Posts Tagged 'quinoa'

Quinoa Beet Burgers

Where I wish I were:

Aaah, beautiful Oregon.

Where I actually am: back at work. Kind of.

Real life hits in ONE WEEK when the kids come back to school, and I’m spending lots of time trying to sort through all the stuff that was left in the classroom I inherited, figure out how to get 6th graders excited about Earth Science, and determine how exactly I’m going to balance school, time with Ellie and Mike, training, blogging, cooking, making sure the house doesn’t get ridiculously filthy, and having some semblance of a social life.

By the way, where are all the triathlon or running blogs by moms who work full time?  Or is it truly not possible to do all that?  If you know of any, please let me know, because I really want to see how other women balance it all. Please tell me it can be done.

I’ve made so many mediocre veggie burgers lately, but these are significantly better than the crusty, dry outside, mushy inside mess that I’ve been dealing with.  Shredded beets, quinoa, sunflower and sesame seeds… I was not expecting them to be this delicious.

They are a little crumbly, but were amazing on a bed of lettuce with avocado on top (or goat cheese, if you’re into that).  The hardest part is just peeling the beets.  I think I’m going to make a gigantic batch and freeze them.



(slightly adapted from Color Me Vegan)

Quinoa, Tempeh, and Bean Sprout Bowls

Happy Pi Day!  The one day of the year a small part of me wishes I were a math teacher.

Actually, I don’t think I ever want to be a math teacher, even today. Science and PE just sound a lot more fun.

I wish I had pie for you, but I don’t.  I do have some delicious bean sprouts and tempeh, though!  And some fun facts (or lazy writing…your call)

Fact 1: I got my hip X-rayed today.  The doctor wants to make sure everything looks good around the hardware (the 3 titanium screws I’ve had since my femoral neck stress fracture about 13 years ago).  I’m hoping for good news.

Fact 2: If you roast red potatoes and sweet potatoes together and make a salad out of them, you’ll be glad you did.

 Fact 3: Someone is 6 months and 2 days old today, and is entirely too grown up, sitting in her high chair and eating bananas like she’s been doing it forever.

Fact 4: I’ve now done this DVD twice and I’m a believer.  I don’t necessarily think I’m going to have a six-pack in six weeks, but I know that my abs will be stronger, and of course I’m a fan of that.

Fact 5 (thanks for sticking with me): The vanilla bean snickerdoodles in Joy the Baker’s cookbook are incredible, and are definitely contributing to my lack of six-pack (but they’re worth it).

I know bean sprouts aren’t exactly glamorous, but they cook amazingly quickly, and they’re incredibly satisfying to grow yourself (which we just did for the first time!)  Here they get stir-fried in a very simple mix of orange juice, soy sauce, and honey, then topped with sesame seeds and avocado.  Served over quinoa, it’s a nice quick, healthy meal.


(adapted from The Food Matters Cookbook via Eats Well With Others)

Quinoa and Black Bean Salad

Remember how I was going to be really smart as I was getting back into running shape? And I’d never increase my mileage or intensity too quickly and I wouldn’t get injured?

Weeeelllll, I may have sort have overdone it just a little bit, and my right hip has been pretty cranky the last couple days. Fortunately there’s no way my hip will break because there are 3 titanium screws holding it together, but the pain in my hip flexor is not pleasant.

So I’ve decided to take a couple days off running. That means 5 AM spin classes and Jillian Michaels 6 Week Six-Pack for a little while, which is not my first choice, but I REALLY don’t want to miss any of the races I’ve signed up for.

Since I’ve been getting my workouts done at ridiculous pre-dawn hours, it leaves more afternoon time for baking. I made these crunchy-top orange chocolate chip muffins, and I’m not sure if I just completely spaced it or if there was a problem with the recipe but instead of crunchy-top I got melted-sugar-mess-top.

HOWEVER, the muffins themselves were super delicious, if you’re into the orange-chocolate combo. They’re very rich, but the flavor is amazing (especially if you sub semi-sweet chocolate chips for milk chocolate.)

Ellie was hanging out while I baked and at one point the light was so perfect I grabbed my camera and went just a little bit picture crazy.

I love this girl so much, it’s kind of unreal.

When you get into the afternoon baking habit, it’s quite helpful to simultaneously get into the healthy dinner habit, and this recipe can help you out with that. It’s kind of similar to this other black bean and quinoa salad but the fresh mozzarella is a nice addition (and the dressing is a little different). I served it over a bed of butter lettuce for dinner and packed the leftovers (without the lettuce) for lunch. It’s great both ways!


