quinoa

Detox Winter Vegetable Quinoa Bowl with Cranberries + Pumpkin Seeds

roasted veg

I feel quite sorry for brussel sprouts, they have a hard life. First off, they are a hugely love/hate food and brussel sprout haters seem to feel strongly about these poor green vegetables, like there’s hatred there!! The other reason why I feel sorry for brussel sprouts is they only come out once per year for a little christmas festivity + are generally always just a token at the dinner table. I propose we grow more and eat more sprouts outside of the festive season and secondly to promote the poor brussel sprout to something other than a side to a piece of meat. Don’t get me wrong, I like a side of sprouts, especially dipped in ketchup (is that wrong?) but I just think we’re selling them short that’s all. There are endless ways to celebrate sprouts and get more involved.

roasted sprout quinoa salad

How about a winter vegetable quinoa bowl?

Hail to brussel sprouts in curries, stir fries, roasted vegetable dishes, veggie skewers, salads and vegetable hash. They are versatile little buggers.roasted veg sprout quinoa salad

These are a super dietary form of vitamin and mineral antioxidants which helping to address chronic and excessive inflammation, they provide fantastic cardiovascular support with their powerful cholesterol lowering properties and being super detoxing they’re ideal for the excesses of the holiday season. But don’t wait ’til any holiday season to enjoy the deliciousness. Have this now and detox the tasty way!

quinoa sprout veg

Winter vegetable quinoa bowl with cranberries + pumpkin seeds

(serves 2)

2 cups brussel sprouts, cut in half
2 cups butternut squash, cubed
2 cups chestnut mushrooms, cut in half
1 red onion, chopped into segments
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt + pepper
2 cups cooked quinoa
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup dried cranberries
herbs + lemon juice for dressing

method:

1. Preheat oven to 200ºC. Prepare vegetables + spread evenly on a large baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil, season + roast for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven when softened + starting to brown.
2. Add the quinoa, pumpkin seeds + cranberries to a large serving bowl. Fold through the roasted vegetables, add a squeeze of lemon + adjust the seasoning.
3. Serve dressed with extra seeds + cranberries.

Vegan Frittata with a Quinoa Crust

vegan quinoa frittataSometimes only tofu will do. I have a love hate relationship with the stuff, it’s the whole soya ‘is it bad for you or not’ thing but occasionally I just want it cos I like the stuff and it really does make the perfect egg substitute in this frittata. The rare occasions I cook with tofu I’m always sure to use organic stuff too. It’s pretty versatile and makes a fantastic egg substitute too and more randomly a super chocolate mouse.vegan kale frittata

Better than traditional egg based frittata and omelette. Honest.A slice of frittata

The creamy yellow ‘egg’ mixture is delicious, it looks more than taste like eggs but in a good way. The miso, nutritional yeast and mustard give a cheesy, nutty deep flavour that beats egg hands down. It really does. I had some leftover quinoa for a sturdy base/crust which is a really nice addition to an otherwise light snack. This vegan frittata is super quick and not too dissimilar to an original egg based recipe – fry off your chosen veg, mix up the egg mixture and throw it all together before baking. Easy really. This frittata has no saturated fat or cholesterol either. There’s so much kale in here there’s easily a serving per person, in fact this dish delivers 3/4 servings of veggies to each person. I love a happy ending. vegan kale frittata

A super charged plant powered frittata.

Delicious hot or cold, for lunch or breakfast and super tasty the next day!vegan kale frittata

Vegan frittata with a quinoa base

2 cups cooked quinoa
1 flax egg (1 tablespoon flax: 3 of water)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, sliced
1 red pepper, chopped into small pieces
2 small chilis, chopped finely
4 mushrooms, sliced thinly
100 grams kale, torn into pieces
1 cup broccoli florets, broken into very small florets
handful coriander, roughly chopped

‘egg’ mixture
1 package firm organic tofu (362 grams)
1/2 cup almond milk
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
2 teaspoons miso paste
1 teaspoon English mustard
2 teaspoons corn starch
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 200ºC. Grease a 10″ springform baking pan + set aside. Combine the quinoa + flax egg thoroughly + press down to form a crust in the greased baking tray. Bake for 15 minutes.
2. Meanwhile gently fry the onions, pepper, chili + mushrooms in the olive oil for 10 minutes until softened. Add the kale, broccoli + coriander + contine to cook for a further 5-10 minutes. Turn off the heat.
3. Add all the ‘egg mixture’ ingredients to a blender + blend until smooth. Combine the vegetables + ‘egg’ mix well + spread evenly onto the quinoa crust. Bake for 4o -50 minutes, checking half way through. Allow to cool for 30-45 minutes before removing from the baking pan.

