Kitchen Adventures: Quinoa and Brussels Sprouts

This simple recipe is great for the end of a busy week and can accommodate almost any ingredients you have around.  Sub couscous for quinoa, add in other veggies, or include other proteins if you have them handy.

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Quinoa and Brussels Sprouts

  • 1 cup quinoa, uncooked
  • 1 lb shredded Brussels sprouts (I got them precut from Trader Joe’s – one bag will do it!)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped into thin strips
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice – about one lemon worth
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • goat cheese (optional, for topping)
  1. Cook the quinoa – one cup of quinoa to 2-3 cups of water.  Bring to a boil, then simmer covered for 15-20 minutes for liquid is absorbed.  Let rest for 3-5 minutes before serving.
  2. Add the oil, onion, Brussels sprouts, salt/pepper, and half the lemon juice to a frying pan over medium heat.  Stir frequently – when the sprouts get bright green, add more lemon juice and bell pepper.  Stir for about 7-10 minutes total, until sprouts are cooked but still crunchy.
  3. Add quinoa to the pan of veggies and mix well.  Serve hot or cold.  (I topped mine with goat cheese crumbles – SO GOOD!)

This made about four salad-sized servings – can’t wait to eat it for lunch later this week.

Enjoy!

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Kitchen Adventures: Quinoa with Tofu and Basil

Or should I say basil with quinoa and tofu?  Basil is clearly the star of this dish, and the delivery of a massive amount of fresh basil from the Ward’s garden (thanks, Sarabeth!) inspired me to go this route in the first place.  This is by far the most complicated dish I’ve ever made without having to go to the store on the way home – a major accomplishment in my book, unlikely to be repeated anytime soon.

This dish is perfect for a summer night like last night – it’s refreshing, light, and doesn’t involve too much time over the stove.  And the way I portioned it, it makes six servings that will last me for lunch and dinner the rest of the week.  Less time cooking later, more time enjoying those late summer evenings!  What’s your go-to summer meal?  Here’s how mine came together (inspired by this post):

Quinoa with Tofu and Basil

  • 1 cup of uncooked quinoa
  • 1 pack of tofu (I used Trader Joe’s Extra Firm High Protein kind – better than I expected!), chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 2 bell peppers (red, yellow, or orange would work), cored, seeded, and chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 20 leaves of fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 tbsp peanut oil
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice (optional)
  1. Start by cooking the quinoa – put 1 cup of uncooked quinoa along with 2 cups of water in a pot, and heat to a boil.  After boiling, reduce heat to a simmer and cook over medium heat for 15 minutes.  If quinoa doesn’t seem soft by that point, add a cup of water and continue to simmer until water is absorbed – repeat as needed.  When soft, remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes before fluffing with a fork.
  2. While the quinoa is cooking, heat oil over medium heat and then add tofu, stirring until lightly brown (about 5 minutes).
  3. Add onion and garlic to the pan with tofu – stir.  After about 2 minutes, add in peppers and continue cooking for 3-5 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and add lemon juice and basil to tofu and vegetables – then mix together with quinoa.

Serve it hot or cold, with grated Parmesan on top as desired.  (1 serving = 1/6 of the total = 7 PointsPlus)

You can adapt this to whatever you have around the house – tomatoes, squash, tempeh, etc. – the same basic recipe is a great start to any veggie and quinoa stir-fry.  Enjoy!

Want more quinoa?  Check out my quinoa and cheese recipe here!

Kitchen Adventures: Quinoa & Cheese

Crazy, but great! I found this recipe on Pinterest, where someone else had reposted it – the picture was delicious enough that I went out and bought the ingredients that evening so I could have it for dinner.

The final product took some time, but didn’t disappoint.  Here’s my take on Leanne’s version of Monica’s original recipe (phew! just trying to give credit where it’s due!).

Quinoa & Cheese (aka Quinoa Mac and Cheese)

  • 1 1/2 cups of uncooked quinoa, cooked first thing
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup non-fat or soy milk
  • 1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese (was one whole block, for me)
  • Panko bread crumbs for topping
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 head of cauliflower (optional)
  • 2 tomatoes (optional)
  • 2 small onions (optional)
  1. Cook the quinoa as directed on the package (mine took 15 minutes, try not to overcook!).  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Sauté or steam the cauliflour until lightly cooked.  Chop into smaller pieces (bite sized or smaller) when soft.  Chop the tomato into bite sized pieces and set aside.
  3. Chop the garlic and onion into small pieces and sauté until tender.
  4. Whisk together eggs and milk in a large bowl.  Add in quinoa and cheese, stirring until cheese is fully integrated and begins to melt slightly.  Add in cauliflower, onions, garlic, and salt and pepper (a few dashes, to taste) and mix well – now add in the chopped tomato and stir gently (so the tomato stays a bit intact).
  5. Spoon into a baking dish and top with bread crumbs.  Cook for for 30 minutes or until bread crumbs begin to brown.

Eat and enjoy!  The final product will be really hot with cheesy goodness, but worth it.  This meal is hearty, wholesome, and downright delicious for any time of year.  Let me know if you try it at home!

Keen on quinoa and tahini salmon

Since our last party (and my attempt at hummus), I’ve been working my way through a jar of tahini.  I make it into sauces to put on asparagus, spinach, tofu, and more.  Tonight, I took it one step further and combined it with my new favorite winter grain – quinoa – for a perfect sweet and exotic autumn dish.  It’s light, colorful, and super tasty.  Try it and tell me what you think!

Tahini Sauce (marinade and dressing):

  • 2 tbsp tahini, stirred well
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tsp brown sugar (optional, I just like my sauces a little sweet!)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic, chopped (I use it from the jar and include it in everything)
  • dash salt and pepper

Blend (or stir) all the items in the sauce together in a small mixer until ingredients are well combined.

Tahini Salmon on Quinoa with Butternut Squash and Craisins

Ingredients:

  • tahini dressing (above)
  • 1 cup quinoa (I used something called “sprouted quinoa trio” which included red and black quinoa)
  • 2 cups butternut squash, chopped into 1/2 inch cubes (I buy it frozen and reheated it for 3 minutes in the microwave)
  • 1 small onion, chopped into smallish pieces
  • 2 tbsp craisins or cranberries
  • 1/2 tsp garlic
  • 1/4 lb salmon filet per person, skin removed

Salmon:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Place the salmon in a foil-lined pan and spread the top and sides with the tahini mixture, taking care not to touch your fishy utensil back into the rest of the sauce.  Bake the salmon for 15-20 minutes.

Quinoa:

  1. Boil 1 1/2 cups of water (for the quinoa).  When the water is boiling, add the quinoa and cook covered for 12 minutes, stirring often.  When the water is almost entirely absorbed, throw in the cranberries.
  2. In a skillet, saute the onion, butternut squash, and garlic together until lightly browned.
  3. When the quinoa is done cooking, remove from heat and stir in the cooked vegetables.  Let sit for 5 minutes.

Serve a portion of quinoa topped with a spoonful of tahini dressing and a piece of salmon.  Eat warm, serves about 4.

Happy fall!