Posts Tagged ‘quinoa’

Mushroom and Grain soup

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Quinoa Lentil Vegetable Soup

These past two weeks have been miserable in terms of food. I have eaten at my work’s caf so many times and had take out so many times that I was feeling pretty crappy this week. My breaking point came Tuesday night when I had two pieces of Peace ‘o Pie pizza (best vegan pizza place in Boston) with a side of vegan garlic cheese bread and a beer. Um…carb overload! It was so good but in a ‘oh-my-god-i-now-want-to-die’ way. You know what I mean?

So, the next day I went out and did some serious grocery shopping, something I haven’t done in two weeks. This is like, a big deal. I have a problem staying away from Whole Foods for more then two days, I don’t know how I managed two weeks. I think I was still in a food coma for Thanksgiving.

Last night I did some cooking, some baking, I had taken some pictures for the blog and I was feeling so good! Nothing like getting back in a routine to back you start feeling better. (I’m also doing 800 crafts. I can’t wait until I get one done to show you. But you know, I’m the Queen of ‘starting and not finishing/taking on too many ‘ crafts soooo that may never happen.)

Then I went to load the pictures…and could NOT find my memory stick plug-in anywhere. I had artsy kale pictures for you! I had steaming bowls of soup in cute bowls with handles! I had pictures of soup surrounded my fresh, colorful veggies. And you get to see none of them.

So sad.

But I really wanted to share this recipe with you because it’s delicious AND it’s for a good cause . It’s from an on-line cookbook that Charity:Water put together with recipes from some great bloggers, including one of my favorites, Ashley of Edible Perspectives, who created this recipe. All photographs in this post are 100% hers. I wanted to give you some incentive to go download the book and donate some money.


Picture was taken and belongs to Ashley at edibleperspective.com

Quinoa Lentil Vegetable Soup
created by Ashley from 1 Cup Water: Charity ecookbook. Click that link to download the books and get some amazing recipes! 

The book is free to download but donations are appreciated. I have donated to Charity:Water in the past when Adam, the lead singer of Taking Back Sunday, had a page for his birthday. What’s neat is you get updates on where your money went and pictures from the project. It was really interested and I plan to donate again for this book. After all, ‘Tis the season for giving and this is definitely a great organization to support. Plus, you get great recipes. It’s a win/win.

Tomorrow, I will be back with what will (hopefully) become a weekly tradition- Christmas Cookie Friday! I have pictures of cookies with steaming cups of hot chocolate and, if I can find my memory-card plugin, I will be sharing it with you right in time for the weekend!

See you tomorrow!

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Do you know what I am doing now? I’m curled up under my comforter, snuggled up to my favorite pillow and teddy bear and typing this side ways with one hand. I’m too comfy to get up!! I don’t want to go to work today! “I have the measles and the mumps; a gash, a rash and purple bumps; my mouth is wet, my throat is dry. I’m going blind in my right eye. My tonsils are as big as rocks, I’ve counted sixteen chicken pox” Anyone know where that’s from??

Do you know what I did yesterday during my lunch break? I was on Etsy looking up halloween decorations. Yeap, halloween decorations. As in the holiday that is almost three months away! I blame DSW for sending me their fall boots email too early. I’ve told myself I can’t start buying halloween stuff until the first day of fall…ok, maybe Sept 1. We’ll see how my will power is…

Do you know what I did Sunday? I went grocery shopping and bought things to make this week. More specifically, I bought ingredients to make 3 different breakfasts and one meal. hmm… last time I checked, there was really only time for one breakfast in the day, not three! What am I going to do with stuff to make 3 breakfasts all week??

The answer to that- breakfast for lunch! So yeah…sorry for the two back-to-back breakfast posts…

Roasted Blueberry Coconut Quinoa Parfait
veganized from How Sweet Eats
makes 4 parfaits

  • 1 1/2 pints fresh blueberries
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 cups light canned coconut milk (1 can has about 1.5 cups so I just used that)
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened flaked coconut
  • 2 pinches of salt
  • 24 oz vanilla vegan yogurt (aka, 4 individual containers)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place blueberries on a nonstick baking sheet with a pinch of salt. Place in the oven and roast for 20 minutes, or until berries start to burst. (At this time, if you don’t have granola or didn’t make it prior to, mix up the coconut granola recipe below and bake it at the same time, on the upper rack.) Remove both and set side.

While blueberries and granola are baking, add quinoa and coconut milk to a saucepan along with another pinch of salt and the coconut flakes. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover, cooking for 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

When ready, assemble parfaits with layers of yogurt, roasted blueberries, coconut quinoa and granola. YUM! Or, if you are bringing this to work or on the go, assemble the parfait but leave out the granola. Leave enough room at the top so  you can add the layer of granola when you are about to eat it, that way it doesn’t get soggy.