Mocha Quinoa Truffles (GF + Vegan)

mocha quinoa trufflesI need chocolate. Everyday. I love chocolate in all it’s raw, unprocessed and darkest glory. I think we all need chocolate, it’s good for the soul. Seriously. A bowl of mocha quinoa balls

“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.”

Charles M Schulz

See, this man is sooooo right. Love + chocolate = just perfect. Definitely a cup of coffee too. Or even some mocha quinoa balls!Making mocha quinoa balls

When I fancy some sweet in my life I go to these delicious chocolate, walnut and coffee infused balls of goodness. An immediate snack that’s so amazingly yummy but shockingly good for you, like really, eat these mocha quinoa bites for good health. Yes, real chocolate is good for us, always has been and always will be – dark and unadulterated cocoa. So thankful.A loada balls

The great thing about and date/nut balls are they’re beyond adaptable, just see them as your sweet, nurturing, flexible and friendly snack. Any nut would work, the quinoa can be subbed for oats, more nuts, almond flour, coconut flour, if you don’t like mocha then ditch the coffee, if you hate chocolate…….only kidding, who doesn’t like chocolate, right? You get the point though – put in what the hell you want and bust some serious balls. Mocha quinoa balls

I used quinoa to pack these out and up the protein content as I had a little left over from lunch and they added a nice nutty texture but brown rice would also be good. Have you noticed how there’s never ever, like never ever any leftover chocolate? Strange……

These sweets/truffles/power balls/bites are truly free. Free from dairy, soy, gluten and processed sugar. Enjoy the purest and loveliest of plant goodness.

Easy recipe for mocha quinoa balls

Mocha quinoa truffles

(makes 16 balls)

1 cup dates
3/4 cup walnuts
1/2 cup cooked quinoa
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 tablespoon maca
1 tablespoon espresso/coffee powder + 1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt

Combine the ingredients in a food processor + pulse to a dough. Scrape down the sides + redistribute if necessary.
Make 14-16 balls, place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes + enjoy straight away or store in an airtight container for later.

Pinto Quinoa Burger (GF + Vegan)

pinto quinoa burgerLeisurely run, lazy delicious breakfast, taking time over coffee, reading, movies, cooking, walking, a sneaky massage, eating and just general relaxation………yep, my perfect weekend. The simple things are the best, like peace, quiet and down time. This includes taking time over lunch with a pinto quinoa burger, cos let’s face it this isn’t gonna happen for a mid-week day time meal and right now there’s no chance of grabbing one of these bad boys in my local fast food joint. Not yet. pinto quinoa burger

Weekend lunches are always infinitely better, much longer, more social and just generally extra yummy. Come on, who has the time to make a burger like this for a weekday lunch? There’s an idea – let’s make triple next time, freeze them and hey presto- a delicious dirty mid week lunch. Yes thank you.pinto quinoa burger

This is one big dirty, eye-crossing pinto quinoa burger and believe it or not, it’s OK to pick up and eat, really. The addition of cashew cream and chipotle sauce takes this stack of deliciousness to a whole new level. Delicious and finger lickin’ messy. I told you it’s dirty. But I like dirty. pinto quinoa burger

D’ya know what else is great? Plant based burgers like this pinto quinoa gem are never bad for you, always packed full of goodness and dripping with health. There’s no way you can make a plant powered burger unhealthy, it  really is very hard to do. This pinto and quinoa burger is high in protein and fibre rich, it contains zero saturated fats, no sugar whatsoever, is low in sodium, great for blood sugar regulation and immensely satisfying. Feel good food is what this is. pinto quinoa burger

I’ve long been a veggie burger obsessive and am always looking for new ways to jazz them up but sometimes you just wanna plain, straight up, no frills ‘go to’ burger and this one ticks my boxes. A crunchy outside texture, creamy and mushy inside and an unbeatable mexican smokey flavour. Definitely one of my favourites so far. Luckily, there’s no such thing as too many burgers so I’ll keep going with the veggie burger trials cos a decent burger is hard to beat.pinto quinoa burger

I reckon these are at their best with some lovely salad, a sauce or dressing that makes you smile and a delicious gluten free bun like these quinoa rolls from Waitrose.

pinto quinoa burger

Oh, don’t eat this in front of somebody you are trying to impress….just take my word for it. You’re welcome.