(adapted from Apple a Day)

Quinoa with Leeks and Walnuts

I went to Bikram yoga this morning for the first time in 4 years, and I didn’t feel like I was going to die! The first class I ever took, I had to sit down for a lot of it because the heat was just so overwhelming. In case you’re unfamiliar with Bikram, it’s a 90 minute yoga class in a very hot room. It’s intense, but you feel completely amazing walking out of that room dripping with sweat at the end. I can’t wait to go back! (And sorry for talking about sweat right before giving you a recipe…lets shift gears to more appetizing things now)

For the past couple years I was convinced I hated leeks. I can’t remember when the aversion started, but I made sure to avoid them (which, fortunately, was pretty easy). Then a few weeks ago I decided to give them another chance, so I made a Turkish recipe from Arabesquethat had leeks in an egg yolk-lemon sauce and realized they were completely delicious. So when I saw this recipe from A Couple Cooks, I was excited to make more leeks.

This dish is really simple, but there are a couple key things that really amp up the flavor. One is sauteeing some shallots and then adding broth to cook the quinoa. The shallots definitely add a subtle layer of flavor. The other is cooking the leeks in butter until they begin to caramelize just a little bit in places. The finishing touches of lemon juice and toasted walnuts round it all out.

(adapted from A Couple Cooks

Quinoa, Lentil, and Kale Salad

Last night, Mike and I put a huge dent in that bowl of leftover Halloween candy. I don’t want to think about it. At least we had this for dinner…nothing like kale and lentils to make you feel really healthy, even if you just ate far too many Whoppers and peanut butter cups.

I was so excited about my race this weekend that I decided to sign up for a few more. I’m already doing the Oakland half marathon in March and the Big Sur marathon in April, but now I’ve added two other races to my calendar.

In January, I will be running a very challenging 21 KM trail race in Pacifica. Check out the elevation gain…2900 feet total!

Looks painful and awesome at the same time.

Then in July I’m running the 2nd Half Marathon in San Francisco.

I’ve done the first half and the full before, so this will round it all out. The course isn’t terribly inspiring, but the weather is pretty much always perfect and a bunch of my friends are running it, so I couldn’t resist signing up.

Now I just need to keep increasing mileage without injuring myself. So far the running every other day plan is working really well. I did 6 miles yesterday, planning on 5 tomorrow, and I might be doing an 8K race on Sunday.

Grain-based salads like this always make me feel like I’m eating well. This one has a lot of protein coming from the quinoa and lentils, and the lemon dressing and sun-dried tomatoes keep it tasting bright and fresh. It makes a lot, so if you don’t like left-overs you might want to halve the recipe.


1 cup french green lentils
1 cup quinoa
3 tbsp sun-dried tomatoes
1 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 bunch kale, stemmed and chopped (4-5 cups)
1 large avocado, diced

1/3 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup olive oil
pinch each salt, pepper, and sugar

Soak the sun-dried tomatoes in hot water for about 15 minutes, then drain and chop finely.

While the tomatoes are soaking, put the lentils in a saucepan and cover with about 2 inches of water. Add a pinch of salt and boil for about 20 minutes or until tender but not falling apart. Rinse and drain.

Bring 2 cups of water to a boil with a pinch of salt. Add the quinoa, turn the heat down to low, and simmer, covered, until all liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Turn off the heat, let stand about 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork.

Heat the oil in a skillet and add the garlic. Cook, stirring, until garlic is fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the kale and stir fry until wilted and bright green, 4-5 minutes.

Combine the quinoa, lentils, kale, and tomatoes in a large bowl and mix well.

Whisk the lemon juice and olive oil together with a pinch each of salt, pepper, and sugar. Pour over the salad and toss well. Taste and add salt and additional lemon juice if necessary.

Serve topped with diced avocado.

Vegetable Quinoa Bowls with Dragon Sauce

The weather this weekend wouldn’t be considered anything special in Southern California, or even in the East Bay. But out by the ocean, it’s almost ALWAYS cold and foggy, so to have temperatures in the upper 70s felt completely amazing.

We started Saturday morning with a run by the beach (6.03 miles at 9:47 min/mile). It felt so nice to be running in the sun. I’m sure you’re dying to see an awkward cell phone picture of Mike and me at the turnaround in the park, and I’m happy to provide that for you:

After the run we hit up our new favorite coffee spot in the Outer Sunset (Trouble Coffee on Judah).