Easy Coconut Granola

  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup unsweetened, flaked coconut
  • 3 TBSP maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil, measured in solid form
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil

In a large bowl, combine oats, coconut, cinnamon and salt. Melt coconut oil and add it to the oats, along with maple syrup and vanilla, and stir thoroughly to moisten. Spread on a baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes, tossing every 5 minutes. Remove and let sit for about 10 minutes to get crumbly.

How Sweet Eats is one of my favorite blogs, hands down. It definitely isn’t vegan, though. So when she makes something that I can easily adapt, I get super excited! This breakfast was delicious!

Now…I should probably get out of bed. There’s that little thing called work that pays for this food hobby of mine. I should probably make an appearance there…

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Ahh…May 24. Today is my friend Sean’s birthday. Normally, I wouldn’t blast my friends’ birthdays on my blog but Sean’s having a bit of difficulty admitting that 1. Birthdays are the shit! (seriously, it’s a whole day for people to celebrate how awesome you are. What’s there not to love) and 2. he’s a year older than he was last year (26 isn’t old, thankyouverymuch!!). So to help him deal with his unhappiness over this particular day, I’m doing what any good friend would do…I’m sharing his birthday with the entire internet world.

(Don’t worry… I don’t get that many hits on this blog)

((He’s still going to kill me and possibly never talk to me again))

So, in celebration of Sean’s birthday, I’m sharing with you today… drum roll please….

A Salad!!

Wait..what? I know, it’s weird BUT the ice cream cookie cups I made in his honor will be way better to share with you tomorrow, as in Friday, as in the end of the week. I started the week off with a smoothie, I can’t end it with a salad!

I wasn’t even going to post this on my blog cause I didn’t want to bore you but my roomie, Bonnie, said it sounded pretty good and was interested so I figured I’d give it a shot. After all, this blog was designed to share with you my vegan meals and this is what I’ve been having for dinner all week

Veggy Salad with Quinoa
from Lauren Conrad.com 

  • a big handful of mixed greens, lettuce and/or baby spinach (I used baby spinach)
  • 1/2 an avocado, cubed
  • a handful of cherry tomatoes (I slice mine in half, which is sort of weird but the only way I can eat them)
  • 1/2 a cucumber
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
  • balsamic vinegar, olive oil and lemon,lime or orange juice
  • salt and pepper to taste

Combine greens to quinoa together in a big bowl. Mix together the vinegar, olive oil and juice. Pour over salad and top with salt and pepper.

I didn’t put measurements for the dressing because honestly, I never measure this out. I always do a few glugs of balsamic vinegar, a splash of oil because I really don’t like a ton, and a little more lime juice than oil. Not very scientific.

The addition of the quinoa is great because it makes the salad really filling. I feel like, though salads can be really good for you, they often don’t hold you over. This one actually makes you feel full and satisfied so I’m a big fan! Thank you pinterest for introducing me to Lauren Conrad’s website. I’m kind of a fan now!

So in conclusion, Happy Birthday, Sean! As my present to you, I won’t make you eat this salad because  I know it’s not up your alley. And I hope you still speak to me at work. =D


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I had several odd jobs during my high school years.

I’ve fought the madness that is my local fair by working the ticket booth at the entry gate. The fair only lasted a few days but the shifts were long and I handled so much money that I would actually dream about counting out change. And dealing with townies was always…interesting.

I worked at a record store, which was unfortunately more Record Town then Empire Records. I was working for The Man, not fighting him. Polo shirts and black slacks were involved. Not my best look.

But,  the icing on the cake was the tiny coffee shop I worked at while I was trying to save money for a Paris trip, junior year of high school . It was run by this mean cat lady who owned the place. Usually, on the weekends, it was just me and her. She would plop herself on this stool and watch everything I did, only getting up to yell at me/fix something I did. And I ALWAYS wrapped the wraps wrong. They were to tight. Too lose. Too much filling. Not enough. On more then one occasion she would trash what I had done and start over.

So needless to say, I have a mental block about making wraps and burritos. Seriously, I can never get them right. My brain refuses. Filling is always spilling out and the ends never stayed tucked in.

This became glaringly obvious this week when I tried to make burritos for lunch. I tried to 3 days in a row before cursing furiously, plopping everything in a bowl and eating it like that.

And guess what, it tasted just as good! Too bad I couldn’t have done that at my job. I’m pretty sure mean cat lady would have had an aneurism if I even attempted it.