What’s your ideal weekend?pinto quinoa burger

Pinto Quinoa Burger

(serves 2)

1 can pinto beans, drained (1 can=240 grams)
1 flax egg (1 tablespoon flax + 3 of water)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
small handful coriander, chopped finely
1/2 cup cooked quinoa
2 tablespoons oat flour (sub with any flour)
salt + pepper to taste

2 burger buns + tomatoes, lettuce, onion, cashew cream, chipotle sauce or whatever your heart desires

Method:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 200ºC. Add beans to a bowl + mash with a fork so that some beans are still visible. You can use a food processor too, but I find crushing with a fork allows greater control over texture.
  2. Once mashed down, add the remaining burger ingredients + combine fully to form a large burger dough.
  3. Divide the mixture into 4 + form into burger patties. Place on a greased baking tray + bake for 30 minutes.
  4. Slice buns, add burgers + dress to the nines with salad, pickles + cheese.

 

Courgette & Quinoa Pizzas – GF

Courgette & quinoa pizzasThis isn’t strictly ‘pizza’ pizza but honestly, it’s just as tasty with a courgette base and of course it’s healthier. I didn’t know what to write in the title post – courgette or zucchini. I’ve always been a courgette person although zucchini is infinitely nicer sounding so I may even swap teams! It ‘s always interesting to see where others fall too, the same with aubergine/eggplant, coriander/cilantro and turnips/swedes. I witnessed a full blown argument with the last two, over whether it was indeed  a swede or a turnip. It was definitely a swede but needless to say I stayed well out of it! I don’t even think it’s an American / English thing either as I’ve heard British people say zucchini and friends from the States have a preference for courgette. Anyway, it’s just one of those things that fascinates me, same goes for you say tom-ay-to, I say tom-ar-to, I say pot-ay-to, you say pot-ar-to! It’s probably just me but I love all these little differences and preferences in life. Courgette & quinoa pizzas

Names and titles aside, these are neat little low carb pizzas with a good protein kick and 2 servings of vegetables. Sometimes you just want a lighter meal and these are the perfect way to lighten up. Pizza would work equally well in aubergine, mushrooms, beef tomatoes but I think courgettes (I mean zucchinis!) are pretty ideal and there was an abundance at the market this week. They’d be really tasty with some fresh baguette or pitta bread if you’re looking for a more substantial meal. We had them with some leftover spelt buttermilk bread which was really nice. These are super easy and can be made ahead of time for a quick grilling before teatime. Courgette pizza process

Any cheese would be nice but mozzarella is a an ideal choice as it turns stringy and pizza like under the grill. The quinoa gives the stuffing a pleasing texture but also boosts the protein which along with the cheese makes a protein rich dish.Courgette pizzas with cheese

Are you in team courgette or team zucchini?

‘Zucchini’ & quinoa pizzas

(serves 2)

2 large courgettes, hollowed (see pictures)
1/2 red onion, chopped finely
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes
1/2 teaspoon sugar
salt & pepper
1/2 can chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup cooked quinoa
1/2 cup mozzarella, grated
handful chopped olives

Method:

1. Cut the courgettes in half and scoop out the insides. Put innards aside and place courgettes on a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil & bake for 15 minutes at 180 ºC.
2. Lightly fry onion, garlic & courgette innards, adding the herbs and seasonings after 5 minutes followed by the tomatoes and cooked quinoa.  Simmer for 10 minutes.
3. Remove courgettes from the oven and fill the courgettes with the tomato quinoa mix. Dress with mozzarella and chopped olives. Place under a hot grill for 5 minutes or until cheese is bubbling and stringy.

Quinoa, Coconut & Blueberry Granola – GF & Vegan

Quinoa & blueberry granola

I was lucky enough to travel Peru last year and over the course of several weeks I ate my own body weight in this grain, what with daily helpings of quinoa cereal, quinoa soup and quinoa veggies! Needless to say, it was a tad overload and me and quinoa went on a break. Clearly this was just a temporary hitch because we’re now back in business, as we should be because this really is a super amazing whole grain. Just 1 cup of  this cooked inca grain has more than 8 grams of protein and to me that’s pretty good BUT there’s more. Not only is the protein content impressive, it’s the type of protein that really gives this grain the winning edge. Quinoa (like chia seeds!) has the perfect balance of 9 amino acids and is therefore a COMPLETE protein, like the type found in meat. I make a point of arming myself with these lovely facts in answer to the  well meant ‘but where do you get your protein from?’ queries! But it’s OK, quinoa is just one of many super protein sources available to vegetarians – I really like this post by ultraman Rich Roll on his top 7. Posts like this just reinforce how amazing a plant based diet is, it really does provides us with everything we need and much more.DSC_5877

