Tag Archives: Quinoa

Quinoa Meatballs!

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Who doesn’t like a good meatball?  Well I’ve always been a big fan of them– on top of my spaghetti, in my meatball subs, and even in my movies (“Wedding Singer”).  They are just so good!  I’ve tested a bunch of vegan and gluten-free meatball recipes, but for a while, I wasn’t a fan of any of them.  One day, though, I serendipitously came up with an idea for a new meatball while I was making veggie burgers. I thought to myself, ‘hey- this mixture would make a mean meatball’.  The next day, I made the veggie patty recipe again, and instead of forming patties, I formed them into meatballs.  They were perfect!  I love their sturdy texture, they hold up in my sauce quite nicely, they taste good and they are also packed with lots of protein, fiber and warming foods.  With a good marinara, these meatballs are a winner! (Also, you can use this mixture to make burger patties, too!)

Quinoa Meatballs

Time: 45 minutes

Servings about 40 meatballs

V. GF, GFV, DF, SF, SRF, CFNF, NF

 

Ingredients

2 cups water

1 cup quinoa

3 garlic cloves, finely minced

1 onion, finely chopped

1/4 red pepper, finely chopped

3/4 poblano chile pepper, deseeded and destemmed, finely chopped (can sub with 4 jalapenos)

3 cups spinach, finely chopped

2 stalks of celery, finely minced

2 small carrots, peeled and minced

1.5 tsp celtic or Himalayan sea salt

1 tbsp of cumin

1/4 tsp + cayenne pepper

1 cup oat flour

 

Directions

1. Cook, drain and cool quinoa in filtered water.  Meanwhile, prepare the rest of the ingredients.

2. In a large sauté pan, over medium heat, add the onion, garlic, bell pepper, pasilla pepper, celery, and carrot and cook until onions are translucent.  You do not need any oil to sauté this mixture since the water from the onions and other veggies will seep out and will help cook the rest of the vegetables.

3. Add the salt, pepper, cumin, spinach and quinoa. Stir well and cook for an additional 3 minutes.  Remove the pan from heat and add the oat flour.  Stir well until everything starts to bind together and the mixture cools.  If it doesn’t bind together right away, add filtered water, a tablespoon at a time, at most 3-4 tablespoons.

4. Disclaimer: I recommend using gloves, or just have a slice of lime handy afterward because the hot peppers can burn your hands. Rubbing your hands with lime can help alleviate any burning.

Using your hands, form the mixture into meatballs, using 2 Tbsp of the mixture per meatball.

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5. Heat a large pan over medium heat (I recommend cooking on a non-stick pan) with 1 tablespoon of oil or use non-stick cooking spray (I use coconut cooking spray) to prevent sticking to the pan.  Brown all sides of the meatball.  Alternatively, brown them in shallow bath of oil on medium heat and remove when browned.  Drain on a paper towel.

6. Add the meatballs into your cooked marinara sauce, top your pasta with meatballs, or stuff your sandwich with meatballs.

Makes 40 meatballs.

Note: This mixture can also be used to make burger patties! I usually make a few patties to freeze or to enjoy the next day. :)

 

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Quinoa Pizza

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When making pizza, I normally use the crust recipe from Kimberly Snyder’s Beauty Detox Foods book. Kimberly’s pizza crust recipe yields delicious medium-thick pizza dough and serves about 3 people.

Most recently, I have been wanting to make a crust with fewer ingredients. I began searching online for quinoa pizza crust recipes.  In my quest for a quick and easy recipe, I found that most of the recipes required the quinoa to be soaked for 8 hours, but I didn’t have that much time.  So, I put on my thinking cap and created this pizza crust recipe together.

I’d describe this pizza crust as thin and crispy. I love it because it’s a personal pizza and it’s not too big. This recipe is packed with protein (from the quinoa) and fiber (from the oat flour)!

If you try making this, I hope you enjoy the simplicity, nutrients, and crispiness as much as I do!

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Quinoa Pizza Crust

Serving Size:  One 6-inch pizza (good for one person)

Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:

1/4 cup uncooked quinoa

1/2 cup filtered water

1/2 cup oat flour (can substitute sorghum)

1 tsp coconut oil

1 tsp oregano

1 tsp garlic powder

1/16 tsp 100% pure Stevia powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/8 tsp sea salt

2 shakes of cayenne pepper

1+ Tbsp water

optional: sriracha, other herbs like rosemary, thyme and parsley, chopped

Pizza Toppings of your choice.  Here is a list of pizza toppings I enjoy on my pizza: pizza sauce, 1/4 onion/shallot, 1/4 cup red bell pepper, crushed red pepper, mushrooms, basil, jalapeno, crushed cashews or cashew cream (which resembles cheese).

