Easy Spicy Buffalo Chicken and Quinoa Wrap

So yeah…I’ve officially decided that I am most definitely going through my quarter life crisis right now. What’s my passion? What do I want to do in the next 10 years? Do I want to stay on this career path or should I choose something totally different?

I don’t have answers to any of those questions. Which is kind of scary but it sort of feels like a blank canvas. And I like that… (…I think???)

It feels like I’ve had too many I’m-almost-25-what-have-I-done-with-my-life-I’m-not-where-I’d-thought-I’d-be-but-that’s-ok-right?-RIGHT? moments lately. But I’ve always found that getting in the kitchen, putting on some music, and cooking/baking helps. There’s something about cooking that soothes me. I don’t know if it’s following a recipe so that I don’t have to decide what to do or if tasting whatever I make is enough at the time.

I have a feeling I’ll be in the kitchen A LOT MORE though so I can enjoy these peaceful moments where all I have to think about is the dish that’s in front of me. And then I can share my creations, such as this tasty wrap, with you!

Buffalo wings are like…one of my all time favorite things to eat. Especially when they’re super spicy! (Unless you’re eating “Death Wings” that that require you to sign a waiver AND give you the worst indigestion of your life!! Lose-lose, guys…but I’ll save that story for another day.)

Anyway, like I mentioned when I made Buffalo Fries a while back, I find wings too much trouble to make. Oil, frying, drying out the wings…too much work! This simple wrap is on the healthy side (see that green stuff in there?!) and SO easy to make. The hardest part is cooking the chicken…which is ridiculously easy. So let’s give it a go!

Spicy Buffalo Chicken and Quinoa Wrap

Combined, these simple ingredients create such a tasty meal. I decided to add the quinoa and spinach so I wouldn’t feel as guilty eating all the cheese and I thought it was so good! Think of it as a spinach salad…wrapped up in a whole wheat tortilla, and then slathered in buffalo sauce and blue cheese dressing. Yesssssss, that’s my kind of salad.

This is perfect for a quick meal and if you roll it up and wrap it in some plastic wrap, it travels reallyyy well so it’s great to bring to work for lunch! Or on a picnic. Or when roadtripping. Or to a friend’s house! What, you don’t bring your own snacks when visiting friends? No? Just me? Lies.

Happy Tuesday!

Spicy Buffalo Chicken and Quinoa Wrap
 
Prep time

Cook time

Total time

 

Sorry for the lack of measurement here. This wrap is forgiving though so add more or less of whatever you feel!
Serves: 2

Ingredients
  • 2 Whole wheat tortillas
  • 1 Chicken breast, grilled and sliced into strips
  • 1/2-3/4 Cups cooked quinoa (depending on how much you want in your wrap!)
  • 1/4 Red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 Handfuls of spinach
  • 2 Tablespoons of your favorite buffalo hot sauce, plus a little extra for garnish
  • Blue cheese dressing
  • Crumbled blue cheese for garnish

Instructions
  1. Toss quinoa and chicken strips in 2 tablespoon of hot sauce until fully coated. Use as much/less hot sauce as you’d like here. Some like it lighter and others like it spicier so it’s up to you!
  2. Warm the whole wheat tortillas up in a pan or in the microwave. Then place a handful of spinach down the middle of each tortilla.
  3. Divide the chicken/quinoa mixture in two and spread on top of each spinach layer. Then add the red onions.
  4. When ready to eat, drizzle some blue cheese dressing and extra hot sauce over the chicken/quinoa/onion mixture.
  5. Top off with crumbled blue cheese, and then roll it up!
  6. Roll out, roll out, you’re done! Chow down.

 

“Most importantly, if you can at all avoid it, don’t be normal. Strive, burn and do everything you can to avoid being the industry standard. Even the highest industry standard. Be greater than anything anyone else has ever dreamed of you. Don’t settle for pats on the back, salary increases, a nod-and-a-smile. Instead, rage against the tepidness of the mundane with every fiber of whatever makes you, you. Change this place.

Please, do that for me.”

{via i wrote this for you}

{photo via Pinterest}

Tomorrow, I embark on a new beginning.

Tomorrow, my skills and strengths will be tested at the next level.

Tomorrow, I officially begin my new job with optimism, courage, and strive. But as I welcome it with open arms, my heart is heavy because it also marks the reality that I am not longer at my old job.

Today, though, I embrace this change. Today, I celebrate how lucky I am.

They say you can’t have everything and although I definitely understand this, somehow I find myself wishing–just for a split second–that it was possible. To have everything. Then I wouldn’t have to leave one thing to follow my passion for another. Then I wouldn’t have to accept that change is a constant that can’t be messed with. Hell, then I would just eat bacon all day and swim in a pool of hot chocolate! That would be my everything. Can I just have that?! No?

No. OK–back to reality.

Today is not about doubt or fear or happiness elsewhere, it’s about celebration. I’m celebrating the fact that I even got to experience such a wonderful chapter in my life. I’m celebrating the amazing work-family that I have developed over the last 4 years at my job. They took me under their wing and taught me so much. They believed in me even when I didn’t and they have an everlasting faith in my abilities as a professional and as an individual. To experience that sort of love and support from colleagues, mentors, and superiors exceeds any of my expectations of a work community.

There are no words to say exactly how much I truly appreciate each and everyone one of them.

But there comes a time when ambition drives strength and eagerness to learn more surpasses all fear. I am ready for this challenge and so excited to dip my feet into an environment I’ve had a drive for since I can remember.

