Miso Roasted Brussels and Quinoa Miso Ginger Salad

Long time no post! Sorry, I have been having a block on what I want to share with you guys. Then I decided I just needed to start sharing something, right?

I have been struggling to not eat junk food all the time (darn you holidays!). Getting back to proper portion sizes and not eating a ton of processed foods, has been a challenge! This one is a hybrid of a couple different recipes. The roasted Brussels, helped scratch that crispy fried food itch I have had, while still being mostly healthy. Quinoa has been my sub for starchy pasta or rice, and it is way more filling, which has helped with portion sizes.

I hope you all have been well, and happy new year!

Miso Roasted Brussels and Quinoa Miso Ginger Salad

Based on recipes by Bon Appetit and In Fine Balance

Quinoa

  • 1 1/2 cups rainbow quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 1/2 cups water

Combine quinoa and water into a pot (with a tight fitting lid). Bring to a boil, cover and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes. Remove pot from heat, and let stand for 5 minutes, covered.

Once the 5 minutes are up, fluff with a fork.

Brussels Sprouts

  • 1 pound of Brussels sprouts, dark leaves removed, and halved
  • 1 teaspoon light miso
  • 3 teaspoons water
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce (or tamari, for a gluten free option)
  • 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil, plus more for serving

Preheat oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Dissolve miso in water, whisking until there are no more clumps. Add in soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, maple syrup and sesame oil.
In a large bowl combine prepared Brussels sprouts and glaze. Scatter Brussels sprouts on baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 20-25 minute or until they are browned and caramelized, tossing halfway through.

Dressing
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon white miso
  • 2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • Pinch of ground white pepper

Whisk together all ingredient until well combine (or blend them in a Nutribullet).

Assembly

  • 1 carrots, grated
  • 2-3 green onions, diagonally sliced

Toss carrots with cooked quinoa and dressing. Top with the miso roasted Brussels sprouts and green onions.

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Quinoa Chili

It has been cold and snowy here in Colorado. What better way to warm up than chili?

Quinoa Chili

Recipe based on a recipe by Two Peas & Their Pod

  • 1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, diced
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 (15 oz) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15 oz) can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (28oz) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (15 oz) cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder, depending on your taste
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste

Toppings: green onions, vegan sour cream or plain yogurt

In a medium sauce pan, combine the quinoa and water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and cook quinoa for about 15 minutes. Set aside.

In a large pot, heat the olive oil over high heat. Add the onion and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, jalapeño, carrot, celery, and pepper. Cook until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.

Add the black beans, garbanzo beans, tomatoes, and tomato sauce. Stir in the cooked quinoa. Season with chili powder, cumin, salt, and black pepper. Simmer chili on low for about 30 minutes.

Top with sour cream or yogurt and green onions.

Quinoa, Edamame and Corn Salad with Sesame Dressing

Since it has actually been pretty darn cold here in Colorado, all I have wanted to do when I get home for work is cuddle up on the couch with the pets and watch movies. This recipe is great for one of those nights. All you have to do is cook some quinoa and some veggies, toss with the dressing and you have a warm, nutty and fragrant meal.

The sesame in this really warms it up. It brings a ton of flavor and really ties everything together. The sesame seeds bring some extra flavor and a little crunch. I used edamame and corn, but you could really use any extra veggies you might have in the fridge. I think some sautéed kale would be awesome in this as well.

This dish could really be used as a main, or a great side.

Quinoa, Edamame and Corn Salad with Sesame Dressing

Salad

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 2 cups shelled edamame
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen corn
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • salt, to taste

Dressing

  • 3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar (regular vinegar would work too)
  • 1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile, whisk together all dressing ingredients in a bowl.

Boil edamame for 3 minutes and then add corn. Cook for an additional 2 minutes. Drain in a colander, and rinse with cold water. Drain well.

Combine quinoa, edamame, corn, dressing and toss. Add in sesame seeds and salt. Toss again and enjoy.

This salad can be eaten warm (which I prefer) or cold.

Quinoa Salad with Cilantro and Dill

I admit it, I have a love affair with dill. Something about its flavor just makes my mouth water. I am a huge fan of dill pickles and an even bigger fan of dill pickle soup (here is a link to one of my favorite recipes for Dill Pickle Soup, you can easily sub vegan versions of the animal products).

Anywho, this recipe kind of came out of a couple different things. I needed a dinner/lunch that was cheap, easy and healthy. One of the ways I save money on my food bill is using what I already have at home. That way, I only need to go to the store to grab a couple things. Quinoa is a good pantry basic to have around. I also recommend having a couple cans of beans. Add some frozen corn and some fresh herbs and you have this salad. Delicious and healthy lunch, dinner or even a great side dish!

