Quinoa is one of those "super foods" people keep talking about and I think it's pretty super too. Ridiculously healthy and even though it's considered a grain, technically its a seed originally grown in the Andes Mountains of South America. It is a great source of dietary fiber and calcium, and is high in magnesium and iron. I love to toss cold, cooked quinoa in salads just as an addition for the nutritional value. And it doesn't weigh you down like pasta and potatoes do.
Nutritionally, quinoa has almost EVERYTHING, so I'm just going to list them out:
- High in protein
- High in amino acids
- High in dietary fiber
- Naturally gluten-free
- Contains bioactive compounds, including polyphenols, which studies have shown can reduce the risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease
- Promotes new blood vessel growth
- 220 calories (70% carbs, 15% fat, 15% protein)
- 40 grams of carbohydrates (13% daily value)
- 8 grams of protein (16% of daily value)
- 3.5 grams of fat (5% daily value with no saturated fat)
- A glycemic load (blood sugar spike) of only 18 out of 250
- 5 grams of fiber (20% of daily value)
- 20% of daily value of folate (various forms of Vitamin B)
- 30% of magnesium daily value (beneficial for people with migraine headaches); 28 percent daily value of phosphorous; iron (15 percent); copper (18 percent); and manganese (almost 60 percent)
One of my favorite things about quinoa is that you can put it in EVERYTHING. Seriously. I cook it in my rice cooker like I cook rice (1 part quinoa, 2 parts water). Sometimes I'll add lemon or lime juice, cilantro, garlic, or onions to the water mixture to cook in flavor. Think of everything you use rice for, then replace that with quinoa. Its that easy.
Quinoa can also be a breakfast dish and I promise I'm going to experiment with that and let you know how it goes.
This warm and filling bowl has a ton of good for you ingredients - kale, chickpeas, quinoa, carrots, turmeric and more. Its really easy and quick to put together - perfect for a weeknight dinner!
Here’s another great bowl to boost your immune system this winter! Loaded with kale, beets, mixed nuts, quinoa and a super tasty lemon hummus cilantro sauce! Its super quick to throw together if you make the quinoa ahead of time and use pre-cooked beets!
Let’s embrace those winter root vegetables and take a new twist on traditional spaghetti and sauce. The lentils, mushrooms, and quinoa make a meaty sauce and the cooked spaghetti squash is a delicious alternative to pasta noodles. Give it a go and you won’t be disappointed!
Ready for an immune system boost? This bowl is full of good things for you - protein packed quinoa, antioxidant full blueberries, crunchy almonds and carrots, super greens, and more! Its delicious in a bowl or wrapped up into a whole wheat tortilla! One bite and you’ll already feel like your immune system is in super power mode!
"The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco."
While the days where I live in San Francisco can be warm and sunny, the evenings plummet and the winds pick up cooling the warm air and letting in the chilly summer nights. The contrast is a little extreme, but then that gives me a reason to enjoy a warm bowl of chili in the summer. This version adds in some summer vegetables, quinoa, and a squeeze of acidity from a few limes. Pair it with a few tortilla chips and you've got a warm comforting meal to enjoy around an outdoor fire.
March is all about Meatless Mondays! Ok, ok, everything I post is meatless, but what about those great meaty meals you think you have to give up when going vegan? March Meatless Mondays will take typically meat heavy meals and transform them before your very eyes!
This recipe is inspired by Mt Rainier National Park's Bourbon Buffalo Meatloaf found in Kathleen Bryant's Western National Parks' Lodges Cookbook. I've been wanting to make a lentil loaf for a while, but I never really found the inspiration. Until now. This Lentil Loaf is A-MAZING. I'm not just tooting my own horn. I love it. And I hope you do too!
Its time for some winter chili! The combination of garbanzo, black, and white beans makes this chili super filling and hearty for a cold winter evening. Throw it in your crockpot or make it on your stove for a satisfying dinner!
Want the delicious crunch of a chimichanga without deep frying a burrito? Give these a go! I have red and green sauce recipes below as well - they're SUPER delicious and much healthier!
This salad is perfect to bring us into fall vegetables. It takes a little bit of preparation by roasting the butternut squash and cooking quinoa, but takes only a few minutes to toss together at the end. Sweet, tangy, and crunchy - this makes a perfect midweek salad!
Want to convince your non-vegan friends that vegan food is just as good as non-vegan food? Make this recipe! Sweet and tangy barbecue lentils, mixed with onions, and quinoa, stuffed inside green bell peppers and baked with mashed potatoes. Always a crowd pleaser!
For being served hot, this soup is incredibly light and even refreshing, yet filling at the same time. Its full of a variety of veggies and quinoa, and topped off with some green onions and tortilla chips!
This is a super easy breakfast alternative to oatmeal you can make the day of or even the weekend before and dish up in ready to go bowls. Its good hot and its good cold.
This salad is just as good hot as it is cold, which makes it PERFECT for leftovers! Its great as a full meal or a side dish and perfect for pot luck dinners! Its simple and easy to make with lots of vitamins and protein!
I had one of those "this-is-so-amazing-why-have-I-never-tried-this-before!" moments when making this dish. I'd always heard of people using zucchini as noodles, but I didn't think it would be that great. Ha! I was WRONG! Its AMAZING! Paired with a delicious marinara beanball - welcome to the new Spaghetti & Meatlessballs!
Ready for some roasted potato goodness? These Irish Nachos are a great take on traditional nachos using potatoes, lentils, quinoa, onions, salsa, cilantro, and a homemade cashew cheese! Don't fear the cashew cheese - its super easy and super delicious!
I probably make Burrito Bowls for dinner about once a week. They are quick, easy, insanely good and great for lunch leftovers. Black beans, tomatoes, quinoa, avocados and more! They're a great source of protein, iron, and calcium.
Have a lot of greens on hand and don't know what to do with them? Try this out! I love this dish using quinoa pasta and four different kinds of dark leafy greens. It may seem like a lot of greens, but they cook down quickly. A little spicy with some crushed red pepper and a little sweet with added diced tomatoes.
Looking for a hearty meal on a cold day? This is a super simple and warming stew that's great with added veggie sausages and thick bread for souping up all the leftover tomato sauce. If you don't have beet greens on hand you can substitute spinach, kale, collard greens, or swiss chard.
This is a good make ahead recipe for a dinner during a busy week or a weekend get together. You can make the filling in your slow cooker and the next day finish by baking the peppers. I promise, you won’t even miss that its not meat!
This is a twist on traditional tabbouleh. I’ve omitted the tomatoes, but you could definitely add them in and I will when I make this again. Quick and refreshing, this is a great side dish, main dish, or crowd dish!
I'm amazed by the simplicity of this salad and also how incredibly delicious it is with only a squeeze of lime and lemon juice to enhance its flavors. Refreshing and filling this is a great cold salad on a hot day.
There's something about slow cooked chickpeas, potatoes, and sauce that really makes this a sweet and spicy comforting dish. I cooked it in the slow-cooker, but you could also make this on the stove in under an hour. The goal is to make sure all the veggies are cooked through.