Back from my one-month blogging hiatus with a recipe that is not even my own. Last year my sister and I made it during our “girls’ weekend” and then sat down and tried to start watching Downton Abbey. The setting could not have been more perfect - we had walked down to the local coffee shop, then walked to get acai bowls, did a little shopping, stopped for lunch at a vegetarian restaurant, bought all the ingredients at her local market, made dinner while listening to music, and so on and so forth with all the girly sisterly things. And yet STILL we could not find it in our hearts to fall in love with Downton Abbey like so many before us had.
Our focus was more on the huge bowl of pasta we made, which was delicious and hearty and healthy and exactly what I was craving two nights ago when I tried to replicate it. This is seriously the long-lost recipe that I had always meant to blog and then never did. And then I made it and ran 6 miles, so in my books, it’s magic.
The recipe called for almost no exact quantities, which I SO respect, so add as many veggies as you want!
Dice brussels sprouts into quarters, slice carrots, and dice the tomato. Toss in a little olive oil, salt, and pepper, and bake in the oven at 325 for 15 minutes. Incorporate with cooked pasta, toss with a little more olive oil, oregano, and top with parmesan.
I’m getting real darn creative tonight… But it was quite tasty
I was tempted to whip up some mexican rice-a-roni and then saw that it called for butter, so I chose to try to see if I could make Mexican quinoa instead. Of course, I googled “homemade taco seasoning” after I had already made up my own concoction, but it was pretty close to what was called for, so that worked out well…
To reiterate what I’ve said about nearly every other recipe, I don’t pay attention to how much I put in, I just go for it until it tastes edible
Ingredients: 1/4 cup quinoa (dry), 1/4 bell pepper chopped, 1/4 cup sliced onion, 1/2 tbsp canola oil | garlic powder, chili powder, cayenne pepper, salt, cumin, oregano, paprika, salsa | avocado
Cook quinoa according to directions on package. Once cooked mix with spices - I used mostly garlic powder, chili powder, and salsa, and then a little salt, cayenne, cumin, oregano, and paprika. Mix small at a time and add more to taste.
In a plastic bag, add onion, bell pepper, canola oil, and a little bit of all the spices. Shake until vegetables are covered. In a large nonstick skillet, cook bell peppers and onions on high heat, stirring often, for 2 minutes, then turn down to medium and cook until onions are translucent, stirring often.
Top quinoa with vegetables and serve with lightly salted avocado.
After living as a pescatarian for a solid 6 months, I moved on to a more flexitarian diet - where I usually choose meatless meals, but occasionally, I just gotta have a cheeseburger. Someone the other day mentioned that she was considering giving up meat for Lent (for non-Catholics, Lent is a time of preparation for Easter which usually involves giving something up), but she said she was worried she wouldn’t get enough protein. Since it was a quick conversation mid-nutrition class, I only rattled off the staples: eggs and peanut butter, but I thought I’d share how I work protein into my diet without eating meat regularly.
Eggs - 6g protein per egg
Quinoa - 6g protein per 1/4 cup
Kashi Cereal - 9g protein per 1 cup
Peanut Butter - 6-7g protein per 2 tbsp
Ezekiel Bread - 4g per slice
Greek Yogurt - 14g-16g per 6 oz
Beans - 7g per 1/2 cup
1/4 quinoa, dry
1/2 cup mixed greens
2 cherry tomatoes, quartered
1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 oz gorgonzola cheese
1/2 tbsp craisins
1 1/2 tbsp honey balsamic vinaigrette (1/2 tbsp honey + 1 tbsp balsamic vinaigrette)
Cook quinoa according to instructions on packaging. Meanwhile, heat red onions until they start to brown slightly. Remove onions and add red onions to pan on medium high heat for about 1.5 minutes to bring out flavor. Let quinoa cool and mix ingredients together.
by request i have decided to try harder to come up with more lunch recipes. breakfast is always pretty easy: some eggs, add some veggies or oatmeal, add some fruit. toast. bagels. waffles. pancakes. easy peasy
but lunch… what to make what to make.. sandwiches? pasta? salad? eh
so with some inspiration from Zinc Cafe in Solana Beach, CA i made a quicker version of their stuffed pepper by using quinoa instead of barley. (who knew barley takes 1 hour and 25 minutes to cook?!?! .. quinoa takes 15 minutes. obvious winner)
one thing that i haven’t quite mastered is the time in the oven. the recipe calls for 40 minutes, but mine still wasn’t quite as warm as i would have liked it to be - but that might have been because the oven rack was lower that normal - so stick with 40 minutes and see how that works out for you
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups fresh spinach leaves, roughly chopped
1 (28 ounce can) can diced tomatoes
4 cups vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups quinoa
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, plus more for sprinkling on top
1/3 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese, plus more for sprinkling on top
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 tsp dried oregano
4 sweet bell peppers (red, yellow, or orange)
1. Preheat the oven to 400° F.
2. In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for two more minutes. Stir in the spinach. Cook until spinach is wilted. Remove from heat.
3. Pour the tomatoes into a large bowl and stir in the spinach mixture. Set aside.
4. Meanwhile, bring the vegetable broth to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the quinoa and cook for about 15 minutes.
5. Stir the quinoa into the tomato spinach mixture. Stir in the cheese and season with salt and pepper. Stir in the oregano.
6. Pour the vegetable broth into a 3-quart baking dish. Slice the tops off the peppers and remove all ribs and seeds. Cut a very thin slice from the base so the peppers will stand up in the baking dish.
7. Place the peppers in the baking dish and spoon the quinoa mixture into the peppers. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 40- 45 minutes. Remove the foil, sprinkle the top of each pepper with additional cheese and continue baking until the cheese is golden, about 15 minutes.
8. Remove from the oven and let peppers sit for five minutes. Serve warm.