Tag Archives: healthy

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

I love a one-pot main meal. Even if it is a side dish. A healthy side dish at that. Earthy quinoa mixed with hearty chickpeas and tomatoes with a crisp refreshing lime dressing is really comfort food for the summer. I have made this dish often and have failed to obtain a picture of it as it disappears from my kitchen quickly.

I initially bought quinoa to eat for breakfast, in place of oatmeal. However, I find myself finding savory uses for quinoa instead. Well, what I mean is that I made this recipe and I make it at least once a week. It’s simple, delicious and healthy.

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
Adapted from Gourmet and cooking the quinoa from Edible Perspective

Yields approximately 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • zest from 1 lemon
  • juice from the 1 zested lemon
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 (15 oz) can of garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 medium sized tomatoes, diced
  • 1 medium sized red onion, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the lemon zest, lemon juice, butter, olive oil, and salt.
  2. Cook the quinoa. In a pot, over medium heat, add the cup of quinoa and roast for approximately 2 minutes. Add two cups water, increase to medium-high heat, and bring to a boil. Stir once and reduce the heat to obtain a simmer and cover the pot with a lid. Cook for 15 minutes (don’t dare open the lid). Once 15 minutes is up, turn off the heat and remove the pot from the heat. Leave covered for 5 minutes. After five minutes, uncover and fluff with a fork.
  3. Add the cooked quinoa to the dressing and stir to coat evenly. Let it sit for 5 minutes so the dressing will have a chance to absorb.
  4. Mix in remaining ingredients and adjust salt as you see fit. Go easy on the pepper.
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7 Comments

Filed under Favorites, Side Dish, Uncategorized

The Munchies

I have been attempting to make a conscious effort to eat more snacks throughout the day.

I’m generally a three square meals per day person.  I typically (while working) wait until I get hungry and then I eat – ravenously.  ‘Tis not a good thing, my friends.  ‘Tis really not.

So, I made a Central Market run.  Let’s just say I picked up some newbies along with my usuals.

That is my office desk – well a portion of it.  Is it usually covered in food?  Considering I live walking distance to Whole Foods, and made a much-needed Central Market run after paying off taxes yesterday (yikes!), I like to gather the goods and inspect my inventory.

The usuals (not pictured): heirloom oranges, bananas, and grapefruit.  I have been on a citrus kick lately.  Hellooo summer!

I have heard about Justin’s nut butters all over the blog world and finally purchased some.  I have to admit that I’m saving these (I have two more packs) for my San Fran to San Diego trip in May.  Again, after paying taxes yesterday (yikes!), I figured I need to cut down on the eating out costs at home and on vacation and pack some healthy snacks.

Have you bought Justin’s nut butters for an on-the-go snack?  How do you eat it?

Now, if you’ve been through Central Market, you would likely hear the constant popping as you turn the bulk section and come to the dairy aisle.  Have you seen this?  It’s magnificent.

Binks is in love with this.  It’s crunch, it’s light and it pretty much can hold any topping.  Binks also asked the rep behind the machine how much the machine costs and how cool it would be to have one in the house.  I just stood there watching this disaster occur – while eating my sample of Magic Pop with Biscoff  Spread.

Which leads me to the main attraction.


I have coveted the original Biscoff cookie since I had it on a Delta flight once.  Then, I found out about the spread.  It’s been a Biscoff whirlwind in my life.

While I have saved several recipes and made modifications in an attempt to make my own Biscoff cookie and then the Spread, I gave up – for now.  I bought a jar.

And it’s been glorious.

Have you tried Biscoff?  How do you eat it?  Do you love it?  What are some healthy office snacks you keep around?  Are you a snacker or a 3-meals-a-day person? 

29 Comments

Filed under Favorites, Health, Life, Vegetarian

I Whip My Oats Back And Forth

If you thought my inane post titles were going to change after yesterday, think again!

Being that it’s Friday and all, “I hop up out of the bed and get my swag on, pay no attention to the haters, because we whip ’em off…

Again, inspired by the fabulous KERF, I made banana whipped oatmeal.

It’s creamy.  It’s smooth.  It’s rich.  It’s buttery.  It’s sweet in all the right ways.  It’s not your regular bowl of oats.

That brown glob would be my homemade chocolate peanut butter.  (Delicious!)

And just when you thought I couldn’t put a camera closer to my food:

So “all my ladies [or gents] if you feel it…do it, do it!!

Banana Whipped Oatmeal

Adapted from KERF

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp ground flax
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
  • 1/2 large ripe banana, chopped*
  • 1/4 cup of blueberries

Directions:

  1. Add oats, flax, chia, salt and vanilla to milk and simmer over medium heat.
  2. When it starts bubbling, add the banana.
  3. Go ape shit and whip it real good!
  4. During the last 1-2 minutes of cooking the oats, add the blueberries and stir.
  5. Enjoy your whipped oats!

Note:  *I like to chop the banana into larger pieces because I want to have pieces of banana in my oats to taste.  The finer you chop your banana, the finer the consistency.  It’s the difference between mashed and smashed potatoes.

Side Question:  Have you heard/read about the study/research on birth order and how it is telling of your personality/character?  If so, what do you think about the study?  Do you think you fit into the birth order roles?  Are you married to or with someone that’s your same birth order or different?  What kind of differences do you notice?

It’s a random question I know – but I have been really focusing in on this research for the past few months.  I know it applies to my life (I’m first-born; so is Binks).  If you think this question is associated to this post, then you are right.

26 Comments

Filed under Breakfast, Life, Vegan

Happy VD

On this day of love.

