Posts tagged ‘quinoa’

January 7, 2014

Lentil and Brown Rice Bowl

A perfect little bowl of comfort for those winter weeks where getting out of bed is a feat. This is going to be my lunch for the week and it was perfect to relax to this weekend while Sex and the City was playing in the background. A little alone time can be really refreshing. This is one of those bowls that is easy to make a big batch of for lunches throughout the week and  is a perfect balance of carbs, protein, healthy fats (we are going to top with some avocado) and greens. This dish reminds me of a macrobiotic bowl and has many of the components of one.


1 cup cooked brown rice, cooked in broth if you want more flavor (I used veggie)

1/2 cup cooked red organic lentils, cooked in broth if you want more flavor

1/2 cup mushrooms, chopped

1/2 cup tofu, firm, chopped into cubes

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1/4 avocado, sliced

1/2 cup baby spinach leaves

Freshly cracked black pepper if desired and/or soy sauce, liquid aminos, or tamari


Saute your tofu cut into cubes and mushrooms in a pan on medium heat. Season with red pepper flakes if desired and garlic. Cook until garlic is transculent and mushrooms are browned, and tofu is crisped on sides. Mix mixture with brown rice and lentils. Top with freshly cracked black pepper, soy sauce and baby spinach leaves. Top with avocado for some great heart healthy fats!




P.S. This lunch or dinner reheats excellently and has even more flavor the longer it sits in the fridge so I have been making a huge batch and then taking a cup or two cups to work each day and topping it with fresh greens and avocado.


September 12, 2013

How to Cook Grains

July 24, 2013

Food Blog Addiction -Green Lemonade

New food blog addiction! Great recipes, incorporating a ton of veggies, which is just how I like it.

Green Lemonade

July 12, 2013

Buffalo Chicken Quinoa with Blue Cheese Crumbles and Scallions

If you have not noticed already, I don’t post calorie counts, and most of my recipes involve whole foods with limited processing. I do this because I don’t think that I am going to spend much of my life calorie counting, and it did not help me that much when I was calorie counting through MyFitnessPal. I love that it is such a useful tool for some people, but there is a major design flaw, and that is that since it only focuses on numbers, it ignores all the good stuff. For instance, you can eat really well and still be under your calorie count or you can eat something or nothing all day and be under your calorie count. To me, it is not really focusing on a well rounded experience. I know that gluten is a trigger for me, so I steer clear when I can, but since I am not completely intolerant, I indulge once in a while. There are foods that I would definitely suffer for. The mac and cheese with Silk city cheese sauce is one of them. Mac and cheese and all its comforting loveliness is one of my favorite meals. This dish is a buffalo style kind of mac and cheese but it is a quinoa and cheese instead, so it is still incredibly delicious but also keeps you fuller longer, since it is protein heavy. I was inspired by one of the recipes on my Pinterest Board, that led me to this recipe. This is cheesier than what i was craving, since a lot of cheese also makes my stomach pretty unhappy, so I did a very basic version. Feel free to add more cheese if you want it cheesier and follow the Iowa Girl Eats recipe.


Serves 2

1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa

1 cup roasted chicken, or rotisserie chicken 

1/4 cup reduced fat blue cheese crumbles or regular blue cheese, crumbled

1/2 cup plain 0% greek yogurt

1/3 cup Frank’s Buffalo sauce, depending on your taste

1 cup steamed broccoli

Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

2 tablespoons chopped scallions


Mix cooked quinoa and steamed broccoli together. Combine the greek yogurt and buffalo sauce in a small pan on low heat. Pour heated sauce over cooked quinoa and steamed broccoli and mix well. Top with freshly cracked black pepper and blue cheese, top with more cheese to taste and scallions for garnish and flavor.



July 9, 2013

Berry Salad with Red Quinoa and Raw Honey

This Berry Salad has the power punch of quinoa to keep you feeling fuller, longer. I love this in the morning as well, since you can serve the quinoa warm and add the berries for a delicious sweet punch on top.