Quinoa and Bean Burritos/Bowls
 inspired by Whole Foods and Rachel Robin’s Nest
makes roughly 6 or 7 wraps or bowls full, depending on the size of your wraps, can easily be halved

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa (any color will work)
  • 1 can of black beans (you can also use dried but I had a can kicking around from way back when), drained and rinsed
  • 1 block of extra firm tofu, pressed
  • 1 TBSP of olive oil
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 1 sweet onion
  • a pack of taco seasoning
  • water (amount based on the taco seasoning you are using. Mine was left over from a taco night I had with friends and it called for 1 cup of water)
  • wheat wraps (optional)
  • optional toppings: taco sauce, salsa, avocado, guacamole, vegan cheese, vegan sour cream, lettuce, additional veggies

Add one cup of quinoa and two cups of water to a medium sauce pan. Bring to boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, when all the water is absorbed, remove from heat and fluff with a fork. Stir in the black beans.

Meanwhile, slice up the pepper, the onion and the tofu to your liking (I cut mine my veggies long strips like fajitas and my tofu in cubes ). Heat the olive oil to the pan and then add the veggies and the tofu. Saute until the tofu is golden brown on the outside. The onions with me soft and the peppers should still be a bit crunchy. Add the taco seasoning and water to the veggie/tofu mix and stir until the seasoning thickens to a sauce. It should only take about 2 minutes or so.

Scoop quinoa/bean mix onto a wrap. Add veggies and tofu and any additional toppings you like.

Alternatively, if you can’t keep your wrap together (like me) and it all falls apart by the time you get it to work the next day, you can mix everything together in a bowl. My favorite combo so far has been: quinoa, beans, veggies and tofu with taco seasoning, half an avocado cut into cubes, and a little BBQ hot sauce (yes…even my hot sauce is BBQ flavored). I keep the wrap on the side, slice it in triangles before work and then toast them at works as sort of a make shift tortilla chips.

aww…look how compact it is. Too bad as soon as I unwrapped it at work, the whole thing fell apart. Grr.

It’s really easy, full of protein and keeps you full for the rest of the afternoon. Win, win and win!

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A few weeks ago was my Dad’s birthday. He turned the big 5-0 and courtesy of my second job, I totally missed his birthday dinner. Not cool, Erin. Not cool.

So to make it up to him, I decided to make him a super yummy lunch… which just happened to be vegan.  My thought was, if the meal is good enough he would never even realize he’s missing meat or dairy. And really, how can  he miss those things when you have beer pretzels and a Spicy Black Bean and Quinoa Soup, which is chuck full of flavors he loves??

Turns out, Dad had a bit of a surprise for me. Half way through the preparation of my pretzels and soups, he lets it slip that he had a brisket on the smoker. A brisket? As in, smoked cow? yeeeeah…that’s definitely not vegan, Dad! So much for stealthily sneaking that vegan lunch on him. Carnivore-1; Vegan-0

Meat or no meat, this soup is amazing! I’ve made it twice already. I like  dividing it up into 5 servings and taking it to lunch with me for the week.

Smoky Spicy Black Bean and Quinoa Soup

via Whole Living
serves 4 or 5

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped or minced
2 carrots, diced
1 teaspoon cumin
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon oregano
4 cups vegetable broth*
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup quinoa
1 chipotle chili in adobo sauce
2 cups cooked black beans
salt to taste
cilantro or daiya cheese to garnish, optional

In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat and stir in the onion. Cook, stirring occasionally until onion softens, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and carrots, cook another 3 minutes. Add in the cumin, chili powder, and oregano and stir to coat.

Pour the vegetable broth, diced tomatoes, quinoa and chipotle chile in the pot. Bring everything to a boil, then cover and let simmer for 15 minutes. Once the quinoa is cooked, you should see the familiar little quinoa tail, stir in the black beans and salt to taste. Heat until everything is cooked through. Serve garnished with cilantro or vegan cheese. (I only used vegan cheese once or twice. I really like it just plain. It has enough flavor on its own)

*the recipe only calls for 4 cups of broth but the soup really absorbs the broth when you reheat it. I would suggest picking up an extra can or resealable carton of vegetable broth and keeping it on hand so that you can add it to the leftovers before eating.

This soup is also super versatile. I omitted the cumin and replaced the oregano with italian seasoning because that’s what I had and it still tasted great.

I know pretzels and soup sound crazy but it definitely worked. Trust me! It was delicious. 

(PS. Do you like my fancy, ripped paper towel. Someone get this girl some better kitchen props! )

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