November 26, 2012

Rainbow Roasted Veggies with Quinoa

This meal will literally brighten your day! With a huge color pop from the vegetable rainbow, it tastes just as great as it looks 🌈 The flavor of the roasted veggies is enhanced even more with a subtle garlic-balsamic dressing. Feel free to play around and add other vegetables - mushrooms, zucchini and summer squash would be great too. The leftovers are just as delicious (I eat them cold like a quinoa salad) and would be great for take-along lunches too!

Vegan, gluten-free

1 cup dry quinoa
12 oz. cherry tomatoes
12 oz. asparagus
1/2 large red onion
2 bell peppers
Baby spinach, a few large handfuls
Drizzle of olive oil
Salt to taste

{For the dressing}
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp. dried basil (or fresh if you have it)
2 tsp. olive oil

Preheat oven to 425.
Cut asparagus into 2 inch pieces, and cut bell peppers and onion into 1 inch squares. Place on a large baking sheet. Add cherry tomatoes, and toss all veggies with olive oil to coat, then some salt.
Place in oven and roast for 20-25 minutes.
Meanwhile, rinse and drain quinoa. Cook according to package directions.
In a small bowl, whisk together all ingredients for the dressing and set aside.
When quinoa is done cooking, immediately place in a large bowl and toss with spinach. (The heat from the quinoa will lightly wilt the spinach.)
Pour dressing over quinoa and mix well to thoroughly combine. Add roasted vegetables, stir.

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November 19, 2012

Quinoa Veggie Stir Fry

My husband and I love this easy stir-fry! We opt to use quinoa instead of rice, giving a little boost to the nutritional value. We really enjoy this particular combination of vegetables, especially the mushrooms and asparagus. Adding a quick and easy Asian-style garlic sauce gives it tons of flavor. If you want to shorten the cook time even further, prep all your veggies beforehand and store in an airtight container in the fridge. (You could even cook the quinoa beforehand too!) Easy weeknight meal complete! It comes together in a FLASH 😊

Vegan, gluten-free (with tamari)

1 cup dry quinoa
1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
6 oz. snow peas
1 small red onion, sliced
10 oz. mushrooms, sliced
10 oz. asparagus, cut into 1-2" pieces
1-2 Tbsp. sesame oil

{For the sauce}
1 Tbsp. sesame oil
1/3 cup soy sauce or tamari
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1 Tbsp. cornstarch

Make the sauce: sauté garlic with sesame oil in a small pan over medium-high heat for 30 seconds. Add tamari/soy sauce and broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium. In a small bowl, mix cornstarch with 3 Tbsp. water. Add to pan, stir, and wait for sauce to thicken. Turn off heat.
Rinse and cook quinoa according to package directions.
While quinoa cooks, cut and prepare vegetables.
Heat a wok or large skillet over medium-high with 1-2 Tbsp. sesame oil. When hot, add onions.
Cook onions for a couple minutes, then add remaining veggies. Heat for 5-7 minutes, stirring often.
Reduce heat. Add cooked quinoa and stir.
Add the sauce and mix to thoroughly combine.

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November 12, 2012

Mac 'n Cheese with Broccoli

Need a little warm comfort food to get you through these chilly days? How about some homemade mac 'n cheese... veggied up of course! Sure it's a bit indulgent but that's why we toss in lots of the green stuff 😉 You could even add more broccoli - I LOVE mass amounts of broccoli in this. It's so good smothered in the delicious cheese sauce. Feel free to season the sauce to your liking. I use a little dry mustard but you can use other seasonings if you wish (paprika, chili powder, cayenne pepper if you want a kick, or seasoned salts.) Play around to find what you like!

Vegan (with dairy-free cheese), gluten-free (with gf pasta and flour)

12 oz. pasta
1 large head broccoli (florets only, about 4-5 cups)
1/2 onion, diced
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
2 1/2 cups plain soymilk
2 cups dairy-free shredded sharp cheddar
2-3 Tbsp. vegan buttery spread (I use Earth Balance)
3 Tbsp. flour
1 tsp. dry mustard
1/2 tsp. salt

Cook pasta according to package directions, leaving it al dente. Drain.
Steam broccoli florets for 4-5 minutes.
In a large pot over medium heat, melt butter.
Add onion and garlic. Saute about 5 minutes.
Reduce heat to med-low, add in flour. Whisk continuously for a couple minutes.
Add soymilk and dry mustard. Increase heat to medium and heat for 5 minutes or until it thickens.
Add cheese and salt, whisk to melt and turn off heat.
Stir in cooked pasta and broccoli. Salt/pepper to taste and serve immediately.

