Posts tagged ‘quinoa’

January 10, 2014

the best all-purpose yogurt sauce + a warm winter salad

sweet potato-carrot-apple cake with sweet chili cilantro yogurt sauce

You know you’re doing alright with healthy eating when you open the fridge and your leftovers consist of cooked quinoa, chickpeas, and extra batter from these sweet potato-carrot-apple cakes. I’m lucky enough to naturally enjoy eating (and taking the time to cook) all these foods over the processed, fried and fast foods inundating our supermarkets and restaurants. But where I don’t have such an easy time is my unrelenting sweet tooth…. will it ever go away?!

Healthy eating is also much easier when you already have prepared foods on hand – like leftover quinoa, chickpeas, and veggies that are ready to be tossed into a salad the minute you decide you are starving for lunch. Sounds a bit like me today! Sometimes my leftover concoctions turn out to be not as appetizing as I’d hoped, but this was one that magically combined so nicely that I had to write up the recipe to share with you – and so that I can make it again!

a warm winter 'leftovers' salad

Sometimes I find it hard to eat salads as often in the winter. Cold and crunchy just doesn’t do it for me when it’s 14 degrees out! This salad was nice because I put a warm pan-fried veggie cake on top of spinach and arugula (rather than lettuce which does not stand up well under something hot) along with reheated quinoa and chickpeas and some fresh veggies. A warm, hearty and filling wintertime salad – perfect.

August 8, 2013

Quinoa + mung bean tabbouleh

quinoa + mung bean tabbouleh

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This time of year I desperately look for any and every way to take advantage of our abundant garden, namely the tomatoes who are currently on a serious ripening rampage. It’s painful to watch an unused tomato go rotten on the counter, when in just a few months I’ll be dying to have one so juicy and fresh. Gazpacho, tomato sauce, salsa, more gazpacho, BLT’s, tomato-basil-mozzarella salads for lunch and dinner daily…… Not that I get tired of it, I just wish the tomato good-ness could be spread more evenly throughout the year!

While brainstorming other lunch-worthy uses for tomatoes, I thought of tabbouleh, and then I thought of the tabbouleh I had at a recent potluck (well, in June… Is it really August already?!) This light and refreshing herbal salad swapped out the traditional bulgur wheat for quinoa plus a good dose of mung beans, all together making one protein-packed, fiber-full, and vitamin-rich hearty salad.

Tabbouleh is easy because there’s no right and wrong ratios of herbs to grains or veggies, so it’s really just up to your taste. This recipe’s a keeper in my book, especially when it comes to putting all these summer garden veggies to use.

garden tomatoes!

parsley, mint, quinoa, mung beans.

April 17, 2013

Back home to comfort (food)

egg<3

It’s always something I look forward to after travelling: returning to my kitchen and to my comfort food. Comfort food – often synonymous with indulgence food – for me is actually the healthy, nutritious, veggie-full meals we eat in our house*. It’s comforting because it satisfies both mind and body, and I crave it when I’m away from it for too long. Traveling in a country like Colombia, where green vegetables are not (at all) the forefront of the cuisine and I’ve eaten one-too-many deep fried empanadas ….makes me long for the salads, stews, curries, fritattas, stir frys, and all other veggie-centered dishes that are a regular at home.

*don’t get me wrong, ‘comfort food’ to me also means all things chocolate ;)

I also return home inspired by the many foods I’ve sampled, techniques I’ve observed, new spices and textures and flavors I’ve discovered. So I’m off the plane and anxious to cook, whether it’s Colombian arepas or a comforting veggie-ful lentil curry.

Here’s a little bite of the food in my life since I came home… just a little detox from empanadas, fried plantains, queso, queso, and more queso.

quinoa falafels over greens & carrot-orange-ginger juice

Quinoa falafels with tahini sauce via Sprouted Kitchen, & fresh carrot-mango-orange-ginger juice

kabocha squash lentil curry

I-could-eat-this-every-day Kabocha Squash Lentil Curry via Pinch of Yumover kale with toasted naan

Jamie's sourdough boule

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My sister’s sourdough boules… maybe ate a little too much of this, but who can resist warm, crusty, chewy, fresh baked bread?!

sourdough boule with apricots + almonds

homemade butterfingers

And in lieu of store-bought Easter candy, we made homemade vegan butterfingers, which blew us all away with their spot on texture and peanut buttery goodness.

December 13, 2012

cozy wintertime stew

hearty chicken, butternut + quinoa stew

It’s important at this time of year, to maintain a balance between Christmas cookies and healthy, wholesome meals. Because as long as we take full advantage of winter’s nutritious harvest at meal times, no one need turn down a scrumptious holiday cookie (or two, or three..)

We’ve had our fill of both at my house—perhaps leaning towards the indulgent side—but leafy greens and bright orange squash are still part of our everyday diet. I had this recipe for chicken stew with butternut and quinoa marked for a long time, and like most recipes I finally get around to making I think, why did I wait so long?!

hearty chicken, butternut squash + quinoa stew

This is definitely a keeper in my recipe book, as it’s everything I love in a wintertime meal. Hearty, healthy, balanced, wholesome, cozy, savory, sweet, filling, and lick-the-bowl GOOD!