I got an iced chai and Mike got a latte, and they were fabulous as always.

They have a pretty awesome assortment of baked goods, including one seriously phenomenal cookie that’s thick and chewy and full of chocolate chips and CARAMEL CORN!

Yes, I absolutely will be attempting to re-create that very soon.

After a minor freak out about still having a few pounds of baby weight to lose (I realize it’s normal to not have lost it all after 6 weeks… I was just having a moment), Mike and I decided that we’re going to be making a more serious attempt to eat a LOT more fruits and vegetables. This dinner was a perfect first step.

I have no idea why this is called Dragon Sauce, but it’s apparently from a vegan restaurant in Montreal. It’s sweet and a little nutty, and goes perfectly with vegetables. For these bowls I just cooked quinoa in some vegetable broth, then topped it with red cabbage, shredded beets, carrots, cherry tomatoes, chopped fresh spinach, edamame, and avocado. Obviously you can use whatever vegetables you like and have on hand. Simple, colorful, and healthy!


(adapted from Jessica Lettuce Tomato)

1 1/2 cups quinoa
3 cups vegetable broth
pinch salt

1 beet, shredded
1 medium carrot, cut into thin coins
2 cups fresh spinach, chopped
1/2 cup thinly sliced red cabbage
1 cup edamame
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 avocado, thinly sliced
sesame seeds

Dragon Sauce
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1/4 cup tahini
3 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp water
2 medium cloves garlic

Bring the vegetable broth and a pinch of salt to a boil in a medium saucepan. Stir in the quinoa and simmer, covered for about 15 minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed. Remove lid and fluff with a fork.

To make the sauce, combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

For each bowl, place quinoa in the bottom, top with vegetables, then drizzle with sauce and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Coconut-Cilantro Quinoa Bowls

Welcome to the latest installment of “things to do when your due date is a week away with no baby in sight.”
1. Hit the gym. Be super tempted to stay on the elliptical until you go into labor.

2. Make bagels. Decide that while they’re pretty good, Peter Reinhart’s recipe is better, so they don’t deserve a blog post of their own.

3. Toast said bagels and top with cream cheese, capers, red onion, and heirloom tomatoes. Repeat more times than is probably healthy within a 24 hour period.

4. Practice changing diapers. Or take a picture of your husband while he practices.

5. Go see Our Idiot Brother. (It’s adorable)

6. Make this for dinner.

I hate it when people tell me “you HAVE to make this immediately, it’s SO good!!!!!!!” so I’m not going to do that to you. I will be thinking it very hard, however. It really was one of the best dinners we’ve had in awhile (yeah, I probably say that too often…)

I started with a recipe for swordfish with cilantro-coconut chutney. Obviously I don’t eat swordfish so I used slabs of tofu instead. Then I served it over quinoa, cooked in vegetable broth with a squeeze of lime. With a raw vegetable salad on the side (or mixed in), it’s a complete meal in a single bowl with a great mix of textures and flavors, and a nice amount of protein.

This was the first time I tried dredging the tofu slices in a little flour, corn starch, and salt before pan-frying them. Mike loved it, I wasn’t quite as sold, so that step is optional.

I know the ingredient list looks a little daunting because there are four different components to this meal, but it actually comes together pretty quickly.

(adapted from Ani’s Raw Food Asia and A New Way To Cook)

2 small red bell peppers, julienned
2 Persian cucumbers (or 1 English cucumber), seeded and julienned
1 large carrot, juliened
1/4 red onion, very thinly sliced
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
pinch salt

2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup quinoa
pinch salt
juice of half a lime

a drizzle of vegetable oil
2 tbsp all purpose flour (optional)
1 tbsp corn starch (optional)
pinch or two of salt (optional)
1 lb extra firm tofu, well drained, and cut crosswise into 1/2″ thick slices

about 2 cups fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 serrano chile, roughly chopped
1 tbsp lime juice
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk
2 tbsp unsweetened, dried coconut

Start with the vegetables: Put the julienned vegetables, olive oil, vinegar, and salt in a medium bowl, toss to combine, and set aside.

Bring the broth and a pinch of salt to a boil in a medium saucepan, stir in the quinoa, cover, and cook over low until all the liquid is absorbed, 15-20 minutes. Stir in the lime juice and fluff with a fork.

If you’re using flour, cornstarch and salt for the tofu, place them in a shallow dish and mix well. Dip each slice of tofu in the mixture and brush off any extra. Heat a thin layer of oil in a skillet, and cook the tofu slices until golden brown. Set aside.