Serves 1

1/4 cup uncooked quinoa

1 cup unsweetened almond milk or rice milk

Pink Himalayan salt, about 1/2 teaspoon

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 cup assorted berries, I used raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries

1/2 tablespoon raw honey


In a saucepan on medium heat, simmer almond/rice milk. Add rinsed and dried uncooked red quinoa to milk and cook until quinoa is tender, about 12 minutes on medium heat. Keep an eye on it so that it does not spill over. Add cinnamon and salt and mix well. Drain remaining milk after quinoa has cooked. Chill quinoa if you would like a cold salad. Top with raw honey and berries.



May 29, 2013

Shrimp Frittata with Spinach and Crunchy Quinoa Topping

Frittatas are such a good way to refuel after a workout and it is not uncommon for me to boil some eggs for the week as a take along snack. Eggs get a bad rap sometimes but they are delicious, and full of awesome nutrients. This dish is fresh and simple, and you can make it when you have some time on a Sunday if you want to food prep for the week. I usually steam a couple bags of veggies like broccoli or zucchini and take it to work for the week so I always have veggies on hand with fresh herbs and lemon for flavor. It takes the worry out of my day because I don’t have to go searching for lunch somewhere that is a good option for me around where I work, and buying lunch everyday adds up. Feel free to modify this recipe to your tastes!


Protein packed and delicious, many of these can be prepped the night before for easy assembly. The quinoa, eggs, and shrimp are just added protein for great muscle healing, so if you don’t want to make this with a protein the eggs are simple enough and taste amazing with toasted quinoa. I like to serve this on a bed of greens like kale or a side of avocado. Superfood plate anyone?

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 12 minutes

Total: 22 minutes

Fresh herbs, greek yogurt, toasted quinoa sprinkled in shrimp and egg frittata with spinach and the creamy tang of Greek yogurt.


Fresh herbs, I used dill and some parsley

1/2 cup shrimp, I used canned baby shrimp but if you are worried about canned foods, feel free to use fresh or jumbo shrimp

1 cup baby spinach, julienned

1/4 cup greek yogurt, plain or plain regular yogurt

1/4 cup toasted quinoa, (just place dry quinoa in an oven for 10 minutes or so at 350 degrees)

4 eggs, 2 egg whites, lightly whisked

2 tablespoons nonfat milk

1 tablespoon nutritional yeast for topping or parmesan


Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and spray a baking dish with coconut oil or any oil you usually use to bake with. EarthBalance is also a great choice. I used a round pan but feel free to use any baking dish you prefer. Mix all ingredients well except for the toasted quinoa. Pour the frittata mixture into the oiled or buttered dish and place in the oven for 8 or 9 minutes until the frittata is almost done. Add toasted quinoa and parmesan/nutritional yeast on the almost set frittata and place back in the oven to finish cooking, about 5 more minutes.




May 14, 2013

Quinoa Protein Bowl

Complete proteins, a rainbow of veggies, and the perfect post workout meal. I promise.With an array of fresh herbs and mouthwatering cheese, it satisfies everyone’s warm, salty gooey craving.


1 cup cooked quinoa, warm (1/4cup cooked) 

1 hardboiled egg, diced

1/2 cup black beans

1/4 cup white corn

1/2 avocado. diced 

1/4 cup shredded low fat or sharp cheddar, or your favorite cheese

1 cup spinach

4 cherry tomatoes, sliced

1/2 cup cooked mushrooms

1/2 red bell pepper, sliced

Pink Himalyan Salt

Freshly cracked black pepper


Assemble all ingredients together and mix well. Top with salt and pepper as desired!



April 13, 2013

Quinoa Caprese Salad with Lemon Balsamic Vinigrette

I make a huge batch of quinoa for the week on Sundays. This salad is refreshing and delicious with nutritional superstars like protein packed quinoa, lemon, cherry tomatoes and spinach. This is a great take anywhere salad.