 

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

2. Place 1/4 Cup of quinoa, a dash of sea salt and 1/2 Cup filtered water into a small saucepan.  Cover. Bring to a boil. Once it comes to a boil, turn down the heat to a simmer. Keep covered.  The quinoa should cook about 15 minutes or until fluffy.

3. Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper or a silpat mat.

4. In a small mixing bowl, combine the remaining ingredients then add the warm quinoa. Mix and mash together with your hands until it forms a dough. If it’s too dry, add a tsp of water at a time until the dough comes together. You don’t want it crumbly, but at the same time, you don’t want it too wet. The dough should just come together.

5. With wet hands, flatten the dough onto the lined sheet tray and into a round, 6-inch disc; about 1/8″-1/4″ thick.

6. Bake for 10 minutes, when it becomes a bit golden. Flip it. If you have trouble flipping, try using 2 spatulas so it doesn’t break, and bake for another 10 minutes (other side should also be a bit golden). This is necessary so your crust holds up to the sauce and toppings.

7. Remove the sheet pan from oven and place pizza sauce and toppings of your choice onto the crust. Place back into the oven for 10 more minutes and voila! You have pizza on a crispy quinoa oat crust!  To be extra careful, use 2 spatulas to lift the pizza onto the plate.  Usually though, my pizzas are crispy enough that one spatula works just fine.

I hope you enjoy it! Bon appetit!

 

 

 

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Quinoa Veggie Burgers

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In the early 90’s, my mom used to make the best burger patties.  She grounded her own beef, chopped up some garlic, added onion and carrots, spiced them up somehow, and pan fried them.  When it was time to eat, she called us over to the table and served the patties with rice and ketchup.  They were so good!

In the 90′s, my mom learned that turkey was better for our health.  So instead of using ground beef in the burger patties, my mom bought already grounded turkey.  It was still very good.

Fast forward to today.  After learning about the effects of animal protein in our bodies, the treatment of animals in factory farms, and the environmental impact of meat production, my husband and I no longer eat meat of any kind or consume any animal products or animal byproducts.  As a result, we look and feel better.  However, I have to admit, we still crave an occasional burger.  Thankfully, these veggie burgers satiate our cravings.

Peyman and I enjoy the flavor of these quinoa veggie burger patties very much. Serve along with my 2-minute oat/flax bread and enjoy with dijon mustard, onion, tomato, dill pickles, and lettuce.  You can also eat these in collard greens, in a wrap, on top of a green salad, or on top of pizza.  You can even make these into meatballs.

Give this recipe a try.  I’m sure you will enjoy it as much as we do!

 

Quinoa Veggie Burger Patties

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Makes about 10 – 12 patties

Ingredients

2 cups water

1 cup quinoa

3 garlic cloves, finely minced

1 onion, finely chopped

1/4 red pepper, finely chopped

3/4 poblano chile pepper, deseeded and destemmed, finely chopped (can sub with 4 jalapenos)

3 cups spinach, finely chopped

2 stalks of celery, finely minced

2 small carrots, peeled and minced

1.5 tsp celtic or Himalayan sea salt

1 Tbsp of cumin

1/4 tsp + cayenne pepper

1 cup oat flour

 

Directions

1. Cook, drain and cool quinoa in filtered water.  Meanwhile, prepare the rest of the ingredients.

2. In a large saute pan, add onion, garlic, bell pepper, and poblano pepper, celery, and carrot and cook until onions are translucent.  You do not need any oil to saute this mixture since the water from the onions and other veggies will seep out help cook the rest of the veggies.

3. Add the salt, pepper, cumin, spinach and quinoa. Stir well and cook for an additional 3 minutes.  Remove pan from heat and add oat flour.  Stir well until everything starts to bind together and the mixture cools.  If it doesn’t bind together right away, add filtered water, a tablespoon at a time, at most 3-4 tablespoons.

4. Form the cooled mixture into patties with your hands, about 3 inches in diameter.

5. Heat a large pan (I recommend cooking on a non-stick pan) to a high temperature to prevent sticking and coat with 1 tablespoon of oil or non-stick cooking spray (I use coconut cooking spray).  Saute each patty on both sides until firm and browned and serve!

As I mentioned earlier, these are really good with the 2-minute oat/flax bread, with some dijon mustard, onions, pickles and tomatoes.

