Tag Archives: quinoa

Quinoa & Bean Quesadilla

 

In the pursuit of creating meals which are both vegan and yet so delicious my total carnivore fiancee doesn’t even notice it’s vegan, you win some & you lose some.

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This was a definite win.

The way I see it, it has all the things a quesadilla should: meaty fillings (‘meaty’ like you feel full after eating it, not actual meat; in this case beans & quinoa), gooey stick-together-ness (avocado), and lots of flavor (roasted peppers & spices). Warmed up for a crunchy exterior with soft goodness inside, this will make everyone happy regardless of dietary preference.

This makes 2 servings. And best of all, you sneak in almost a whole cup of veggies per serving! I won’t tell if you won’t.

Ingredients:

  • 4 tortillas
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 cup bell pepper slices
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 cup cooked white beans
  • 1/2 cup spinach
  • Cooking oil
  • Optional: nutritional yeast

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Step 1: Cook your quinoa according to package. Likely you mix 1/2 cup quinoa with 1 cup water, bring to a boil, then cover & let sit 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Set up your station.

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Step 2: If you have the time, caramelize your pepper pieces by heating in a frying pan over medium heat just until they begin to char. This brings out their innate sweetness. If not, raw pepper will work just as well, the finished product may be crunchier.

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Step 3: On one tortilla, cut half the avocado, &  spread it around. This acts like a paste to hold your quesadilla together. Layer on half the spinach, and season as you wish. (Basil, garlic salt, cilantro, lime…)

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Step 4: On the other tortilla, layer the quinoa, beans (cooked according to directions, or from a can), peppers, and if using sprinkle on some nutritional yeast. It is not required, it just gives an extra ‘cheesy’ taste & you guessed it, nutrition. (You can also use dairy cheese if not vegan).

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Step 5: Spray or grease a frying pan. Place the one tortilla on top of the other, carefully, and place in the pan. Fry for 4-5 minutes, until golden brown and crisp, then carefully flip the whole thing. Use two spatulas if you need to. Crisp the other side 4-5 minutes.

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Cut with a knife or pizza roller, and enjoy! This baby is chock-full of good stuff, and creates a great taste & texture combo that really satisfies.

 

Quinoa & Bean Quesadilla

Ingredients

  • 4 tortillas
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 cup bell pepper slices
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 cup cooked white beans
  • 1/2 cup spinach
  • Cooking oil
  • Optional: nutritional yeast

Instructions

  1. Cook your quinoa according to package. Likely you mix 1/2 cup quinoa with 1 cup water, bring to a boil, then cover & let sit 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Set up your station.
  2. If you have the time, caramelize your pepper pieces by heating in a frying pan over medium heat just until they begin to char. This brings out their innate sweetness. If not, raw pepper will work just as well, the finished product may be crunchier.
  3. On one tortilla, cut half the avocado, & spread it around. This acts like a paste to hold your quesadilla together. Layer on half the spinach, and season as you wish. (Basil, garlic salt, cilantro, lime...)
  4. On the other tortilla, layer the quinoa, beans (cooked according to directions, or from a can), peppers, and if using sprinkle on some nutritional yeast. It is not required, it just gives an extra 'cheesy' taste & you guessed it, nutrition. (You can also use dairy cheese if not vegan).
  5. Spray or grease a frying pan. Place the one tortilla on top of the other, carefully, and place in the pan. Fry for 4-5 minutes, until golden brown and crisp, then carefully flip the whole thing. Use two spatulas if you need to. Crisp the other side 4-5 minutes.
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http://www.budgetepicurean.com/vegan/quinoa-bean-quesadilla/

Chia, Quinoa & Greens Salad

 

For an awesome, easy lunch/side dish/snack that you can take on the go or whip up without heating the kitchen on a smoldering summer day, try this salad packed with power players. This would easily be layer-able in a mason jar, to take to work or school or anywhere on the go, or throw together right out of the fridge. It also tastes good made in advance if you use hardy greens that are amenable to some marinating.

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The base of any good green salad is of course the greens. Leafy greens are the super-veggies of the plant kingdom, and it is REALLY tough to have too much. There are plenty of species whose only food is leafy greens. We should try to emulate that as much as possible.