Serves 2

1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

1 cup fresh mozzarella pearls

1 cup quinoa, any color, cooked

3 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Basil leaves, fresh, as desired

Pepper, to taste

1 cup baby spinach leaves


Combine lemon juice, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar with a whisk until well combined. Combine the rest of the ingredients and toss with dressing and serve immediately, or save the dressing on the side to save for later.



April 9, 2013

Vegan or Not, Awesome Plant Proteins

Full Article here from Mind, Body, Green

My Top 7 Sources of Plant-Based Protein
I say it all the time. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not only possible to optimize your health on a plant-based diet; when done right, I actually recommend it.
But where do you get your protein?
I field this question constantly. Despite deeply ingrained but misleading conventional wisdom, the truth is that you can survive without meat, eggs and dairy. Believe it or not, you can actually thrive, and never suffer a protein deficiency. Because no matter how active your lifestyle, a well-rounded whole food plant-based diet provides more than enough protein to satisfy the body’s needs without all the artery-clogging saturated fats that dominate the typical American diet.
I speak from experience. As a vegan endurance athlete, I place a high tax on my body. And yet my plant-based diet has fueled me for years without any negative impact on building lean muscle mass or recovery. In fact, at age 45 I continue to improve and am as fit, healthy, and strong as I have ever been.
Here’s a list of my top-7 plant-based foods high in protein:
1. Quinoa: 11g Protein / Cup
A grain like seed, quinoa is a high protein alternative to rice or pasta, served alone or over vegetables and greens. It provides a good base for a veggie burger and is also a fantastic breakfast cereal when served cold with almond or coconut milk and berries.
2. Lentils: 17.9g  Protein / Cup
Delicious, nutritious and super easy to prepare. Trader Joe’s sells them pre-cooked and I’m not afraid to just eat them cold right out of the package for lunch or a snack on the run.
3. Tempeh: 24g Protein / 4 Ounces
A fermented soybean-based food, tempeh is a healthy protein-packed alternative to it’s non-fermented cousin tofu. It makes for a great veggie burger and doubles as a tasty meat alternative to meatballs in pasta, or over brown rice and vegetables.
4. Seitan: 24g Protein / 4 Ounces
An excellent substitute for beef, fish and soy products, one serving provides about 25% of your RDA of protein. But not for those with gluten sensitivities, as it is made from wheat gluten.
5. Beans (Black, Kidney, Mung, Pinto): 12-15g Protein / Cup
I love beans. Great on a veggie burrito, in chili and soups, on salads or over rice with vegetables, beans of all varieties are a daily staple of my diet.
6. Spirulina: 6g Protein / 10 grams
A blue-green algae, spirulina is a highly bioavailable complete protein containing all essential amino acids. At 60% protein (the highest of any natural food), it’s a plant-based protein powerhouse that finds it way into my Vitamix blends daily.
7. Hemp Seeds: 16g Protein / 3 Tbsp
With a perfect ration of omega-6 and omega-3 EFA’s, hemp seeds are another bioavailable complete protein rivaled only by spirulina. A simple and great addition to a multitude of dishes, from breakfast cereal to salads to smoothies to vegetables and rice.
March 25, 2013

Red Bean Quinoa

Protein in a delicious, colorful bowl. Beans are cheap and nutritional powerhouses, so this is a superstar bowl you have here.


1 cup rinsed kidney beans

1 cup cooked quinoa

1/2 cup sautéed mushrooms, any kind

1 cup spinach

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 teaspoon Romano or Parmesan

1 teaspoon olive oil

Freshly cracked black pepper

1/2 teaspoon dried basil


Saute kidney beans with olive oil and minced garlic, until cooked through,about five minutes on medium heat. Add spinach leaves and cooked quinoa to mixture. Add mushrooms and dried basil and cook through, about another five minutes. Add vegetable broth if you want the additional home cooked flavor. This also makes the dish less oily because you are basically wet sauté-ing the dish. Top with black pepper and cheese if desired.