Fit Foods: Turkey Quinoa Enchiladas in the slow cooker

Yummy turkey quinoa slow-cooker enchiladasI can’t tell you the last time I made a recipe that called for lots of foods that came from cans.

Well, at least until last week, when I stumbled across a recipe that looked delicious, healthy and easy (despite the long list of ingredients). I made a few tweaks, paring down the ingredient list, and prepared it for a weekday supper and wow, was it ever good!

In fact, I ended up freezing half of it to enjoy later.

Turkey Quinoa Slow-Cooker Enchiladas

20 oz. ground turkey breast (99 percent fat-free)
1 1/2 cups quinoa, rinsed
1 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed1 15 oz. can diced fire-roasted tomatoes with green chiles
1 cup frozen yellow corn
1 medium onion, chopped
1 jalapeno, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup water
1 10-oz. can medium enchilada sauce
(optional: 2 tbsp. chili powder, 1 tbsp. cumin)
1 cup low-fat shredded Mexican cheese blend

Brown the ground turkey breast in a skillet on the stove (if you can’t find the 20-oz. package, a 1-lb package is just fine).

Place the browned turkey in a slow cooker and add the rest of the ingredients, up to but NOT including the cheese. If you have the spices on hand, they will add extra flavor but if you do not have them, no worries.

Mix the ingredients together in the slow cooker, cover and cook on high for about 3 hours. The liquid should be absorbed and the quinoa should be done.

Stir the ingredients again and taste — adjust the spices if you are using them. Add the 3/4 cup of the cheese and stir again. When the cheese has melted, sprinkle 1/4 cup on top. Serve.

Besides the fact that it’s hearty, yummy and nutritious, the other beautiful thing about this recipe is that it’s scalable — you can use it to make 6, 8, or 10 servings depending on how you divide it.

Here’s the nutrition info for 10 servings:
288 calories; 5 grams fat, 6 grams fiber, 37 grams carbohydrates, 25 grams protein

For 8 servings:
360 calories, 6 grams fat, 8 grams fiber, 45 grams carbs, 31 grams protein

Sculpt a strong core with the woodchop

kettlebell woodchopWoodchops are a GREAT way to sculpt a strong core — especially your obliques (the muscles along the sides of your waist) — in a functional way.

And by functional, I mean in a way that you would use in your everyday life, whether it’s taking dishes out of the dishwasher or getting groceries out of the car, or any number of other activities of daily life (like golfing!).

Most exercises have you move through only one plane of motion — directly in front of you. This exercise has you move through a different plane because of the rotation involved, and mixing it up to work different muscles is a very good thing.

But because we don’t often use rotation in standing movements it’s really easy to cheat this move.  Your body is going to want to take the efficient (easy) route and disengage the big muscle groups we’re targeting.  No worries: I am offering my top trainer tips in the video below. (It’s kinda loud in the gym where I recorded this … sorry!)

Some things to keep in mind:

Keep your posture in neutral alignment, shoulders back, abs engaged, knees soft.

Think about rotating your hips through the movement. I tell my clients to have their hips say “hello” to the one wall and then the opposite wall across the room.

Move the weight across the muscles you are trying to target (your abs!). If you find that it’s difficult to move in the 45-degree angle, move the weight from the hip to the chest to over your shoulder.

Try this and let me know what you think! (Also making a rare appearance in front of the camera is my dog Zoey, who hates having her picture taken. 🙂  )

Do you have any exercise-related questions? Leave them in the comments below and I’ll do my best to answer!