3.6 / 5
Lowdown: We all love to eat while we shop! And Dine Smart wants you to eat smart while you shop. Whether you’re craving Italian, Chinese, a sandwich or a simple salad, you can eat knowing you didn’t ruin your New Year’s resolution to keep it healthy and within budget.

7. Salad Boutique

Where: Aspire Park, Al Waab
Rating: 3.7 / 5
Lowdown: They aren’t just famous for those large bowls of salads anymore. This will be good news for your anti-salad eating friends of yours craving risotto, pasta or even a burger. You can dine within the bright ambience, lounging in the oversized chairs indoors or dine under the stars in this cool winter weather.

6. Which Wich

Where: Medina Centrale, The Pearl-Qatar
Rating: 3.8 / 5
Lowdown: Where the self-proclaimed “superior sandwiches” are made in the heart of The Pearl-Qatar. Grab a sandwich paper bag and like Aladdin, make wishes for the sandwich genies to grant on the spot. Feeling adventurous? Drop the bread and wish for a lettucewich.

5. Chef’s Garden

Where: Marwan Club, Education City
Rating: 3.9 / 5
Lowdown: The horses in close distance, the greenery all around, the healthy dishes on the table. Where else can you get all three but the Chef’s Garden? Next to the Equestrian Club, you can’t go wrong with the food or view as many of the foodies have raved about in their reviews.

4. Evergreen Organics

Where: Qanat Quartier, Pearl Qatar
Rating: 4.0 / 5
Lowdown: Co-founded by renowned Qatari foodie, Ghanim AlSulaiti, this vegan haven is all about eating and surrounding yourself with wholesome goodness. The very popular fresh pressed juices are now bottled up, so you can take a few on the go until your next visit.

3. Jones The Grocer

Where: The Gate, Dafna
Rating: 4.1 / 5
Lowdown: With a new healthy menu added to the original, it’s no wonder JTG has climbed up the ranks. Already a popular breakfast spot, this JTG branch is still a top favorite with a die-hard Doha foodie following.

2. Zaatar we Zeit

Where: Opposite Souq Waqif Art Center, Souq Waqif
Rating: 4.2 / 5
Lowdown: With many locations around Doha, the Souq branch tops the list for this popular Lebanese chain. This breakfast hot spot makes you feel all the good feels as you feast on a budget before shopping in the historic bazaar.

1. Meesh Me-Time Cafe

Where: Crowne Plaza Business Park, Najma
Rating: 4.5 / 5
Lowdown: The highest rated healthy eat in the collection is a spot with “me time” in its name. It’s that kind of attitude that’s captured the hearts of Doha’s inhabitants. Can’t go wrong with a cafe serving up all kinds of healthy goodness, from its fresh brewed coffee to its latest quick bites menu.

What are you waiting for? Download the Zomato app today and bookmark these restaurants to keep that healthy New Year’s resolution going strong!

All images courtesy of BQ Plus Magazine unless otherwise noted.

Another Healthy Lunch!

Seriously, what is wrong with me?! I’m having another healthy lunch and didn’t even realize it until I sat down to eat it! hehehe …and it was good!

Veggie/Cheese sandwich: goat cheese, cream cheese, mozzarella, tomoatoes and cucumbers with some herbs and garlic seasoning. Homemade sweet honey mocha… simple ingredients people, simple.

…did I mention I had a Vegan Banana Chocolate Walnut cookie last night too?! I’m hooked on those things from Java at the Zoo (or from Java Beach)! Chocolate is chocolate, vegan or not!

Healthiest Lunch Ever!

I swear I’m working on a few new rants, including an upcoming rant series called W.I.S.S. (which will be explained and started in a few days!) among other things. In the meantime, I know I had promised to post some of my food creations from time to time. Today, the healthiest lunch I’ve ever had!

A makeshift salad consisting of blackberries, granny smith apples, tomatoes (I see it as a fruit!) and small cucumbers with a dash of apple cider and honey! Seriously, what is wrong with me?! I don’t do healthy but it tastes so good!!