*This salad can easily be changed to what you have around the house. I think it would be a great way to use up vegetables from the garden.

Quinoa Salad with Cilantro and Dill

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1/2 cup sweet corn (fresh or frozen)
  • 15 oz can black beans
  • 1/2 a red onion
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • pinch organic unrefined sugar
  • salt and pepper
  • small bunch finely chopped dill
  • small handful finely chopped cilantro

Rinse quinoa in fine mesh colander and transfer to a pot. Add 1 1/2 cups of water to the quinoa. Bring to a boil, cover and then gently simmer until all the water has absorbed, about 15-20 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.

While quinoa is cooking finely dice the red onion. If you’re using fresh sweet corn, take it off the cob using a knife and blanche the kernels for a few minutes. If using frozen, place them in a bowl, cover with freshly boiled water, drain and rinse (I like the crunch the raw frozen corn gives, so you don’t have to blanch the corn). Drain and rinse black beans. Set all ingredients aside.

In a clean empty jam jar, add the mustard, sugar, salt and pepper, vinegar, lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, dill and cilantro. Screw the lid on tightly and give it a vigorous shake.

Add vegetables to the quinoa and carefully mix through all the ingredients. Pour over the dressing and give it a gentle, coaxing stir. This salad can be eaten chilled or at room temperature.

Lentil Quinoa Pilaf

I was reading “Complete Nutrition: How To Live In Total Health” by Dr. Michael Sharon, the other night. This book truly helped me realize how important protein is to the body. I also learned you have to be eating a complete protein (meaning a protein containing all the amino acids) for your body to properly absorb and use the protein. Now this is easier for people that choose to eat meat and animal products, but is still possible for people on a plant based diet. We just need to be conscious of this when we choose meals to consume. Sometimes this can require taking supplements, but you should speak with a doctor first before deciding to do so.

This recipe is a delicious way to get some protein in your diet. It makes great leftovers as well. I added broccoli to mine, but you could switch up the veggies to your taste.

*Side note: I haven’t read all of the book mentioned above, but so far I would highly recommend it!

Lentil Quinoa Pilaf

Based on a recipe by Everyday Vegan Girl

  • 4 green onions, sliced thinly, divided into white and green pieces
  • 2 garlic clove, minced
  • 2/3 cup red lentils
  • 1/3 cup rainbow quinoa
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 large lemon, sliced thinly
  • 1 bunch broccoli, cut into florets
  • 1 generous pinch saffron

In a medium sized pot, over medium heat, saute white halves of the green onions and garlic, for approx 2-3 minutes.

Add the lentils and quinoa, and cook for 1 more minute.

Add the vegetable broth, turn the heat down to low, cover the pot and simmer for 15 minutes.

Add the lemon slices and broccoli to the pot, recover and cook for 5 more minutes.

Remove from the heat. Mix in saffron, recover the pot and let sit for 5 more minutes.

Remove lemon and garnish with the remaining green onions before serving. You can also sprinkle some hemp seeds on top for some extra nutrition.

Quinoa, White Bean And Kale Stew

Picture from VeganMeals.com

So lately I had noticed I was always feeling tired. I am normally a night person. But in the past couple weeks I have been exhausted by 8pm. I thought it might have just been because I had a lot on my plate and was over stressed. But when the fatigue became worse, I started to wonder if something was wrong.

I know some common issues with vegetarians/vegans can be protein and iron deficiencies. I was pretty sure I was getting a good amount of protein, but I realized I probably wasn’t getting enough iron in my diet. I looked up symptoms for iron deficiency and many of the symptoms fit. I decided to bump up my iron levels both with a multi-vitamin (I should have been taking this anyways) and introducing more dark leafy greens into my diet. I have since felt much, much better.

This just reinforces that listening to your body can be really important to your health. When you just aren’t feeling right maybe it is time to look at your diet or time to go see your doctor. I do plan on going to the doctor soon to get my blood tested to make sure I can getting all the vitamins and minerals I need.

This recipe is a delicious way to get in some protein and iron.

Disclaimer: If you are feeling like something is wrong, I encourage you to go to the doctor. Your health is invaluable. 

Quinoa, White Bean And Kale Stew

Based on a recipe by VeganMeals.com

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 cups thinly sliced leeks
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large carrot, diced medium
  • 1 medium parsnip, peeled and diced
  • 8 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 1/2 lbs Yukon gold potatoes, diced medium
  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • 15oz can white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 bunch kale, washed, rough stems removed and torn into bit sized pieces

Herb blend:

  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seed (if you are not a big fan of fennel, I would replace this with another herb, the leftovers can gain an intensified fennel flavor)
  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • black pepper, to taste

Preheat a 4 quart soup pot to medium heat.