To make the sauce, combine the cilantro, chile, cumin seeds, sugar, and lime juice in a food processor and pulse a few times. Add the coconut milk and process until nearly smooth. Gently stir in the dried coconut, and adjust lime juice or sugar if necessary.

To assemble each bowl, put quinoa in the bottom, top with some vegetables, a slab or two of tofu, and drizzle with sauce.

Summer Black Bean Quinoa Bowls

I’ve been on summer break since June 10th.  Almost 2 months.  I had a few things on my summer to-do list, one of which happened to be visiting the Thursday morning farmers market which cannot be more than 2 miles from my house.  And yet it took me almost two months to actually go.  And now I’m pretty irritated with myself that it took me that long because it was AMAZING.   Huge, reasonably priced, lots of organic stuff, lots of variety…

Even though it was cold and drizzly, the place was pretty packed (and I didn’t get there until the last hour).  I had a list, but ended up buying about 3 times more than I planned on because everything looked so good.

That’s just a little glance at the awesomeness that came home with me: 2 kinds of kale, nectarines, strawberries, apricots, heirloom tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, Persian cucumbers,  an eggplant, a HUGE bunch of basil… I also got some grapes that looked highly appealing but ended up being gross and sour.  BUMMED.

Multiple caprese salads have been consumed since this little market outing.  Best lunch ever.

I also happened to drive by my school on the way to the market and saw cars in the parking lot.  I figured people would be back sometime in August, but wasn’t sure which date.  I was SO excited to get back into my classroom (the floors are SO CLEAN!), see my principal, and pick up a few things to work on for my sub.

Ohhh California Physical Science Teacher’s Edition, I’ve missed you.

I’ve tried to get myself back on track with meal planning after winging it for the past few weeks, but this was one of those winging it meals that worked out really well.  It feels kind of ridiculous writing a recipe for it, because it’s incredibly flexible and you can really adapt it however you choose based on what you have on hand.  But I was so in love with the combination I put together that I’m going to list what I did. It’s PERFECT for summer because it includes both zucchini and cherry tomatoes, both of which are insanely fresh and delicious right now. Summer, please don’t go anywhere.

1 cup quinoa
2 cups water or vegetable broth
a pinch of salt
2-3 cups black beans, drained
1/2 tsp chili powder
a big pinch onion powder <– (I hardly ever use this…but we happen to have some around for some reason)
1 tbsp olive oil
4 small zucchini, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, finely minced
a big pinch or two red pepper flakes
1-2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
a few tbsp of your favorite salsa
1 avocado, diced

Start with quinoa: Combine the quinoa and broth or water (with a pinch of salt) in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then cover and turn heat to low. Simmer for about 20 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat but keep covered.

Heat the beans in another pan with the chili powder and onion powder (add more to taste if needed).

In a medium skillet, saute the zucchini in the olive oil with the garlic and pepper flakes until tender and golden-brown.

Assemble the bowls: Start with a big scoop of quinoa (fluff with a fork first), then top with beans, cherry tomatoes, avocado, zucchini, and salsa. Sour cream would be nice here too, if you're so inclined.

Pineapple Quinoa

The other day Mike and I were talking about how much healthier the food we’ve been eating lately is compared a couple months ago. I mean, we have definitely had our fair share of ice cream and cake the past couple weeks, but it is SO much better than my first trimester bagel and ice cream sandwich diet. That coupled with the fact that EVERYTHING good is coming into season now makes me an extremely happy eater.

I am so happy to be back to normal eating, and super happy to still be running, although a couple days ago after a particularly atrocious run I was thinking I might be done. This weekend, though, was perfect, and I ran out to Fort Funston.

It was a beautiful day and even though it took me about 2 miles of warming up to feel normal, I had an awesome 4.5ish mile run. I’ve been trying to do something active every day, usually alternating yoga with running. I feel like I get slower every day, but just getting out there definitely helps me keep my sanity, especially since I spend my days with eighth graders who only have a few weeks of school left and are totally ready to be done!

This awesome meal comes from Veganomicon, and i think it was one of the first recipes I made when I bought the book three years ago. It’s pretty much like pineapple fried rice, but much more filling thanks to o the quinoa. You definitely want to have everything chopped and ready to go, because once you start, it comes together really fast. It’s superb while it’s still warm, and just as good cold for lunch the next day.

