March 25, 2013

Pizza Quinoa Casserole {Veggie Supreme}

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Pizza is one of those magic words that immediately grabs my attention. It's obvious my taste buds can never get enough. And since I'm pretty much always on a quinoa kick, I wanted to incorporate the delicious flavor of pizza into quinoa. So I went all in and did veggie supreme using garlic, onion, mushroom, tomato, spinach, and green pepper. WHOA veggies - it was fantastic. We were even treated with the wonderful aroma of pizza as it baked in the oven. My husband especially loved it and said it's his new favorite quinoa dish. So of course he was pleased to get leftovers to bring to work throughout the week.

Note: Although the recipe calls for a 15 oz. can of tomato sauce, we only used about 10-12 oz. to our taste. I'd suggest starting with less and add more as you like. Or feel free to substitute 1-2 cups of your favorite marinara sauce for the tomato sauce, and tweak the seasonings from there. Fresh basil makes a great garnish before serving.


Vegan (with dairy-free cheese), gluten-free

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups dry quinoa
1 medium onion
1 green bell pepper
8 oz. sliced mushrooms
3 roma tomatoes
1 cup fresh spinach
3 cloves garlic
15 oz. can tomato sauce (or less to taste)
1 cup shredded mozzarella (or dairy-free cheese)
1 tsp. basil
1/2 tsp. oregano
Salt

Directions
Preheat oven to 375.
Rinse and cook quinoa: add 3 cups water and quinoa in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until water is absorbed.
Meanwhile, chop onion, green pepper, tomatoes, and mince garlic.
In a skillet over medium heat, saute onion, green pepper, and mushrooms with salt for about 10 minutes or until softened.
Add garlic, stir, and heat for 1 more minute.
When quinoa is cooked, place it in a large mixing bowl. Add tomato sauce, tomatoes, spinach, mozzarella, sauteed vegetables (any excess liquid removed), basil, and oregano. Stir to combine.
Spread mixture into a lightly sprayed 9x13 inch dish and gently press down. Top with a light sprinkle of cheese.
Bake for 20-25 minutes.

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March 18, 2013

Asian Spaghetti with Mushrooms, Snow Peas, Garlic

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This is a simple meal and easy to make. Feel free to add other vegetables if you wish. Asparagus, bell pepper, and bean sprouts are fantastic, and tofu would be a great protein boost. The light flavor of this dish comes from the garlic and soy sauce, and optional cayenne pepper. It tastes great both warm and cold, so leftovers are a perfect work lunch for my husband with no need to reheat.

Vegan, gluten-free (with gluten-free pasta and soy sauce)
Adapted from Taste of Home

Ingredients
8 oz. angel hair pasta (I use whole grain)
8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
1 1/2 cups snow peas
2 medium carrots, cut into matchsticks
6 green onions, cut into 1 inch pieces
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce (or more to taste)
Optional: sesame oil, 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper, sesame seeds for topping

Directions
Cook pasta according to package directions and drain.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet over med-high heat, saute mushrooms for 2-3 minutes. (Can use sesame oil for more flavor.)
Add snow peas, carrots, green onion and cook for 5-7 minutes or until crisp-tender.
Add garlic, stir, and heat for 1 minute.
Add pasta and soy sauce. Toss well to combine and heat for a few minutes until heated through. Serve warm or chilled.

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March 11, 2013

Chocolate Oat Balls


I'm revisiting this recipe from a year ago because I wanted to get better photos and reiterate how amazing these little things are. In all honesty, I can't remember the last time I made just a single batch. I'm so out of control with these, the past two times have been a quadruple batch. Quadruple! They're a great (healthier) treat that my husband loves to take to work almost everyday. I also like them for quick snacks and dessert because they don't leave me feeling heavy and full. Everyone I know who's tried these loves them - hope you do too! For peanut-free, simply substitute almond butter (or other nut butter).


Vegan (with vegan chocolate), gluten-free (with gluten-free oats)
Makes a small batch, about 6-8 small balls


Ingredients
1/4 cup agave/honey
1/4 cup peanut butter, or other nut butter
1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (or dark)
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup almonds, crushed
1/8 cup ground flax seed
1/8 cup sunflower seeds

Directions
Melt peanut butter and honey in a pan over medium heat.
Add remaining ingredients. (To crush whole almonds, I place them in a ziploc bag on a cutting board and crush with rolling pin.)
Stir with spatula for a couple minutes to combine until chocolate thoroughly melts.
Remove from heat and let sit in pan at least 10 minutes to cool.
When it cools enough to touch, mold into balls. They will harden further as they sit for a while. We store ours in an airtight container in the fridge.

Tip: when I make large batches, after molding them into balls I put them on a baking sheet and place in the freezer for about a half hour, then remove and place them in a sealed tupperware in the fridge for storage. This way they're already chilled and hardened and don't stick together upon hardening in the fridge.

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March 4, 2013

Corn and Black Bean Fajitas

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My inspiration for this dish came from wanting to create a fajita recipe that was quick and easy. We've had this several times and I'm always amazed at how fast it comes together and how much flavor there is. (It comes together even faster by making the taco seasoning and prepping the onions and peppers in advance.) The sweetness of the corn and bell peppers pairs wonderfully with the heartiness of the beans and mushrooms. Simply add your favorite fajita toppings and you've got an easy, delicious weeknight meal. If you're looking for another great spin on fajitas, check out these Quinoa Fajita Burritos as well.


Vegan, gluten-free (with corn tortillas)

Ingredients
3 bell peppers
1 large onion
8 oz. sliced mushrooms
2 cups corn (I used frozen, no need to thaw)
3 cups black beans (or 2 cans rinsed and drained)
3 Tbsp. taco seasoning
Tortillas (corn, flour, whole wheat)
Toppings of choice: tomatoes, cheese, salsa, pico de gallo, creamy chipotle sauce, lime juice, cilantro, etc.

Directions
Thinly slice bell peppers and onion.
In an extra-large pan over medium-high heat, saute mushrooms for about 5 minutes.
Add bell peppers, onion, and taco seasoning to pan. Saute for about 10 minutes or until desired tenderness.
Add corn and black beans. Stir to combine, and heat for about 5 minutes.
Serve on tortillas with toppings of choice.

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