Tag Archives: Vegetarian

Warm Quinoa Salad with Brussels Sprouts, Chickpeas, and Cranberries

The hubs and I just returned home from a quick weekend trip to New Orleans.  Before moving to Denver, I was a NOLA girl and am still very much a Louisiana girl at heart.  A visit to the south in springtime really does wonders for the soul.  Even though it was pretty humid this trip, we spent a lot of time outside…walking through the quarter, Audubon Park, up and down Magazine Street, and we spent some quality time people watching on a balcony in the FQ.  Good friends, good food, and good drinks made it a wonderful weekend.  And, spending time with my brother and his pup is always lovely.

French Quarter Festival was going on, so we got to sample some of NOLA’s finest from the various food tents at the festival, including one of my favorite festival foods—crawfish and goat cheese crepes. And, I had to eat at all of my favorite restaurants.  I think I came back a good five pounds heavier.  Well worth it.

Now we are back in Colorado (and winter decided to show up again…in the middle of April) and it’s time for a bit of a food cleanse…at least for a day or so.  One of the best ways to eat healthy and still get a delicious meal is quinoa.  It is high in fiber and protein and so very versatile.  Making a quinoa salad is one of our go-to side dishes or lunchtime meals, but quinoa stuffed peppers and quinoa burgers are great ways to incorporate quinoa into your meals.

But, this warm quinoa salad with brussels sprouts, chickpeas, and cranberries is definitely one of our favorite meals.  It is perfect to bring for lunch throughout the week and is very filling.


  • 1-1/4 pounds brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1-1/2 cups water
  • 3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2/3 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1-1/2 cups chickpeas, drained and rinsed

For the Dressing:

  • 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper
  • Pinch of sugar

Preheat oven to 475°F.  Toss brussels sprouts with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Spread on a foil-lined baking sheet and roast in oven for 20-25 minutes, until browned and tender, tossing once.

While brussels sprouts are roasting, cook quinoa. Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan.  Add quinoa, cover, and reduce heat to simmer.  Let quinoa simmer, covered, for 15 minutes.  Remove from heat and let sit an additional 5-10 minutes, covered.  Uncover and fluff quinoa with a fork.  The quinoa should have absorbed all the water.

In a small bowl, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, oil, salt, pepper, and sugar.  Taste and adjust depending on preference.  Don’t be afraid to use more maple syrup. J

Toss the quinoa, brussels sprouts, walnuts, cranberries, chickpeas, and dressing together in a large bowl.  Serve warm.

Source: Vegetarian Times via Once Upon a Cutting Board

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Posted by on April 17, 2013 in Lunch, Side Dish


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Quinoa Burgers (The Best Thing Ever)

It’s very rare that I make dinner and then exclaim, “this recipe has changed my life!” But, holy moly, let me introduce you to a little thing called quinoa burgers.  Do not be afraid.  Embrace this.

The hubs and I love quinoa.  After all, it is a super grain… But the way we eat quinoa is in salads and I have NEVER thought about making a quinoa burger… Because I spend much of my free time stalking food blogs across the blogosphere, I have hundreds, well, thousands of recipes bookmarked to make one day.  I’ve had this recipe bookmarked for well over a year. Thankfully, I was perusing FoodGawker this week and I stumbled upon the recipe again and thought, yeah, I can make this.

And, just like that, my world changed.

We didn’t actually make our dinner into burgers, just ate the patties as is, which is really all you need to do.  Add the ingredients to your grocery list and plan to make this tomorrow, or Sunday, but certainly don’t wait any longer.

Go! The quinoa is calling.

Side note—this dinner also made an otherwise unbearable Georgetown vs. Florida Gulf Coast basketball game bearable. March Madness bracket = busted.

Quinoa Burger

  • 2 rounded cups cooked quinoa
  • 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini, squeezed dry (use a clean dish towel to squeeze the zucchini)
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 green onions, including white parts
  • 1/2 teaspoon Splenda or sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Olive oil for frying

Combine quinoa, cheddar cheese, cottage cheese, zucchini, eggs, flour, green onions, sugar, black pepper, cumin, salt, and garlic powder in a bowl. Heat several teaspoons of olive oil in a large, non-stick skillet over medium-low heat. Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, drop mixture into skillet. Using a spatula, flatten mixture into patties about 1/2 inch thick. Fry for about 4-5 minutes on each side until golden brown.

Makes approximately 10 patties.

Serve with tzatziki sauce for added deliciousness.

Source: Eating Well Living Thin

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Posted by on March 22, 2013 in Uncategorized


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Simple Sesame Noodles

The hubs and I are just about to celebrate four months of wedded bliss.  What has changed in the past few months since beginning our married life?  Not too much, actually.  My last name…and the fact that we’ve started budgeting.  We have entered into marriage with an attempt to curtail our spending a bit (or at least track what we are spending money on) and I have become the budget queen.  I love my Excel budget spreadsheet!

I am currently reading Financial Peace Revisited by Dave Ramsey.  Several of my friends have taken the Dave Ramsey course and I like a lot of his methods.  I would say we are somewhat following his teaching on budgeting.  It’s definitely a process but a great exercise for the hubs and I to go through together.

