Quinoa · Vegetarian

Quinoa Burritos

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I’m sitting here on a Friday night watching the Real World and drinking wine so I decided to finally type up some of the recipe blog posts that I’ve been accumulating. I have attempted to salvage the horrible pictures I have but they still look horrible…nothing new there!

I made these burritos months ago and stored the leftovers in the freezer for quick meals later on. I’ve eaten all the ones from my freezer and feel like I should probably make more soon because they were really good! I would mash up some avocado and smear it on before each bite for a little extra something (and because I love avocado!) and I would say that’s probably the best way to serve them.

Quinoa Burritos

From Iowa Girl Eats

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 2-1/4 cups chicken broth, divided
  • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 12oz frozen sweet corn, thawed
  • salt and pepper
  • 15oz can black beans, drained then rinsed
  • 1 vine-ripened tomato, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 Tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 8oz freshly shredded cheddar cheese
  • 6-10”  flour tortillas

Directions:

  1. Bring 1-3/4 cup chicken broth to a boil in a saucepan then add quinoa, place a lid on top, turn heat down to medium then simmer until the liquid is absorbed and quinoa is tender, 15 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.
  2. Meanwhile, heat extra virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat then add shallot and corn, season with salt and pepper, then saute until shallots are tender, 4 minutes.
  3. Add black beans, remaining 1/2 cup chicken broth, chili powder, smoked paprika, and cayenne pepper then simmer until liquid is nearly absorbed, 4 minutes. Add tomatoes then simmer until tender, 2 minutes. Remove skillet from heat then stir in cilantro and lime juice. Set aside to cool slightly (liquid will continue to thicken and be absorbed as the mixture cools.)
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat tortillas according to package instructions to make them pliable then add a scoop of quinoa to the lower third portion of the tortilla. Add a scoop of the black bean mixture on top followed by shredded cheese. Roll once then tuck in sides and continue rolling to form a burrito. Wrap in foil then bake for 10 minutes to warm through.
  5. To freeze: Place foil-wrapped burritos in a freezer bag then freeze. Thaw overnight in fridge then microwave for 1 minute to heat, or unwrap frozen burritos from foil then wrap in a paper towel and microwave for 2-3 minutes, or until heated through.

These were super easy to make and freeze so well! If you love burritos and quinoa, try these!

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Casserole · Pasta · Vegetarian

Caprese Mac and Cheese

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Let me start off by saying that I am not a tomato lover and I enjoyed this mac and cheese a lot! It was kind of like a tomato based pasta bake mixed with mac and cheese. Plus basil. So good!

This is definitely not as indulgent of a recipe as it could be. I served a portion of this with a big portion of veggies on the side (lots of broccoli, my favorite!) so I didn’t feel weighed down by a dinner of just pasta.  Give this recipe a try, it’s unique and delicious!

Caprese Mac and Cheese

Original recipe from Prevention RD

Serves: 5

Ingredients:

  • 10 oz whole wheat elbow macaroni (uncooked)
  • 1 cup 1% milk
  • 1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ⅛ tsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • 3 cups part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded and divided
  • ½ cup tomato sauce
  • 3 large tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 20-30 basil leaves, chiffonade and divided

Directions: 

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. Bring 3-4 quarts of water to a rolling boil over high heat. Add pasta, stir, and cook 8-10 minutes or until al dente; drain and set aside.
  3. In the meantime, whisk together milk, vegetable broth, flour, chili powder, salt, and pepper in a small sauce pan over medium-high heat. Bring sauce to a low boil over medium heat; simmer for 4-5 minutes or until sauce thickens, whisking occasionally. Remove from heat and pour over hot, drained pasta, along with 1 cup of the shredded mozzarella; mix well.
  4. In the bottom of a 2 quart baking dish, spread tomato sauce on the bottom to coat completely. Add half of the macaroni mixture over the tomato sauce, top with half of the tomato slices, ⅓ of the basil, and 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese. Repeat with macaroni, ⅓ of the basil, remaining 1 cup of mozzarella, and tomato slices, in that order.
  5. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until bubbly and just beginning to brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining ⅓ basil before serving.
Quinoa · Vegetarian

Quinoa Cakes

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These quinoa cakes are absolutely delicious. I’ve been meaning to make them again because they are so packed with flavor and texture, It’s truly the sun dried tomatoes that steal the show!

The original recipe calls for kale but honestly, I’m really not a big kale person. I know, I know, it’s a “superfood” and everyone should be in love with it, but what’s wrong with some simple, classic spinach instead? Spinach is still packed with vitamins and minerals, like vitamin K and calcium, and it can be thrown into so many recipes. 

