summer quinoa salad with avocado and spinach

I don’t know about you guys, but when my husband and I are both hungry we tend to get a little crabby (ok…really crabby).  So we made up a rule that until we eat, we cannot talk to each other.  This little rule has changed our marriage 🙂  We don’t get into petty arguments over nothing anymore!  It’s actually really funny to think about, but it’s the truth.

All of that to say – this salad takes a little bit of time to make, so just make a snack to eat while you are making it so a UFC fight doesn’t break out in your kitchen 🙂   I found this delicious recipe off of pinterest (obsessed with that).  It is so refreshing with all of it’s natural ingredients.  Enjoy!

ingredients:

Salad
1/2 c. dry quinoa (I used Basil and Rosemary Quinoa and it was amazing).
2 c. vegetable broth
1 can garbanzo beans (drained and rinsed)
1 c. cherry tomatoes cut in half
2 avocados diced
2 c. spinach
1 bunch cilantro
1/4 c. onion
2 small cloves garlic

Dressing
Juice of 2 lemons
zest of 1 lemon
2 tsp. dijon mustard
2 tsp. olive oil
1 tsp. agave nectar
1/2 tsp. cumin
dash of salt and pepper

directions:

Soak the quinoa in a pot in the veggie broth for about 15 minutes. Then, turn on the heat to medium high and let the quinoa come to a boil. Once it boils, reduce heat to medium/low and let quinoa simmer. Stir occasionally and cook quinoa for about 20-25 minutes just until the liquid absorbs, so there is just a small amount of liquid left in the pot. Remove from heat and set aside.

In your food processor, put your spinach and cilantro in and pulse until finely chopped. Pour into a large bowl. Then add your onion and garlic into food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add to the cilantro mixture. Toss the garbonzo beans into the cilantro mixture until coated. When the quinoa is cooled, pour into the salad mixture.

Separately, add all ingredients for the dressing in a bowl and whisk until well blended. Then pour over the salad and toss. Finally, add the avocado and tomatoes and toss.

sweet potato black bean burger

During lent of last year, my husband and I did the Daniel Fast which was an amazing growing experience for us. This Sweet Potato Black Bean Burger from the Ultimate Guide to the Daniel Fast was one of our favorites during the fast and it is now one of our go-to meals. Often, I fix them when guests are over or in town and everyone enjoys them, including those who claim to not like sweet potatoes (or they are good at pretending!) Also, because it calls for sweet potatoes, I often fix several extra and have mashed sweet potatoes on the side (fix like regular mashed potatoes, add almond milk and pumpkin spice seasoning to taste).

ingredients:

Burgers
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained (15 oz)
1 cup mashed cooked sweet potatoes (approx. 1 large sweet potato)
¼ cup oat flour* (see note below)
½ tablespoon dried parsley
¼ teaspoon chipotle chili pepper seasoning
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper

Toppings
avocado, sliced
whole wheat thin buns

directions:

  1. Preheat oven to broil setting.
  2. Cook sweet potatoes. Bring pot of water to a boil. Add cubed sweet potato chunks. Remove from water when soft (when you can easily stick a fork through them). Drain and smash.
  3. Smash half of the beans with a fork. Add mashed sweet pototoes along with all other burger ingredients to a food processor. Process until it resembles dough texture.
  4. Scoop out 1/3 cup of bean mixture and place on 17″ baking sheet that has been rubbed with olive oil. Flatten and shape into a patty. Repeat for all burgers. Makes 6-8, depending on how thick you want them.
  5. Broil 7-8 minutes or until golden brown. Flip burgers and broil 2-3 more minutes.
  6. Serve on whole weheat thin buns with sliced avocado on top.

notes:
• To make your own oat flour, place rolled-oats in a food processor or blender and process until fine (1-cup old-fashioned oats yields 3/4 cup ground oats).
• The burger is just as good without the bun – I think I might actually enjoy it better that way.

southwest quinoa salad

This past summer in Manhattan it was extremely warm in our apartment (no central air). The prospect of lighting up the stove and adding to the thick, humid air in our little kitchen was about as enticing as wearing wool tights to hot yoga. So, we decided to make a delicious raw southwest salad by Little House of Veggies. Recently, with the spring weather in the air, I started craving this raw dish and decided to add some quinoa and make my own variation.

I haven’t worked much with quinoa and I have been eager to give this protein-dense seed more attention in our kitchen; this seemed like the perfect dish to incorporate some quinoa! If you aren’t familiar with quinoa, it is a grain-like crop grown primarily for its edible seeds. Quinoa is a nutritional powerhouse! It’s high in protein (18%), magnesium and iron; it contains a balanced set of essential amino acids, making it a complete protein source; and it is also a good source of dietary fiber and phosphorus. The texture reminds me of couscous.