Not only is quinoa is a vegetarian’s best friend, it’s pretty versatile stuff too.  If you can cook rice, you can cook quinoa and like rice, it can be a breakfast, lunch or dinner. This super grain of the Incas is perfect for porridge, veggie stuffing, planting in salads, on it’s lonesome or as a base of crunchy, sweet, nutty granola. Quinoa granola works particularly well and it can be put together in a jiffy for a week’s worth of protein jacked breakfasts. The coconut oil and honey add a sweet smooth flavour to the clusters and allow the quinoa, oats and nuts to form a light crisp texture, kind of granola-esque!Granola ingredients

This cereal is packed full of healthy fats, protein and fibre, providing a satisfying and low GI start to the day. Adding fresh fruit will ramp up the vitamin and mineral content and fortified nut milks will give a calcium boost too.  Delicious served with ice cold milk, on oatmeal, yoghurt or simply on it’s own from the jar.Granola & banana

Quinoa, coconut & blueberry granola

(6 servings)

1 cup uncooked quinoa
1 cup gluten free oats
1/2 cup dried blueberries
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup desiccated or shaved coconut
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup coconut oil
3 tablespoons honey or maple syrup

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 180 ºC. In a large bowl combine all the ingredients except coconut oil & honey.
2. Melt the coconut oil & whisk in the honey. Add this to the large bowl & combine all the ingredients until thoroughly coated.
3. Place the mixture on a large baking tray and place in the middle of the oven for 25 minutes. Turn clusters over mid way through baking taking care not to over brown.

Note: If using larger sized nuts it’s advisable to add these at the start followed by smaller nuts & seeds half way through the total baking time for an even bake. The total bake time may need to extended by 5-10 minutes.

Quinoa Salad Bowl with Cumin & Lime dressing – GF & Vegan

Mexican quinoa salad ingredients

Lunchtime salad

Lunch is my least favourite meal of the day. It’s usually a sandwich on the run, occasionally second rate canteen food, it can be a second breakfast (I know, not necessarily a bad thing) or worse still, I have no time for lunch. That’s why I like working from home. I can make lunch, I can take the time to enjoy my lunch and I don’t pay inflated prices for a simple but healthy midday meal. Russ has the right idea, he buys a job lot of ingredients at the start of the week and makes lunch at the office.
DSC_5610My body will thank me for it. Our bodies will be thankful for it. This colourful quinoa salad is bursting with protein, healthy fats and antioxidants…wait a minute, this is really the perfect midday pick me up. I love quinoa and avocado (together is best) especially with a drizzle of this mexican inspired dressing.

Salad is so underrated, it has the ability to actually be one of my favourite meals. A huge, superfood laden, bulging, hearty dressed up salad. Oh, black beans, it’s too late but the next salad will have black beans, that will really complete it. Salad is a bit like lego, you can just keep building, using a variety of colours and the possibilities are endless. Of course salad tastes much better than lego!Avocado and quinoa salad

Now I’m thinking about holidays, Mexico specifically. Well it is my second favourite cuisine and I can’t believe I still haven’t been….and I have to go, to get truly inspired, to expand my mexican mealtime repertoire (it’s really very small) and of course hit the beach. Anyway, build this quinoa salad bowl on the day or the night before. I will be.

I always eat with chopsticks but that's another story!

I always eat with chopsticks but that’s another story!

Quinoa salad bowl with a cumin & lime dressing

(serves 2)

2 cups cooked quinoa
2 ripe tomatoes, chopped
1 green pepper, sliced finely
1 avocado, sliced
2 heaped tablespoons sweetcorn
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1 small red chilli, chopped & desseded if you wish
handful fresh parsley (or coriander), roughly chopped

for the dressing:

1 lime, juiced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon cumin
salt & pepper twist

Method:

Assemble the salad ingredients in a large bowl.  Whisk the dressing ingredients thoroughly. Drizzle generously & enjoy.

Note: If, like me you will be making this the night before then I’d advise to keep the dressing in a separate container ready for when you plan to eat.