So, here we are at the end of the month, and we have spent all of our “food” category moolah.  Last night, I was starving and in a somewhat cranky mood that only food could make better.  I could have gone to the grocery store or we could have gone out to dinner, but that kind of would have defeated the purpose of the budget…so I tried to get creative with what we had on hand.

Enter the Pioneer Woman.  I had bookmarked her recipe for Simple Sesame Noodles and last night, as my stomach was growling, and I was trying to talk myself out of spending $5 on a foot long sub from Subway, I remembered the post.

And sure enough, I had everything I needed at home!  This meal was quick and easy, plus made plenty of leftovers for lunch today.  You could easily add a protein or some veggies to the meal, but I went just for the noodles this time around.  And, I recommend adding a tablespoon of peanut butter for even more deliciousness.

Simple Sesame Noodles

  • 12 ounces, fluid thin noodles, cooked and drained
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons pure sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot chili oil
  • 4 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  • 4 whole green onions, sliced thin

Whisk all ingredients (except noodles and green onions) together in a bowl. Taste and adjust ingredients as needed.  Pour sauce over warm noodles and toss to coat.  Sprinkle with green onions and serve.

Source: The Pioneer Woman

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Posted by on February 28, 2013 in Main Dish


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Pineapple Tofu Stir-Fry

There is something about Sunday nights during football season that make me crave Chinese food.  And that craving always involves take out.  The hubs and I are trying really hard to start 2013 off right and attempt to eat in more than we eat out.  Unfortunately, having Chinese food delivered does not count as eating in…it’s a shame really.

But, tonight I found a recipe in one of our new cookbooks (EatingWell Serves Two) that brought all the goodness of delivery to our house without waiting an hour for delivery or having to tip the driver. A quick, healthier version similar to my usual order of Sweet and Sour Chicken (minus the chicken) that also let me try my hand at cooking tofu for the first time!  Though I don’t think we will be becoming vegetarians anytime soon…this was a great meal!  Next time I’ll add a pinch of red pepper flakes for a little spice, but otherwise, it was nearly perfect.

Pineapple Tofu Stir-Fry

  • 1 8-ounce can pineapple chunks, 3 tablespoons juice reserved
  • 5 teaspoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 7 ounces extra-firm, water-packed tofu, drained, rinsed and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 3 teaspoons canola oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons minced ginger
  • 1 large bell pepper, cut into 1/2-by-2-inch strips
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped

Whisk the pineapple juice, vinegar, soy sauce, ketchup, and brown sugar in a small bowl until smooth. Place tofu in a medium bowl; toss with 2 tablespoons of sauce. Marinate for at least 5 minutes or up to 30 minutes. Add cornstarch to the remaining sauce and whisk until smooth.

Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Transfer the tofu to the skillet. Cook the tofu, stirring every 1 to 2 minutes, until golden brown, 7 to 9 minutes total. Transfer tofu to a plate.

Add the remaining oil to the skillet and heat over medium heat. Add garlic and ginger and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add bell pepper and onion, cooking until just tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Pour in the sauce and cook, stirring, until thickened, about 30 seconds. Add the tofu and pineapple and cook, stirring gently, until heated through, about 2 minutes more.

Serve over brown rice.

Slightly adapted from EatingWell Serves Two

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Posted by on December 30, 2012 in Main Dish


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Mexican Stuffed Peppers with Enchilada Sauce

It’s been a busy couple of weeks in our household.  Why?  Well, my sous chef, Tim, and I got married.  It was an absolutely perfect day where we were surrounded by those we love most in the world.  After a relaxing mini-moon, we are back at home, getting in a routine once again.

Tonight, it was so nice to spend Saturday evening at home and cook a delicious meal.  We used our new knives, new pots, new casserole baking dish, and our new mandolin.  It was amazing!  And, the meal was served on our brand new plates.  We are definitely feeling like grown-ups now!

Tonight, I made Mexican Stuffed Peppers with Enchilada Sauce.  Using quinoa and black beans to stuff the peppers and topping the peppers with cheese and enchilada sauce equal a tasty, light Mexican meal.  These were easy to prepare and we will definitely make them again.


  • 4 bell peppers (any color), sliced in half stem-to-tip, seeds removed
  • 1 cup quinoa, uncooked
  • ½ medium onion, diced
  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tomato, seeded and diced
  • 1 (4 oz) can diced green chiles
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, minced
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 cup Monterrey Jack, grated
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 (28 oz) can red enchilada sauce

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Add quinoa and onion to a large saucepan with 2 cups of water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Turn heat down to simmer, cover, and cook for 15 minutes. Fluff quinoa with a fork.

While quinoa is cooking, microwave pepper halves 2-3 minutes to soften slightly.

Pour quinoa/onion mixture into a mixing bowl. Stir in black beans, tomato, green chiles, cilantro, salt, and pepper.

Pour enchilada sauce into a 9×13″ baking dish. Divide filling among peppers and place peppers on top of the enchilada sauce. Sprinkle with cheese.

Cover the pan with foil and bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Remove foil and cook for 5 minutes longer. Drizzle peppers with enchilada sauce and serve immediately.

Source: One Lovely Life

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Posted by on November 17, 2012 in Main Dish


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