Chicken Stew with Butternut Squash + Quinoa, adapted from Cookin’ Canuck

  • 1 1/2 lb. butternut squash, peeled, seeded + chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 t kosher salt
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 t dried oregano
  • 1 can (14 oz) petite diced tomatoes
  • 2/3 cup uncooked quinoa
  • couple handfuls kale, roughly chopped
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
    read more »

April 3, 2012

the bowl.

I think at least 80% of the meals I make for myself end up piled into a bowl. I like it that way – the different flavors and textures blend together in each bite, and the combinations of veggies, grains, proteins, herbs, sauces and spices are endless…

I’m also often cooking for one, so it’s a convenient way to control my portions and season it just the way I like it. Then I take a big spoon, collapse on my comfy couch, and savor every bite :)

My creations typically involve some kind of grain (quinoa, polenta, or brown rice), steamed or sautéed greens, sautéed or roasted seasonal veggies, and either beans, eggs, lentils, tofu, veggie sausage or chicken. Then comes the endless flavor combinations concocted of herbs, cheeses, spices, and sauces, which I change up every time. The bowl concept is great because I always end up with a well-balanced meal, and it makes for easy eating whether at home, on the go, or leftover for tomorrow’s lunch!

I wanted to share a few of my favorite quinoa bowls as of late:

January 27, 2012

stir fried quinoa with chicken + veggies

Mm mmm…I almost never order Chinese takeout, but some days I just get that craving for chicken and rice drenched in salty, sweet n’ sticky “brown sauce,” or so they call it. So flavorful, so full of MSG. Oh so unfortunate.

The top reason I’d say I cook for myself is so I know exactly what goes into my food. No MSG hiding in this kitchen. Fortunately it’s very simple to make your own Chinese-style fried rice,  and after I saw this variation made with couscous I thought why not use my favorite (and super nutritious) grain: quinoa!

Rather than keeping the numerous ingredients to make Asian-style sauces and marinades, I recently found a store-bought version that I love and is versatile enough to be used for any purpose! Salad dressing, marinade, veggie dip, sauce for rice—pretty much anything you want to have that delicious soy-sesame-garlic-ginger flavor. The brand is called Soy Vay, and I buy either the Veri Veri teriyaki or Island Teriyaki. Both consist of soy sauce, sugar, pineapple juice (in the Island Teriyaki), sesame seeds, fresh garlic + ginger, dried onion, and soy + sesame oils. Basically what I would put in my own marinade if I made it. No preservatives or hard-to-pronounce ingredients. Awesome.

The teriyaki works perfectly as a marinade for the chicken in this dish, as well as a drizzled topping for some extra flavor and moisture.

stir fried quinoa with chicken + veggies, inspired by this

  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten with salt + pepper
  • 1-2 cups cooked, cooled quinoa (preferably leftovers)
  • 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 2/3 cup broccoli slaw (this is an estimate – use however much you want)
  • ½ cup broccoli florets
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 t minced fresh ginger
  • 2 T soy sauce
  • 1 T sesame oil
  • teriyaki sauce, for marinating and serving

Chop chicken breasts into small pieces and marinate in teriyaki sauce for at least 30 minutes.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat and coat with nonstick cooking spray. Add beaten eggs and stir with a spatula until scrambled, fluffy and cooked through. Remove to a small plate.

Add 1 T sesame oil to skillet, increase heat to medium-high and add chicken. Let cook for a couple minutes and turn over several times until almost cooked through. Add ginger, scallion whites and broccoli to skillet, sautéing until slightly softened and fragrant. Add broccoli slaw and cooked quinoa, 2 T soy sauce and sauté until heated through, 2-3 minutes. Stir in scrambled eggs, top with scallion greens and serve drizzled with more teriyaki or soy sauce.

Enjoy! -mich

January 9, 2012

simple savory Moroccan soup

This is one of my favorite soup recipes – it’s light but filling, vegetarian, and made with a unique combination of spices that fill the air with warmth. Cinnamon and cayenne give it a spicy heat, and my favorite part—the raisins—turn into plump little grapes bursting with an unexpected sweetness.

Oh yeah, it’s SO simple to make and healthy too!

Moroccan soup with quinoa + chickpeas, adapted from Women’s Health

Serves 4 or 5

  • 3 cups low-sodium vegetable stock
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) no salt- added diced tomatoes, with juice
  • 1 cup zucchini, sliced into half circles
  • 1/2 cup canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 4 artichoke hearts, cut in half (frozen or packed in water and drained) *I left these out
  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced (including green tops)
  • 1/4 t cinnamon
  • 1/4 t cayenne
  • 1/2 t basil
  • 1/2 t oregano

Bring stock plus 1 cup water to a rolling boil. Reduce heat, add remaining ingredients, and simmer uncovered about 10-15 minutes, or until quinoa is just tender (don’t overcook as it will expand as the soup sits). Add salt and pepper to taste, and serve.

As with many soups, it will thicken up over time, and I find it to be especially flavorful after sitting overnight.

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