Enjoy this healthy dish! Note: this salad is great for leftovers – it works great for a quick lunch or put the mixture in a whole-grain wrap and make it a meal.

ingredients:

Salad:
1 cup quinoa (measuring 1 cup uncooked)
1 avocado, diced
¼  cup red onion, finely diced
1 tomato, diced
1 cucumber, seeded and diced
½  yellow squash, diced
½  zucchini, diced
2 cups spinach, chopped
¼  cup broccoli, finely chopped
¾  cup chopped cilantro
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
2 cloves garlic, minced

Creamy Lime Dressing:
4 ½ T fresh lemon juice
4  T fresh lime juice
1 ½  T Veganaise
¼  cup olive oil
2 t cumin
1 t salt
dash of cayenne pepper
crushed black pepper to taste


directions:

  1. Cook quinoa. If working with unrinsed quinoa, soak quinoa for at least 15 minutes. After soaking, rinse for two or three minutes in a fine strainer. (If using pre-rinsed quinoa, skip this step.) Add quinoa and 1 ¼ cup water to pan. Bring to a simmer, then reduce to low. Cover and cook for 30-35 min. Remove from heat and let sit covered for 5 minutes. Fluff and set aside to cool. (I spread it out on a cookie sheet.)
  2. Wisk dressing ingredients together and set aside.
  3. Place chopped veggies and cooled quinoa in a large bowl. Pour dressing over and toss to blend.

raw oatmeal

Derek and I have some great friends who were on the RAW diet for awhile and they have shared so many great recipes with us that are so tasty and surprisingly simple.  I don’t know why, but for some reason breakfast is the hardest thing for me to conjure up.  I’m either so picky that NOTHING sounds good except my coffee or I’m just too lazy after feeding Harper…either way, I don’t like breakfast as far as cooking goes. How many times can I eat cereal…blah.  Well if you are like me, things are about to change for you – this raw oatmeal recipe is so easy, so good and so healthy.  It almost feels a little naughty when I eat it because it reminds me of cookie dough.  Either way…you need to go make it ASAP.

ingredients:

2 apples ( sometimes I do 1 apple and 1 pear )
1 1/2 cup rolled oats
2/3 cup your favorite nuts ( I love cashews or pecans )
1/3 cup raisins
1 tsp cinnamon

directions:

Put all ingredients into your food processor and just pulse until well blended.  Maybe even pour a little almond milk over it.  DELISH!

kale salad

So there is this new cafe in town that is so delicious. It used to be a custard place and they shut down over the summer last year to remodel and become what it is today. They use only farmers from around the area to support locally and the ingredients they use are always fresh. So, on to the kale salad that is UH-MAZING. It’s a little tangy and crunchy and, oh, so good. I knew this would be a recipe I could recreate along with the help of my beautiful momma who knows how to do just that. Here it is…

ingredients:

1 bunch of kale
1 lemon
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs ( toasted )
1/2 cup parmesan cheese ( for non-vegans )

directions:

Pull kale leaves off of the stem, chop finely and put in large bowl. Juice half of the lemon in a small bowl and slowly whisk the olive oil in.  ( taste and add lemon and olive oil accordingly). You’re going for a light lemony dressing taste. Drizzle the lemon olive oil dressing over the kale and toss. Top with toasted panko bread crumbs and enjoy!

* If using the parmesan cheese, just add with the dressing and toss.



roasted vegetable hummus pizza

It’s not a secret that I adore roasted vegetables. I’m not sure how to explain the magic that happens in the oven when veggies are sitting in their drizzled with olive oil roasting away at 425 degrees, but something extraordinary goes down behind the closed door. When the magical taste of roasted veggies is laid on top of hummus and pizza crust, a mouth-watering dish is created. This recipe is a favorite in my home. It’s easy and always tastes like it belongs on heaven’s Garden of Eden menu. I do not doubt you will enjoy it as much as I do.

ingredients:

toppings:
1 yellow squash
1 zucchini
½ red onion
1/2 c spinach, fresh or frozen
1 jarred roasted red pepper

roasted red pepper hummus:1 can chickpeas/garbonzo beans, drained (15-oz)
¼ c tahini
¼ c water
2 T extra-virgin olive oil
2 T lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ t salt
¼ t cumin
½ jarred roasted red pepper

pizza crust/dough (I used Whole Foods Whole Wheat Crust)

directions:

If you are preparing your own pizza crust, prepare dough and set aside to rise. (I use prepared crust to save time.)

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly oil large, rimmed cookie sheet or shallow roasting pan. Place sliced yellow squash, zucchini, and red onion onto roasting pan. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper, then use hands to mix everything together. Spread the vegetables evenly in the pan and roast for 30 minutes until tender (they will be placed back in the oven for a little while with the assembled pizza, so you don’t have to roast as long as you usually would). Stir the vegetables every 10 minutes for even roasting. Remove vegetables and turn oven to the specified degree indicated by your pizza crust.

While the vegetables are roasting, prepare the hummus. Place all hummus ingredients into a food processor or blender. Blend until smooth.

Cut 1 jarred roasted red pepper into strips. Spread half of the hummus batch onto pizza crust. Place spinach evenly on the crust followed by the roasted vegetables and red pepper strips. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until outside edges of the crust are golden brown.

Enjoy this little piece of heaven. Let us know if you tried it and, if you used different toppings, please share!