If you are a kale lover, by all means, add the kale! I’m just going to stick to my spinach 🙂

Quinoa Cakes

Original recipe from Oh She Glows

Ingredients:

 

  • 1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax + 6 tablespoons water
  • 1 cup finely chopped spinach
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats, ground into a flour 
  • 1/2 cup finely grated sweet potato
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons finely diced onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon tahini paste
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons red or white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt, or to taste
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour 
  • red pepper flakes, to taste

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Mix the ground flax and water in a small bowl and set aside for 5 minutes or so to thicken.
  • Combine all ingredients together in a large bowl, including the flax mixture and the 1.5 cups cooked quinoa. Stir well until the mixture comes together. Don’t forget the flour because it helps bind the patties.
  • Shape mixture into 1/4-cup patties with wet hands. Pack tightly so they hold together better. Place on baking sheet.
  • Bake for 15 minutes, then carefully flip cakes, and bake for another 8-10 minutes until golden and firm.
  • Cool for 5 minutes on the sheet and then enjoy!

The key with these is to make sure all the veggies are chopped super fine! Mine held together really well but I made a pretty big effort to make sure everything was minuscule.

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Now go enjoy these tasty little guys!

  • Store leftovers in a container in the fridge for up to 5-6 days. To reheat, preheat a skillet over medium heat, add a bit of oil, and cook patties for about 3 minutes per side, or until heated through.
Vegetarian

BBQ Chickpea Burger

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I’m baaaaaack! 

Even during the chaos of studying for my test I had to give myself a little time to spend time in the kitchen, so I’ve got a handful of recipes that I need to publish eventually.

I’ve done the vegetarian thing before and lately I’ve been wanting to do it again. It’s so hard sometimes because I really really enjoy chicken but I hate cooking it and buying it. Honestly I probably will still be eating chicken occasionally, but I’m trying to branch out and add more vegetarian entrees to my life. 

Weight has been a little bit of a struggle for me lately, nothing major, but I can feel myself accumulating a little extra padding in various places on my body. That’s what taking a break from running at a very stressful point in life can do to you! I also haven’t been working out as regularly because of all that’s been going on (unexpected trips home, studying for my test, etc.) so I’ve essentially fallen off the wagon. 

Although I know being vegetarian does not equal weight loss, I do know that I personally tend to eat a little bit cleaner when I’m avoiding meat. I had tried a few veggie burgers in the past but stumbled upon this one on the Oh She Glows website and decided to give them a try. 

Veggie burgers are a pain in the butt to make homemade, but it’s worth it because you always end up with plenty of leftovers for meals later during the week! 

These are not my all time favorite veggie burgers, but they are definitely worth sharing. They were a little bit crumbly, which seems to be the main problem with homemade veggie burgers, but I didn’t try to put them on a bun so the crumbliness didn’t really matter. 

BBQ Chickpea Burgers

Recipe from Oh She Glows

Ingredients:

  • 2 & 1/4 cups cooked chickpeas
  • 1/2 cup dry brown rice 
  • 3 tbsp sunflower seeds + 1 tbsp pepita seeds, toasted
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup diced red pepper
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 1 small carrot, grated
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 3 tbsp BBQ sauce
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs, or more as needed
  • 2-3 tbsp ground flax
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

Directions:

  1. In a strainer, rinse the rice. Add 1/2 cup dry rice into a pot with 1 cup water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover with lid, and simmer for about 25-30 minutes, watching closely and giving it a stir after 20. Add a touch more water if necessary.
  2. Preheat oven to 300F. Toast sunflower and pepita seeds for about 12 minutes, or until lightly golden in colour. Set aside.
  3. Finely chop the garlic, peppers, onion, and parsley. Grate carrot. Stir in half the salt. Set aside.
  4. Add the chickpeas and rice into a large bowl. Make sure your rice is HOT as it helps it stick together and bind. Do not use cold rice. With a potato masher, mash very well, leaving some chunks for texture. You will need to use a lot of elbow grease to mash this up, but you want it really sticky so it’s worth it! You can also pulse in a food processor.
  5. Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat. With a wooden spoon, stir in the chopped vegetables into the mashed chickpea/rice mixture. Now stir in the seeds, BBQ sauce, breadcrumbs, and ground flax. Add the salt and red pepper flakes to taste.
  6. Form 6-8 patties and pack dough together tightly. Spray the preheated skillet with oil. Cook the patties for about 4-5 minutes per side over medium-high heat (time will vary based on your temp). Burgers should be browned and firm when ready. You can also try grilling the patties (try pre-baking patties for 15 mins in the oven at 350F before grilling).

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I served mine with some green beans and roasted potatoes and it was delicious! 

Casserole · Holidays · Vegetarian

Enchilada Casserole

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I grew up with my mom calling this dish “taco lasagna” but now I’ve seen it called “enchilada casserole” more and more.

In honor of Cinco de Mayo, obviously I had to make some Mexican food for myself 🙂

This is super easy to make, much easier than enchiladas, and it has the same flavors.

I made this vegetarian but you can cut back on the beans and add some chicken if you would like!  This would also be really good with some olives in it…somehow I managed to totally forget about those little guys!

