Tag Archives: quinoa

Where are you

Acorn Squash Quinoaacorn_squash_quinoa

Happy Holidays!  A bit late but things have been a little insane around here. In non-food news, we had our first donor IVF cycle a week ago and will be finding out the results later this week/early next.  It’s amazing how in some ways time has flown since then but yet in other ways time has stopped – or in the very least is dragging on. I’ve spent a lot of time relaxing, and working on new recipes, but very little time in the kitchen. It hasn’t helped that my oven broke, but figuring out ways around it.   Primarily that means lots of stove top cooking and very few baked treats but that’s okay!  If anything it gives me a jump start on my New Years Resolution to cut back on sweets, but we’ll see how long that lasts.   Today’s recipe is actually one I made right before my transfer,  and one that I started working with at the start of fall.  Since my house is mostly a nut free zone, I have to find other ways of recreating nutty flavors, usually  in the form of sesame seeds.   However I’ve become slightly addicted to acorn squash – nutty and sweet and meaty all in one awesomely healthy gourd.  I’ve started adding it to everything to see what it does, and does not go with, and so far everything has worked!  This dish was one of those cabinet/fridge clearing exercises where a bunch of stuff had to go before it was too late – so into the pan it went!

Where are you

Serves 4


1 tbsp vegetable oil

1 tbsp yellow curry powder

2 cloves garlic, diced

1 mayan onion, diced

1 acorn squash, cubed and peeled

1/2 cup tri-color quinoa

1/2 cup red lentils

2 cups vegetable stock, low sodium


  1. Heat the olive oil in a sauce pan over medium heat, add the spices and cook for one minute stirring frequently to prevent burning. Add the garlic and onion and toss well in the spices, then cook for 8 minutes, until the onion is soft.
  2. Add the squash and cook for 5 minutes, or until the squash starts to brown. Add the quinoa, toss in the oils and spices then pour in the vegetable stock.
  3. Bring to a boil, then cover, and turn heat to a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes, then stir and fluff the quinoa and remove from heat. Allow to sit for 5 minutes then Serve and Enjoy!

This dish was a creamy curry success – the acorn squash goes fantastically with the spices and the heat without becoming a mushy mess.   I served these with some sesame greens, as some habits are hard to break.

Alright Already

Santa-Fe Rice & Beans

Santa-Fe Rice & Beans

When I saw the /52weeksofcooking challenge for last week, I was a bit thrown.  TV dinners aren’t something I grew up eating, outside of the rare kidcuisine, and most TV dinners follow a very standard non-vegetarian format.  While I debated replicating the format (1 meat, 2 veggies, 1 dessert), I also thought about some of the vegetarian friendly frozen dinners I enjoyed in high school.  When I first started out on the vegetarian path I had very limited cooking experience, and very little time to experiment since I had school, choir, and a part-time job.  When I got home from work at 10PM I wanted something quick and easy, so microwave dinners were perfect.  One of my favorites was called Santa Fe Rice & Beans, and while I haven’t had it in almost a decade I can still remember the “trick” to getting the rice to be warm without overcooking the beans.  So I set out to recreate this late childhood dish, with delicious (and healthier!) results.

Alright Already

Serves 5-6


1 tbsp olive oil

1/2 vidalia onion, diced

1 serrano chili, diced (can sub jalapeno)

1 cup quinoa, well rinsed

1/2 cup brown rice, pre-soaked (if needed)

1 cup vegetable stock, low sodium

1 14.5 oz can Italian style diced tomatoes

1 cup water, divided

1 1/2 cups pre-soaked black beans

1 cup pre-soaked pinto beans

shredded cheese, optional

sour cream (optional)

tomatilla salsa (optional)


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, cooking for 7 minutes before adding the pepper. Cook for an additional three minutes.
  2. Add the quinoa along with the brown rice, vegetable stock, tomatoes, and half cup of water. Bring to a quick boil, then cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Remove cover, stir, and then add the remaining water along with the beans. Recover and cook for a final 10 minutes. Fluff the quinoa then serve and enjoy!

This might not be the standard TV dinner, but I can promise that I enjoyed this dinner many times while watching ER or Law & Order or whatever was on at 10 o’clock back in NBC’s glory days.   I used homemade salsa verde (tomatillo salsa) based on the recipe on this page, however jar salsa, or a tomato based salsa, would work just as well.

Thing to Do

Summer Quinoa

Summer Quinoa

The combination of rain and sun has resulted in a glorious garden, which is resulting in a large amount of delicious produce and with that meals filled with vegetables.  Thanks to some coworkers I’ve had a steady supply of beets and swiss chard, and thanks to my garden I now have large amounts of tomatoes and carrots – a vegetarian paradise!  When it came time to cook everything I relied on the Top Chef motto of “what grows together, goes together” and combined anything and everything to see what would happen.  At the end of the week I had a little bit of everything but with the exception of the tomatoes I didn’t have enough of any of thing to make it a feature.  So everything got tossed together with some quinoa in the ultimate tribute to summer vegetables.

