Great Summer Time Quinoa Recipe

I wanted to share a great quinoa recipe that I found years ago and it is always a great refreshing dish that I love to prepare over the summer.  You can keep it refrigerated for hours and it’s perfect for any occasion, including a picnic.



  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 3 cups water
  • Salt
  • 1 small red onion, finely minced
  • 2 cups diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups diced cucumber
  • 1 to 2 jalapeño peppers (to taste), seeded if desired and finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 avocado, sliced, for garnish

Rinse the quinoa in a bowl of cold water 3 times until the water runs clear.  Bring the 3 cups water to a boil in a medium pot. Add 1/2 tsp salt to the quinoa. Bring it to a boil and reduce the heat to low. Cover and let simmer for 15 minutes.  Then turn off. The quinoa grains should appear thready at this point.  Do not remove lid.  Let it sit for 10 minutes. Once 10 minutes is up, use a fork to fluff the quinoa and let sit.

Toss tomatoes, cilantro, lime juice and olive oil in a bowl. Add the cucumber and onion, salt, and add the quinoa and cilantro. Toss together and add avocado slices and sprigs of cilantro on top.

Nutritional Facts About Quinoa

Quinoa, also known as a “super food and super grain” is a great source of protein. I cup of cooked quinoa contains 8.14 grams of protein.  It is also low in fat and cholesterol. One cup of cooked quinoa contains 3.4 grams of fat and is also low in calories. Additionally, quinoa is a great source of fiber, iron and magnesium and is gluten-free and wheat-free.

Surprisingly, quinoa is not a grain even though it is sometimes termed as a “super grain”.  It is actually a seed and in the same family as spinach.  To put it simply, quinoa is one of the most nutrient packed foods around.  It’s a great way for vegans to incorporate amino acids into their diet which are usually missing in other grains.

What I Learned About Heartburn

Over the past several months I had been dealing with some terrible heartburn.  Seems to have come out of nowhere and there were days where it would be so bad to the point where I couldn’t eat and other days where it was mild.  Here are some home treatment remedies that I have tried which helped to some extent, and that you can try for yourself if you are dealing with heartburn.  Not every heartburn symptom is relieved the same way for everybody so try the remedies below and see what works best for you.

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First, eat smaller meals throughout the day and avoid late-night snacks.  You also want to wait 2-3 hrs after eating before you lie down.  Also, avoid food that bring on heartburn, such as citrus, chocolate, mint, fatty or greasy foods, alcohol, carbonated beverages, and caffeine.

Second, do not smoke as that can exacerbate heartburn symptoms.

Raising the head of your bed at night at a 45 degree angle can help or even sleeping on a recliner.  Simply adding pillows underneath your head doesn’t work.  You will have to put a foam wedge under your mattress to get the best relief.

Try over-the-counter heartburn medications like Maalox, Mylanta, TUMS, Pepcid, or Zantac.  If the OTC doesn’t help after daily use for a week, you may want to speak to your doctor about getting prescription strength antacids.

Do not wear tight clothes around your mid-section as that will put pressure on your internal organs, thereby putting pressure on your stomach, causing reflux.  Try to avoid taking aspirin, Ibuprofen or Naproxen as they can make the heartburn worse.  If you need something for pain, try Tylenol.

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Obesity tends to lead to heartburn in most folks.  Sometimes losing 5-10 pounds can help reduce the symptoms significantly.  So get out and exercise and eat better.

You should call 911 if you have chest pain or pressure or pain in your belly area.  One of my buddies who works as a driver at San Jose Limo Service, thought he had heartburn, but turned out to be a mild case of a heart attack.  You should also call 911 if you vomit a lot of blood that looks like dark brown coffee grounds.  If you see streaks of blood in your vomit, be sure to call your doctor.

If you are losing weight unintentionally or have pain while swallowing or can’t swallow, it’s time to see a doctor.  Sometimes medication have side effects that can cause heartburn, such as antihistamines, anxiety medications, aspirin, ibuprofen, Advil.  And if your heartburn lasts for more than 2 weeks after using home treatments such as what I mentioned above then it’s time to see your doctor.

Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th of July everybody!  What a week it’s been.  Spent a good part of the week looking at homes, checking out a few open houses and a couple of homes with my real estate agent.  It’s tough.  My budget is $800K, no more than that.  In this market, to get anything under that price I either have to purchase a 3-4 bedroom townhouse in a good location or a 3-4 bedroom single family home in the next city over, which is less ideal due to traffic.

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My ideal home is a single family built in the late 90’s to early 2000, where the homes are still fairly modern and have a decent sized backyard.  I love the idea of having friends and family over and entertaining in the backyard with bbq and patio and even room for gardening.  Townhomes won’t usually allow for that. Additionally, townhomes always have a pricey HOA fee attached to it because they maintain all the exterior of the home and the common area.  Some communities have pools and clubhouses that are covered.

Personally, I’d rather maintain my own yard.  It’s cheaper in the long run.  The costs to consider when purchasing a home are mortgage, property tax, home insurance and HOA if applicable.  This can add up. Luckily interest rate is still low, however has steadily climbed from 3.8% for a 30-year fixed a few weeks ago to 4.2% now.  My gut tells me that once the banks sell off foreclosures this year, the interest rate will go up and home prices will climb.

It’s hard to believe as home prices are incredibly high as it is!  Can you believe $750K for a 3-4 bedroom townhouse?  Yeah, I could get several homes out of state.  Anyway, it’s July 4th and time to take my mind off the stress of house hunting.  A few friends and I decided to rent a limo with San Francisco limousine and take it out to the Berkeley Marina to see the firework show.  We didn’t want to deal with the traffic and parking so it only made sense to rent a limo and a chauffeur.

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I hope you are all having a fun and safe 4th.  There are certain counties that allow purchase and use of fireworks residentially and other counties that don’t.  For example, Contra Costa County is a no while Alameda County is a yes.  There a lot of great 4th of July parades this morning.  The Danville and Livermore parade are usually fun to attend.  Stay safe all!