According to author, dietitian, and nutritional educator Jill Nussinow MS, RD, “Greens are the number 1 food you can eat regularly to help increase your health” (WebMD). Leafy greens are packed with vitamins & minerals, as well as heart- and gut-healthy fiber and plant-based chemicals, many of which we haven’t even discovered yet.

Leafy greens include kale, collards, mustard greens, beet greens, romaine, spinach, arugula or rocket, swiss chard, broccoli,  cabbage, and even iceberg. Start with a big heaping handful, at least 1-2 cups.

Next up is the buzz-worthy quinoa (pronounced keen-wah). Quinoa was domesticated 3,000-4,000 years ago in South America. It is a psuedocereal with edible  seeds, closely related to amaranth and buckwheat.  Quinoa contains essential amino acids (which our body cannot make on its own) like lysine, as well as an exceptionally high protein content, and minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, and iron. It is also gluten-free, making it a great “grain-like” choice for those with Celiac’s disease or a gluten intolerance.

The raw seeds have a soapy coating (called saponins) that make them unpalatable to birds. This is handy because the crops need less protection. However, that means most quinoa crops must be processed before sale for humans, so that we are able to eat it without feeling like we just licked a Dawn dish soap dispenser.

And our final power player here is the chia seeds. Chia seeds are a massive nutrition powerhouse, with just one ounce (2 tablespoons) containing 11 g of fiber, 4 g of protein, and about 100 calories while also providing about 1/3 your recommended manganese, magnesium, and phosphorus. There are claims that some ancient cultures would survive solely on chia seeds in times of duress.

Chia is easy to incorporate into baking, simply sprinkle a tbsp or two into any batter, from pancakes to muffins to oatmeal. You could also try a refreshing Chia Fresca as a beverage to get some chia in your life. While a little weird at first, it is a great habit to start to get enough water every day.

And finally, we top it off with whatever fresh veggies you are partial to. Just make sure to incorporate a variety, and at least 1/2-1 cup total. A tbsp of other nuts or seeds is also a great addition. Steer clear of too-high-fat toppings like cheese, meats, or even eggs. Add spices to taste.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups mixed greens
  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup julienned carrot & cucumber
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • Handful grape tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 tbsp sunflower seeds
  • 2 tbsp vinaigrette

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Step 1: Lay down your greens. Mix in your quinoa. (To cook: mix 1 cup with 2 cups water, bring to a boil. Cover, turn off heat. Let stand 10 minutes, fluff with a fork.)

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Step 2: Add in your vegetables, sprinkle chia on top.

Step 3: Whip up a fresh, super-simple vinaigrette by mixing 1 tbsp lemon juice, 1 tbsp olive oil, and 1 tbsp vinegar in a bottle, then shaking. Or drizzle on 1-2 tbsp of bottled dressing.

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If you want to make a portable layered salad, add ingredients in the exact opposite order: dressing on the bottom, then hard veggies, soft veggies, quinoa & greens.

Kidney bean and quinoa burgers

Well, this one came from a combination of boredom, hunger and a determination to not go to the grocery store this week. I had half a can of kidney beans in the fridge, and some googling brought up this blog’s recipe: http://sweetbeetandgreenbean.net/2009/02/04/kidney-bean-and-quinoa-burgers/

So of course I made my own version of it.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup kidney beans
1/2 cup quinoa
1/2 cup chicken stock
2 tbsp flour
1 tbsp olive oil
Garlic salt, burger seasoning, Nature’s Seasoning, and cumin

Step 1: Add the chicken stock to the quinoa and microwave for 10 minutes. Then add the rinsed and drained kidney beans, and microwaved another 10 minutes.

Step 2: Mash the beans and quinoa together, and add the spices, flour and olive oil.

Step 3: Put some oil in a frying pan, shape 4 patties from the mixture, and fry them for about 5 minutes per side, until golden brown.

Step 4: Drain the patties on a paper towel, and man they are delicious! 

You seriously need to try this. I put a patty on a slice of whole wheat bread with baby romaine and grilled bell peppers. Seriously, try it!