Sautee the leeks, garlic and a bit of salt, for three minutes. Add the parsnip, carrot and the herb blend and turn the heat up higher and sauté for 5 seconds.

Add the quinoa, potatoes and the vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium and cook for fifteen minutes until the potatoes and the quinoa become tender.

Add the beans and the kale, stirring frequently. Cover & simmer on low temperature for five minutes. Check for salt level and enjoy.

Sweet Chili Lime Tofu with Steamed Collards and Quinoa

I was orignally going to wait on this post but due to a car accident this morning (picture below), I have an unexpected day off. I wasn’t hurt or anything. And the damage to my car was pretty minimal (I think) in comparison to the other cars involved. However for some reason it did make me crave a big greasy burger. I guess I am just used to comforting myself with food. Instead, I am thinking I will just munch on the yummy leftovers from this recipe.

Anyways, I have most defiantly become a fan of quinoa. I have been looking up some vegan recipes and inspired blogs. I found this yummy recipe from Vegan Yum Yum. I actually meant to follow this recipe, but I totally spaced grabbing mint last night when I was at the grocery store. So I will list the recipe with the mint, but just know it is really tasty without it if you aren’t a big fan.

There are a bit more steps to this recipe than my previous posts, but don’t let that scare you off. It was all really easy. And I was able to make everything in about an hour.

Sweet Chili Lime Tofu with Steamed Collards and Quinoa

Based off the recipe by Vegan Yum Yum

  • 1 Block Tofu, extra firm, 14 oz

Sweet Chili Lime Sauce

  • 3 Tbs Sugar
  • 3 Tbs Reduced Sodium Tamari (or soy sauce)
  • 1 3/4 Tbs Fresh Lime Juice
  • 1/2 Zest of the Lime
  • 1/2 tsp Red Chili Flakes (or 1-2 fresh hot chilies, minced)
  • 1 Clove Garlic, pressed, optional
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 4 Mint Leaves, chiffonaded

Quinoa

  • 3/4 Cup Quinoa, rubbed/rinsed in cool water, drained
  • 1/2 Zest Lime
  • 2 Bruised Cardamom Pods, optional
  • 1 Tiny Stick of Cinnamon (I didn’t have sticks, so I used 1/8 teaspoon ground)
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1 1/3 Cup Water

Wok Steamed Collards

  • 1 Bunch Collard Greens, middle veins removed, washed (I just grabbed a bag of collards washed and ready to use)
  • 2-3 Tbs Water
  • 1 Pinch Salt
  • 1 tsp Lime Juice

Combine all the ingredients for the quinoa in a pot that has a tight fitting lid. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for 20 minutes, then turn off heat. Do not open lid. Let steam for 10 minutes before serving.

Prepare the sweet chili lime sauce by whisking all of the ingredients together until the sugar and salt is dissolved.

Drain tofu and cut it into small triangles. I slice the block into 8 rectangles, then each rectangle in half to make two squares per rectangle. I cut each square diagonally to make four triangles per square.

Heat a well-seasoned cast iron or non-stick skillet over medium heat. A 10″ skillet will fit all the tofu, so if you’re using a smaller skillet, you’ll need to do this in batches. In order to properly “dry fry” the tofu, you’ll need a pan the tofu won’t stick to even without any oil.

Spread the tofu out in one layer in the pan. Using a spatula, press the tofu. The liquid will squeeze out and boil away, and the tofu will begin to turn golden. The more water that evaporates, the sturdier the tofu will be, so be gentle at first to prevent the tofu from breaking up. After about 5-8 minutes, flip the tofu over and press the other side. After about 10 minutes of dry frying, you can turn off the heat and set the tofu aside for finishing later, or proceed to adding the sauce. (You might want to set the tofu aside before finishing in order to to prepare the collards)

To finish the tofu, bring the pan back up to temperature if it’s not already very hot. You want to heat the pan and the tofu over high heat, making sure the tofu is hot all the way through. Add the sauce and stir to coat the tofu. Turn off the heat. The sauce will bubble up, reduce, and form a glaze. If it isn’t bubbling up and forming a glaze, turn the heat back on high and cook until the glaze forms.

Add collards to a hot pot/wok with the water, lime juice and salt. Cover with any lid that will contain the collards and cook over high heat for 3-4 minutes until the collards are steamed and tender (I ended up having to do this in 2 batches, which required a couple more tablespoons of water).

For plating, arrange the collards atop of a bed of quinoa. Don’t forget to remove the cardamom pods before serving. Add tofu over the top, drizzling any leftover sauce over the dish. Garnish with lime slices and mint leaves. Serve.

My car isn't pictured, but gives you an idea how much fun this morning was.