Enchilada Casserole

Recipe adapted from Gimme Some Oven

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups red enchilada sauce
  • 16 corn tortillas, halved
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15 ounce) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained (or fresh corn! I used the kernels from 2 cobs)
  • 6 scallions (green onions), thinly sliced
  • 3 cups shredded Monterrey Jack or Mexican blend cheese
  • 1/2 cup loosely-packed chopped fresh cilantro

Directions: 

  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Prepare a 9×13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Pour about 3/4 cup enchilada sauce in the baking dish, and spread until the bottom of the dish is coated. Top with a layer of about 8 tortilla halves so that the entire dish is covered. Sprinkle evenly with 1 can of beans, 1/2 cup corn and a fourth of the green onions. Then sprinkle with about 3/4 cup shredded cheese.
  3. Repeat with a second layer of tortillas, then sauce, then beans, corn, green onions, and cheese. Then a final layer of tortillas, sauce, beans, corn, green onions, and cheese.
  4. Conclude with a final layer of tortillas and sauce (reserving about 3/4 cup of cheese to add partway through baking).
  5. Cover the pan with aluminum foil, then bake for 20 minutes.
  6. Remove pan and remove aluminum foil. Sprinkle the top of the enchiladas evenly with the remaining 3/4 cup of cheese, then return to the oven (uncovered) and bake for 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
  7. Remove pan and cilantro and remaining green onions. Serve warm topped with sour cream and some avocado.

 

Sauce · Tofu · Vegetarian

Homemade Yumm! Sauce

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This is the yummy recipe I promised you!

If you have never lived in Oregon or visited Oregon, you may not be familiar with the chain of restaurants called Cafe Yumm!  They have a wide variety of menu items, including Yumm! Bowls, my favorite, and a lot of them are topped with their signature Yumm! Sauce.  This stuff is really unique, I wasn’t totally sold my first time (but I think that was also because I was really turned off by their red salsa and now I order my bowls without that).

Anyways, the summer that I lived back in California I craved these ALL THE TIME and they were no where in sight.  I wish I would have found this recipe sooner because it would have alleviated all of my cravings!

This sauce took approximately 5 minutes to make and left me wondering WHY I have waited so long to try this recipe!  I have seen some Yumm! Sauce copy cat recipes floating around for a while now but I have yet to take the time to actually try one.  My bad.

This one is actually from the cook book More Peas, Thank You, that I have made a handful of recipes out of.

Best thing about this recipe, I can make the Yumm! Bowls at home and not spend around $7 on a meal. Woohoo!

Homemade Yumm! Sauce

Recipe adapted from this one

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 c. olive oil
  • 1/4 c. cashews
  • 1/3 c. water
  • 1/4 c. chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 c. nutritional yeast
  • 2 1/2 T. lemon juice
  • 1 t. minced garlic
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • 3/4 t. curry powder
  • 1/2 t. dried oregano

Directions:

  1. In a high speed blender or food processor, combine oil, almonds, water and chickpeas. Blend until relatively smooth.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.
  3. Transfer to a jar and refrigerate until serving.

This recipe has the disclaimer to use within 7-10 days, so I think that would be a good idea.  I don’t know what happens after that amount of time, but I have a feeling I might find out since I likely won’t use all of mine up before then.

I’ll let you know if anything funky happens.

To make the bowls, layer rice, beans, cheese, sour cream, tomatoes, olives, and cilantro and top with Yumm! Sauce.  You could also add some chicken or tofu.

When I first made this sauce it was super runny (see picture above) but it has thickened with its time in the refrigerator.

Hope you enjoy 🙂

Sweet Potato · Vegetarian

Stuffed Sweet Potato

Honestly, the thought of attempting to do a Topic of the Week post is the last thing I want to do today, so I’m not going to.  Maybe later this weekend if I can think of something….otherwise right now I really am over the preschool and anything related to childhood nutrition.

I also realized as I was typing up the post last night how embarrassingly horrible my pictures are for recipes.  So tonight I decided I would actually try to slow down and take some step by step pictures as I made my dinner.

Of course it was a plus that my dinner is worth sharing.

I got the idea for stuffed sweet potatoes last winter and just like a baked potato, they’re good with just about anything in them.  I think these would be even better with a little bit of chicken thrown into the mixture…yum!

Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium size sweet potato
  • 1/4 onion, diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 can low sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. First, preheat the oven to 400 degrees and pop in a washed sweet potato.  Make sure you poke some wholes in it before! Depending on the size of the potato it’ll take about 30-40 minutes.
  2. After the potato is done, wrap it in foil to stay warm and set aside.
  3. Chop up onion and pepper (this can be done while the potato is cooking)002
  4. Heat some olive oil in a skillet and throw the pepper and onion in.  PS-I love this olive oil…003
  5. Next, add the chili powder, salt, and pepper.  Cook the pepper and onion until the onion is translucent. 006
  6. Add in the black beans and cook until they are warmed through (they usually start to split at that point)
  7. Unwrap your potato, cut it open, and top with the skillet of yumminess012

Like I said, pretty much anything could go into the potato, I happen to be a pretty big fan of this combo though.

I’ll be back at some point with a week recap.

I am SO ready to move on to my next rotation, it is unreal.