I would like to express love.

To my always and forever.

And to my from this day forth.

Hope you are spending your day with your loves!

🙂

How are you spending (or how did you spend) your day of love?  Who/what do you love?

11 Comments

Filed under Breakfast, Holiday, Vegetarian

The Way Veggies Should Taste

Have you seen those ranch commercials?  Where everything is a vegetable and kids are happily eating it because they have the option of dunking said vegetable in ranch dressing?

I see those commercials.  And, I crave ranch dressing.  I love ranch and could/have eaten it on everything.  Forgive me Father for I have sinned….with Ranch Dressing.

Despite my obsession with ranch dressing, the idea of enticing kids to eat vegetables slathered in ranch (or cheese flavored sauce) is a little off.

I admit – I don’t have kids.  But, I hated uncooked vegetables growing up.  To this day, I have some reservations.  The thought of eating raw broccoli without any sort of dressing/liquid makes my mouth dry.

I too would rely on ranch dressing to save my non-liked raw vegetables.  It made every bite of my raw broccoli taste divine.  After a couple of months, I realized that every salad or vegetable that I dunked (literally) in ranch dressing was not me craving vegetables, but rather a not-so-secret way of getting my daily dose of ranch dressing.  I don’t know if I left liking the vegetable more.  I dare say I did not.

I fell victim to this.

What has changed today?  Nothing with regards to broccoli.  Raw – the florets are a little hard for me to chew through.

My non-ranch resolution?

HUMMUS!!

Nowadays, I use hummus on almost everything.  A replacement for mayo, the protein in a wrap, dip for my veggies – even broccoli.

What’s your healthy replacement?  Do you like eating raw veggies?  Raw broccoli?  If not, how do you deal?

Hummus

Adapted from here

Ingredients

  • 1 (16 oz) can garbanzo beans, drained but reserve 1/4 liquid
  • 2 lemons
  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Directions

  • Throw everything into the food processor and puree until smooth.
  • Transfer to a bowl and top with the paprika and one more tablespoon of olive oil.  If you have sumac spice on hand, use that in place of paprika.

18 Comments

Filed under garlic, Health, olive oil, Vegan

Quin-who?

Quinoa is what’s up!  Since this has been a week of firsts, I have to share my first quinoa experience with you!

I have heard about this grain for a long time but have never gotten around to buying it.  Not anymore.  I swaggered over to Whole Foods and loaded up on some red quinoa.

Quinoa is grain discovered in South American which was touted as the “gold of the Incas.”

And you cannot believe how good it is for you!  It’s a complete protein, which means that it contains all the amino acids necessary for our nutrition.  A complete protein is very rare to find.  It’s a great source of protein and gluten-free!!  That’s just the tip of the iceberg of what this wonderful grain does for us!

My first and only use thus far has been breakfast.  I used the base recipe from here and topped it with coconut butter, sunflower seeds, blueberries and a dash of agave nectar!

DELICIOUS!!!

Quinoa, along with lentils and oats, are now a part of my staples!

Do you cook with quinoa?  What are your favorite recipes?

 

22 Comments

Filed under Breakfast, Health, Vegan, Vegetarian

Where’s the Beef?

The first meal Binks and I cooked/made/prepared together was tacos!  Binks has this secret delicious taco seasoning that I just might have to pry from his grubby taco making hands!  He uses the packet (which I do not prefer), but there are some additions that make the tacos out of this freaking world.

Now, tacos are a regular for our dinners and leftovers for lunch.

Meet Binks’ tacos:

Notice anything different?

Meet mine:

Have you spotted it yet?

Let me strip this taco down to the bare essentials:

These aren’t just your ordinary tacos, my friend.  Meet The Lentil Taco!

I first made these for a Taco Night gathering where I had a couple of vegetarian friends coming for dinner.  I didn’t feel like I should just let them eat tortilla and sides so I concocted my version of a lentil taco.  At that dinner, I fell in love and I have never made beef tacos since.  So did many of the non-veg friends.  Binks, with his secret recipe, still requests these over beef. 

Yep, it’s that good.

Now, these don’t use taco seasoning but next time I make this, I’ll get the lentils ready and have Binks use his seasoning and see how that turns out.  I’ll keep you posted.

Vegan Lentil Tacos

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup onions, chopped
  • 2 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeno, chopped (you can omit this if you do not want that much heat)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2.5 cups water
  • 1 vegetable bouillon cube
  • Juice from 1/2 lime
  • 1 cup dried brown lentils
  • 4 tsp chili powder (please note this is different from cayenne powder)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp oregano

Directions

  • Heat a large pan over medium-high heat.  A non-stick works perfectly for this.
  • Add olive oil and heat.
  • Add onions, garlic, jalapeno.  Saute until tender and soft – about 4-5 minutes.
  • Add salt, ground black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, chili powder, oregano and lentils.
  • Saute for 1-2 minutes until the raw smell of the spices goes away.
  • Add the bouillon cube, water, and juice from 1/2 a lime, and stir to incorporate with the mixture.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil.
  • Reduce heat, cover and let the mix simmer for about 25 minutes.  You want the lentils to be tender but not mushy.I leave the lentils alone for the full 25 minutes and prepare my sides while this is cooking.
  • Once tender, uncover and mash some of the lentils with the back of a spoon.  I leave some lentils whole because I like the texture.  Mash to your liking!
  • Cook uncovered for another 5-8 minutes.
  • Serve into taco shells, tortillas or over a salad!

Enjoy!

Happy Friday everyone!

14 Comments

Filed under Dinner, Favorites, Vegan