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November 8, 2012

Restaurant-Style Salsa

Ripe, summer fresh tomatoes are out of season now, so we have to turn elsewhere for homemade salsa. With the help of canned tomatoes, this recipe for quick-n-easy blender salsa from Mountain Mama Cooks will help fill that salsa void all winter long 😉 I've made it many times now (helloooo football Sundays!) tweaking it to our taste. It's been absolutely delicious every time we make it. From the original recipe I increased the garlic, left out the jalapeno, and used mild rotel. We love having a batch ready and waiting in the fridge for quick snacks throughout the week. (Love pairing it with the Quinoa and Black Bean chips from Trader Joe's. YUM!) And when the time comes again for in-season tomatoes.... it's fresh salsa fresca!

Vegan, gluten-free
Adapted from Mountain Mama Cooks

15 oz. can diced tomatoes
10 oz. can mild rotel (use original for more of a kick)
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
Cilantro (a medium sized handful)
1 tsp. honey/agave
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cumin
Juice from 1/2 lime (or more to taste)

Put all ingredients in a food processor or good blender and pulse to combine. (Longer to achieve a smoother consistency, or shorter for chunkier salsa.)
Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
Serve with chips, over burritos, tacos, etc.

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November 5, 2012

Broccoli Cheese Mashed Potatoes

Ever since I can remember, I've had an unnatural love for mashed potatoes. So adding broccoli to veggie them up even more sounded brilliant! I've made these many times now and my husband and I love them - quick, easy, and satisfying. The ingredients can be tweaked to your liking, adding more soymilk/cheese if you prefer a creamier consistency, or more broccoli to really kick up the veggies... bonus points for that! 😉 Green onions and chives are also great sprinkled on top.

Vegan (using dairy-free cheese), gluten-free
Adapted from Eating Well

2 lbs. organic yukon gold potatoes
1 large head broccoli (or 4-5 cups florets)
1 cup unsweetened soymilk
1 cup shredded dairy-free cheddar cheese
Salt/pepper to taste

Cut the potatoes into 1/2" cubes (I leave the skins on, but you can peel first if you wish). Steam for 10 minutes, more or less depending on the size of the cubes, until cooked through and soft.
While the potatoes are cooking, wash and cut the broccoli, keeping the florets to use.
Add cooked potatoes to a large bowl with soymilk and cheese. Mash together until potatoes are desired consistency.
Steam the broccoli for 5 minutes and add to bowl. Mash, then stir to thoroughly combine. Salt/pepper to taste.

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November 1, 2012

Vegetable Barley Soup

I can't find the words to express how much I LOVE vegetable barley soup. Just look at that gorgeous color - it's one big veggie party! In the winter, I like to make use of any frozen veggies on hand (usually peas, corn, green beans, and broccoli.) Like a lot of soups, it's very versatile. Whatever you have, toss it in... no veggie left behind! Some others to include are cabbage (which I love in this), bell pepper, cauliflower, edamame, zucchini, mushrooms, spinach, kale, celery, potato, sweet potato, etc. The nutty, chewy texture of the barley sends it over the top. Follow the recipe below, or use it as a general guideline and create your own healthy, colorful combination.

Vegan, gluten-free (if you use quinoa or rice instead of barley)

1 cup dry barley (or quinoa/rice for gluten-free)
1 onion
3 cloves garlic
3 carrots
1 1/2 cups frozen corn
1 1/2 cups frozen peas
2 cups frozen green beans
28 oz. can diced tomatoes
4 cups vegetable broth (+ 4 cups water)
1 tsp. basil
1 tsp. parsley
2 bay leaves
Salt/pepper to taste

Cook barley according to package directions.
Meanwhile, dice onion and carrot. Mince garlic.
In a large stockpot over medium-high heat, saute onion, carrots, garlic, basil, and parsley with salt about 7-8 minutes, or until onions and carrots have softened.
Add broth, 4 cups water, tomatoes with juice, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat, then add cooked barley and frozen vegetables. Simmer for about 10 minutes until heated through. Remove bay leaves.
Salt/pepper to taste.

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