You can also eat these in collard greens as a wrap, on top of a green salad, or to top a pizza with.

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I hope you enjoy them! :)

 

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Quinoa Kale Salad

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While reading Kimberly Snyder’s blog post last week, I was inspired to eat kale salad.  That same day after I had my hair done, on my way home, I noticed a cute little restaurant tucked within a busy street corner — Sage in Echo Park (Los Angeles).  While in my car, I read the yelp reviews, which were great… so I stepped right in.  Sage is a vegan, organic, raw restaurant. Normally, I’d be scared to walk into a place like this, but many reviews said they don’t compromise on flavor, which, thankfully, they were absolutely right about.

At 1:30pm, it was still bustling with patrons.  I had a seat, asked my server what he recommended and he pointed out his favorites in all of the sections of the menu.  Since I’d read Kimberly’s blog post about kale salad, I decided to go with the recommended Goatless Greek Quinoa Kale Salad.  It was a tad saltier than I expected, but nonetheless delicious. I left Sage that Friday afternoon, full and satisfied.  Then I got home and jotted down some notes about my experience.  Usually when I really enjoy a meal, I go back the next day.  I like to really savor food and keep long-lasting memories of a meal I loved so much fresh on my mind and palette. The next day, after we spent the day at Peyman’s parents’ house, we went to Sage for dinner.  Yep, I liked it that much. Peyman was a little apprehensive about it at first, just like me, but was surprisingly pleased after dinner.  We’d arrived at 8:30pm, a peak time for dinner.  There was a waiting list of 10 parties before us.  They, however, had outdoor seating with heating lamps, and we were so hungry that we decided to just take the little table outside that no one wanted: right across from a graffiti laden van.  Service was attentive and quick, and the food was delish!  During dinner, Peyman observed masses of hipsters walking in and out of the restaurant and said, “This place is a gold mine”. I agreed.  I thought it was definitely a diamond in the rough, being in a pretty sketchy part of town.

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The next day, Sunday, I had a gathering at our place with my girlfriends to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.  In keeping with the St. Pat’s theme, I made a chocolate stout cake and a green cake with chocolate, mint and pistachio.  I also provided fruit for my friends, while they brought wonderful components for our huge, delicious feast.  I’m sorry to disappoint you, but it was a cheat day for me!  After the day was through, I felt blessed and very grateful to have thoughtful friends with such good taste in food.

On Monday, I got back on track with clean-eating and with the memory of Sage still fresh in my mind, I created a kale salad for Peyman and I to eat for dinner.  First I watched Kimberly make her Dharma Kale Salad, then I applied a similar technique of breaking apart the kale and smashing the avocado into the kale as a dressing into my own salad.  I incorporated some ingredients I liked in Sage’s kale salad.  We liked it so much, I made it for my sister the next day for lunch and she liked it so much she made it the following day for her family.  She said, though, that my measurements were a little off (her’s came out a little differently).  But as with any recipe, I told her to taste, and season or add things as you make it.  I tried my best to get a more accurate measurement of the ingredients, below.

Here it is.

Quinoa Kale Salad

Yields 2 large servings

Time 20 minutes

 

Ingredients

1 head of Kale, stem removed

At least 1/8 teaspoon of sea salt

2-3 tomatoes (about 1 cup), diced

1 avocado, diced

1 gala Apple, diced

1/4th onion, diced small

1 tablespoon flaxseed

1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds

1/4-1/2 cup quinoa, cooked

About 1/4 cup  or small handful of walnuts, toasted (toasting optional) and roughly chopped (toast in a 300 degree oven for about 8 mins..or until fragrant or until they taste yummy)

2 tablespoons of dried cranberries

At least 3-4 shakes of cayenne pepper, depending on how much of kick of heat you like in your food

1 whole juicy lemon

1/4 cup Cucumber, chopped (optional)

Directions

Click here, to see a demonstration on how to massage kale with sea salt and avocado.

1. Wash greens well. Remove the kale stems and save them for later – to be used for a green juice or shake.

2. Add kale leaves and salt to a large bowl. With clean hands, tear the kale into bite-sized pieces while massaging salt onto the leaves.  This will sort of tenderize the leaves.

3. Add remaining ingredients.

4. With clean hands, toss the salad, while massaging the avocado onto the kale leaves. Toss, toss, toss.

(No oil is required because the avocado is the fat.)

5. Season to taste. If you think it needs more salt, add more salt or try adding some seaweed or dulse for less sodium. If you want it spicier, add more cayenne.

6. Toss. Serve and enjoy.

 

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