(adapted from Veganomicon)

1 cup qinoa
1 cup pineapple juice
1 cup cold water
1/2 tsp soy sauce
1/3 cup cashew pieces (raw and unsalted)
3 tbsp vegetable oil
2 green onions, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 serrano chili, sliced very thinly
1″ piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 cup cooked edamame
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh basil, cut chiffonade
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh mint
1/2 a medium fresh pineapple, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp mirin
lime wedges for garnish

Combine the quinoa, juice, water and soy sauce in a medium saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and you can see the little curlicues on the quinoa. Remove from heat, let stand covered for 5 minutes, then remove the lid and fluff with a fork.

Toast the cashews in a large nonstick skillet over medium-low heat until golden and fragrant. Remove from the pan and reserve for later use.

Raise the heat to medium. Heat the vegetable oil for about a minute, then add the garlic and green onions and cook for about 30 seconds. Add the chili and ginger and cook another minute or two, then stir in the bell pepper and edamame. Stir fry for about 3 minutes, or until the bell pepper is softened. Add the pineapple, quinoa, basil, and mint and mix well.

Pour the mirin and soy sauce over the quinoa and continue to stir fry for another four to five minutes, making sure everything gets mixed well and heated through. Serve garnished with lime wedges.

Basil Parmesan Quinoa Cakes (and SF Green Festival)

So far I have only made one recipe from Heidi Swanson’s new cookbook, Super Natural Every Day, but it was FANTASTIC and I can’t wait to cook through the rest of the book! I made quinoa cakes this weekend, after a fun day at San Francisco’s Green Festival (which is probably coming to a city near you soon!)

It turns out Ashley does PR for Green Festivals, and she emailed a few Bay Area bloggers offering the chance to get media passes for the event. I was excited to check it out, mostly for the food! A lot of the companies that had booths there are pretty commonly featured on a lot of blogs, but I’d never tried their stuff myself.

Mary’s Gone Crackers brought crackers (which are fantastic)…

and cookies (which are not so fantastic)

I’m already familiar with Nutiva because I buy their Chia seeds, but now I really want to start getting their hemp seeds too.

There were quite a few fair-trade chocolate vendors. My favorite sample had orange zest and candied ginger.

Artisana had a whole bunch of nut butters to try… (and they weren’t the only ones. Apparently nut butters are a huge deal these days)

I tried some Earth Balance soy milk, and although I’ll probably stay loyal to almond milk, their chocolate flavor was amazing!

One of my favorite booths was selling fair trade products from Palestine.

Their olive oil was awesome, and apparently they will be carrying it at Rainbow Grocery soon!

A table full of vegan cookbooks completely sucked me in, and I ended up buying a signed copy of Color me Vegan by Colleen Patrick-Gourdreau (and got a picture with the author!)

I am SO excited to try the recipes in it!

There were tons of non-food vendors too, like Bon Ami (I’m excited to try their samples!)

A bunch of booths were selling body care products but Green Girl was far and away my favorite.

I COMPLETELY agree with everything this booth was saying…(even if there’s a misplaced apostrophe on the banner)

I didn’t end up seeing any of the speakers because i was loving chatting with the all the vendors, but it looked like there were some GREAT presentations on multiple stages covering everything from human rights to urban farming. If you live in Chicago, LA, New York, or Seattle, the festival will be coming to your city in the next couple months, and it’s definitely fun to check out.

Aaaaand now for the amazing quinoa cakes.

I made the recipe almost exactly as written, but I subbed basil for the chives. They are definitely a little crumbly when you first put them in the pan, but making sure you have enough oil helps keep them together. I can’t wait to try other variations (and the rest of the recipes in this AMAZING book)!

(adapted from Super Natural Every Day)

2 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
4 eggs, beaten
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1 white onion, finely chopped (yellow would be fine too)
1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 cup bread crumbs (plus a few extra tablespoons if needed)
1-3 tbsp olive oil

Stir the quinoa, eggs, and salt together in a medium bowl. Add the basil, cheese, garlic, and onion.

Stir in the bread crumbs and let stand so the crumbs can absorb some moisture. The mixture should be easily formed into balls without falling apart. If needed, add a couple tablespoons of breadcrumbs and let stand a few minutes more.

Heat the olive oil (enough to coat the bottom of the pan – the exact amount will depend on the size of the pan you use) in a skillet or wide frying pan over medium. Pat the mixture into patties and cook in batches, about 10 minutes on each side, flattening so they’re about 1/2″ thick. Flip carefully! They should be browned on one side after 10 minutes – if not, adjust the heat.
Repeat with remaining quinoa mixture.


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