Summer Quinoa

Serves 4-5


2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

3 garlic cloves

1 cup red onion, diced

1/4 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp cayenne powder

1/2 tbsp chili powder

1 cup fresh corn

1/2 cup beets, cubed

2 cups garbanzo beans, presoaked and well washed

1 1/2 cups swiss chard, loosely torn

1 cup quinoa

2 cups vegetable stock


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large stock pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and cook for 7 minutes before adding the spices and cooking for an additional minute, stirring well.
  2. Add the corn and beets and cook for an additional 5 minutes before adding the beans and swiss chard. Cook until the chard has mostly wilted, about 6 minutes, then add the quinoa and vegetable stock. Turn heat to high and bring to a boil, then cover, turn heat to low, and allow to simmer for 20 minutes. Fluff the quinoa and serve!

I topped mine with some greek yogurt for dinner and had it “naked” for lunch the next day and both ways were amazing.  This is one of those dishes that is guilt free, even if seconds are involved!

Fire WIthin

 Quinoa Verde con Tostada



Not going to lie, the theme for  r/52weeksofcooking had me more than a little nervous this week.  I understand the importance of Presentation but I tend to focus more of the substance and taste of the dish and not so much of what it looks like – after all I’m not cooking for Gordon Ramsey or Anthony Bourdain or someone else who will comment on whether or not my dish resembles cat food.  However I haven’t missed a challenge yet this year and wasn’t going to start now!  So I thought about all the things I could do before deciding to go with color and vibrancy instead of knife skills or something insanely elaborate – after all I didn’t want to screw up the food in my quest for a pretty plate.  I decided to make something with as many colors in it as possible without going too overboard while utilizing things I already had in my pantry.  Watching an episode on Chopped gave me the inspiration, and confidence, to try making a tostada.  I still had some tortillas left from the taco challenge and since tostadas are traditionally made with slightly stale tortillas the timing was perfect!

Quinoa Verde con Tostada

serves 5-6


1 1/2 cups tri-color quinoa, well rinsed

3 cups water

2 tbsp vegetable oil, divided

1 tsp cumin seeds

3 cloves garlic, diced

1/2 cup red onion, diced

3 tomatillos, diced

2 plum tomatoes, sliced

1 jalapeno, diced

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (daiya brand shreds also works!)

1 tsp cayenna powder

1/2 tbsp chili powder

4 tbsp vegetable oil

10-12 corn tortillas

1 avocado, sliced


  1. Heat 1 tbsp of canola oil in a large sauce pan. Add the quinoa and allow to cook for a minute before adding the water. Bring to a boil, the cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Set Aside
  2. Meanwhile in a large saute pan heat up the remaining oil along with the cumin seeds. Toast for 3 minutes, then add the onion and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes and then add the tomatillos, cook for another 8-10 minutes or until tomatillos are soft and garlic is golden.
  3. Remove lid from quinoa and then add the onion mixture. Stir well then toss in the tomatoes and jalapenos and set aside on a warm burner.
  4. In a medium bowl toss the cheese with the chili powders and set aside.
  5. Rinse the saute pan used for the onion mixture and then heat over medium heat with the vegetable oil. Once the oil is warm gently place the tortillas one at a time in the oil. Allow to puff up and turn golden, then flip to the other side and repeat.
  6. Move the cooked tortilla to a plate then cover with the spiced cheese. Once the cheese has melted add the quinoa along with the sliced avocado. Serve and Enjoy!

I spent a fair bit of time trying to figure out the perfect way to plate this dish, I wanted to make sure everything could be seen and keep the picture from being too saturated.  I wound up plating the dish four different ways before picking this option.  Needless to say doing this dish gave me a great appreciation for people who do this on a regular basis and will probably result in much better pictures as I will be paying a lot more attention in the future!!!


This Feel

Garlicky Kale Salad with Grains


This past holiday season I got a large number of cookbooks, and I’m still going through them almost a month later and probably will be for weeks to come.  I’ve already tested a few recipes from the Tagine cookbook, and decided to stop neglecting the others and see what goodies that had in store.   One of them is Raising the Salad Bar, and while it’s not a vegetarian cookbook, its setup makes it very easy to bypass the meat and go straight to the good stuff.  There are set recipes to follow but also tips for how to pick and choice various parts of each salad in order to come up with something totally new.   So using the grain section as a guide I decided to throw something together based on what I had left from various meals during the week.

Garlicky Kale and Grain Salad

serves 4


4 tbsp EVOO, divided

3 cloves garlic, minced

4 cups Kale, loosely torn and well washed

2 shallots

1 cup quinoa, well rinsed

2 cups vegetable stock

1 1/2 cups chickpeas

For Dressing

1/2 cup EVOO

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 tbsp white wine vineger

1 tsp pepper


  1. Heat 2 tbsp of EVOO in a large sauce pan and add the garlic. Cook for 5 minutes or until golden, then slowly start adding the kale. Once all the kale has been added turn off the heat, cover, and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile heat the remaining EVOO in a saucepan and then add the shallots. Cook for 3 minutes, then add the quinoa and stir well. Add the vegetable stock then turn heat to high and bring to a boil. Once mixture has come to a boil, cover and turn heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the chickpeas, stir, and cook for an additional 10 minutes.
  3. Once the quinoa has almost finished cooking, about 5 minutes left, mix up the salad dressing. Then add half to the quinoa, stir well, and add the remaining dressing.
  4. Serve the grain mixture over the kale and enjoy!

Even tho I’ve primarily been vegetarian for the past decade I’ve never been a big salad person, seeing them as side dishes or appetizers but rarely as the main course.  This book is quickly changing my mind regarding what makes up a salad and while this salad certainly isn’t fancy but it’s quick, simple, and very filling.