Today, I’m celebrating the end of this chapter in my life with a warm heart and sincere gratitude. And I also am celebrating the next chapter that’s about to begin. And the many chapters to come after that…

So as I keep the last 4 years close to my heart, I’m ready to tackle the world.

Wish me luck.

Happy Sunday! :)

Energy bites. Because we deserve to keep our bodies healthy. Because we deserve to divulge in something sweet. Because they’re delicious. Because they’re cute and small and look like they should be a truffle or something. Because they’re kind of awesome. Because we’re rock stars.

I’m not very good at exercising. Period. When it comes to will power, I can think of anything under the sun as an excuse not to work out. Like shopping. I like to justify shopping as a workout–I mean, I power walk for like 3 hours straight hitting sales and as many stores as possible. Sometimes I’ll even lift my shopping bags like they’re weights while I walk to the next store. Plus, when I get a pair of shoes or an awesome new sweater as my post-work out reward, what’s not to love?! Seeee how I have too many excuses? It’s sad. But every time I actually do exercise and get my (untoned) butt in gear, I never regret it. The rush is amazing, and I always feel mentally and physically better. Baby steps!

But I digress. Anyway, these energy bites are a major plus in anyone’s diet. Why? Check out the benefits for each of the ingredients:

  • Oats contain fiber from being whole grains, they help lower cholesterol, has significant cardiovascular benefits, stabilizes blood sugars, can lower diabetes risk and much more.
  • Almond butter is swimming with protein, calcium, folic acid, and vitamin E.
  • Sunflower seeds are a nutrient rich food that has magnesium, iron, phosporus, calcium, and zinc. They also have vitamins E and B and are high in fiber and protein.
  • Flaxseed (especially when ground) helps lower cholestorol, fights diabetes, cancer, inflammation, heart disease, and depression. It is also super rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and fiber.
  • Raw agave nectar/syrup is a natural sweetener and a great alternative to sugar. It’s low-glycemic so it won’t cause a spike your body’s sugar levels like sugar or honey do. It also contains anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting agents, and it is anti-microbial.
  • Raw cacao nibs (or cocoa nibs) are a a Mayan superfood that are loaded with antioxidants, iron, magnesium, and dietary fiber. They are known to enhance cognitive abilities and mood and are a great alternative to chocolate chips.
  • Vanilla extract–well, I’m sure there are benefits there but vanilla extract is just. plain. delicious.

It’s all about balance and moderation. Lifestyle, food, and eating habits require balance. Let’s do it!

But DON’T, I repeat DON’T throw a handful of cocoa nibs in your mouth thinking they will taste delicious. Because they don’t. They’re soo bitter! I had to gargle with the cup of coffee that was sitting next to me to get the taste out of my mouth. However, when mixed with some sweetness, these little nibs are delicious and add a nice little crunch to each bite just like chocolate chips do. If you are looking to make a healthier power bar or energy food, I suggest you use these ingredients.

Energy Bites Recipe (adapted from Smashed Peas and Carrots)

  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 cup of almond butter plus one heaping spoonful for good measure
  • 1/2 cup ground flaxseed
  • 1/2 cup raw cocoa nibs
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/3 cup agave nectar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • raw sliced almonds for garnish (optional)
Mix all the ingredients together (except for the sliced almonds) until everything is well incorporated. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Then, remove from the fridge and spoon out a heaping tablespoon at a time and roll into a ball. Repeat until all of the mixture is used. (If the mixture starts to get too sticky or hard to roll, pop it back in the fridge for 10 minutes.) Top with a couple of raw sliced almonds for garnish. Store in the fridge and eat one or two for breakfast, as a snack, or as a pre-/post-workout bite.
If you’re feeling extra fancy, place in mini cupcake liners. If not using mini cupcake liners, just store in tupperware with wax paper between them if you stack them.

Make these, you won’t regret it. And then go out for a walk/jog/run/shopping excursion to find (if you’re like me) some new clothes you can’t afford. Good for the body, mind, and soul.

Happy Thursday! :)

New Year’s Day Last Year, January 2011

Tucked inside a cabin surrounded by snow, I snuck off into a room and secretly launched my very first blog post on this very day last year. It was exhilerating and scary all at the same time. And today, I’m in Tahoe again (this time with a lot less snow), and I can’t help but think of everything that has happened in 2011!

Over the past couple of weeks, I have gone back to my very first post and re-read it multiple times. I really wanted to see where I started from and where I’ve gotten. I’ve discovered that this blog has changed from my original idea, and it’s amazing to see how things can shift and grow within a year. Life has gotten busier, I’ve moved cities, and my post styles have moved in a different direction. Every now and then they revert back to my primary goal–to show how food and life have a strong interconnection in everyday events–but I think I get caught up with recipes and cooking, which of course, is not a bad thing. It’s just different and wonderful!

I think it’s really exciting to think of what else can change in another 6 months or over the course of this next year. I love archiving and sharing the cooking adventures and events in my life, and I am so thankful to have such a wonderful support system that encourages me to keep this blog going! Yes, I’m talking about YOU. So thank you so much for everything, and here’s to the beginning of 2012!

This new year is going to be a good one, I can feel it. Get ready for a bunch of new recipes, fun events, and life recaps. It’s going to be glorious!!!

Happy New Year, friends!

Now, who has new year’s resolutions that they want to share?

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