Quick Fix: Roasted Veggie Quinoa

One thing I love about my best friend is our constant texts throughout the day…dogs, horses, sometimes our men, (Mars/Venus!) and of course, food. “Whatcha makin tonight?” is a common one. In the winter we can both eat our weight in roasted Brussels Sprouts so when I answered the standard question with “I’m not sure yet…something with Brussels?” She said add the Quinoa and with the idea sparked, this super simple, delicious winter recipe was made.  I’m thankful for the ideas we bounce off of each other and especially being able to stay in touch across the country through something we both love, food.

Quick Fix: Roasted Veggie Quinoa
Main, Side
4-6
 
Nothing says comfort to me like a big bowl of roasted winter vegetables. Thrown together with some nutrient and protein rich Quinoa, and you've got a simple and healthful dish ready in under an hour.
Ingredients
  • 1 bag of brussels sprouts (2 lbs), cleaned and halved (cut off stem end, rinse, cut in half)
  • 2 cups cut carrots (make similar size to Brussels)
  • 1 package tofu, drained
  • balsamic vinegar
  • Braggs or Soy Sauce
  • Maple Syrup
  • 1½-2 cups dry Quinoa
  • 1 cube veggie bouillon
  • Olive Oil
  • Garlic Salt
  • Pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400
  2. Spread prepared Carrots and Brussels on a baking sheet sprayed with olive oil
  3. Sprinkle generously with garlic salt & pepper, shake pan or use spatula to mix
  4. Bake about 30-35 minutes,shaking the pan halfway through.
  5. Cut the tofu in half lengthwise, put in a baking dish, pour about ¼ cup Soy sauce, ¼ cup Balsamic vinegar and a drizzle of maple syrup in the dish. Stir to combine and spoon over tofu.
  6. Stick in oven with veggies for same time.
  7. You want the veggies fork tender and a nice caramel brown. The tofu will be browned as well.
  8. At the halfway point, start your Quinoa (it will take about 12-15 minutes).
  9. Rinse Quinoa well, then add water and bouillon cube (1 cup Quinoa to 2 cups water)
  10. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover until water is absorbed and white spirals have emerged in grain.
  11. Throw Quinoa and roasted veggies in a bowl,cut tofu into bite size pieces and add. Drizzle with olive oil.
  12. Taste and adjust seasonings (more garlic salt & pepper, olive oil).

 

Old Bay Zucchini Bean Cakes

You'll have to bare with me since there's no picture yet to accompany this delicious 'burger'/cake but just trust us and make it, its crazy good!
Old Bay Zucchini Bean Cakes
Entree
8-10
 
Our Eastern shore heritage had us craving crab cakes this summer. So we created these zucchini & chickpea cakes to satisfy our Old Bay tooth. If you pan fry them at the end they get the yummy crust and keep a moist interior just like the real deal.
Ingredients
  • 2 large zucchinis (about 4 cups) shredded
  • 2 cups cooked garbazno beans, mashed
  • 2 scallions/green onions
  • 11/2-2 cups whole wheat panko bread crumbs
  • 1½ tbl dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp vegan worcestershire sauce
  • 5 tsp Old Bay seasoning
  • 3 tbl vegan mayo (vegenaise etc)
  • juice of 1 lemon
'Tartar-Cocktail Sauce'
  • Vegan mayo
  • Chopped Pickles
  • Ketchup
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Fold together your shredded zucchini, mashed beans, chopped scallions, 1/1/2 cup bread crumbs, mustard, worcestershire, Old Bay, mayo and juice of a lemon.
  3. If too wet to form patties, add a little more bread crumbs.
  4. Pour more breadcrumbs in a dish.
  5. Form mixture into patties (8-10), and coat sides in panko breadcrumbs from dish.
  6. Place on lightly sprayed cookie sheet, bake about 15 minutes to remove some of the moisture.
  7. Pan fry in a little oil until golden brown.
  8. Drain on paper towel, serve with pickles, toasted bun or on a salad and "tartar-cocktail sauce"

 

Lime & Avocado Quinoa Salad

I would love to take the credit for this one, but I found the base for this recipe in the magazine “Extraordinary Health”. So so yummy. I have a hard time not eating this one right out of the serving bowl…

Lime & Avocado Quinoa Salad
Side
4-6
 
This is a delicious and light summer dish, perfect for a picnic or a bbq by the pool. Leftovers are awesome wrapped in a nori sheet or a scoop on top of your veggie burger.
Ingredients
  • 1 Cup Quinoa, rinsed well
  • 2 tomatoes (or 5-6 small Campari), diced large
  • 1-2 avocados, diced large
Dressing
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • sprinkle cayenne pepper
  • 1-2 minced garlic cloves or heavy sprinkle garlic powder
  • 3-4 tbl. lime juice
  • ½ red onion, diced
  • salt & pepper
Instructions
  1. Add Quinoa to the bottom of a saucepan over medium heat, stir until toasted.
  2. Add 2 cups boiling water, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Let Quinoa cool.
  3. Put dressing ingredients in serving dish, add cooled Quinoa, toss until coated.
  4. Carefully toss tomato and avocado to incorporate.
  5. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes, taste, adjust seasonings (add more cayenne/salt etc.)

 

Cowgirl Beans Chili

I heard a while back, coworkers discuss making chili and how it would take all day in the crockpot to get just right. Now don’t get me wrong, I love the crockpot (especially for my refried beans) but … I also want to be able to create a fantastic comforting meal within an hour of getting home from work.

Done and done.

Cowgirl Beans Chili
Entree
6-7
 
You can have a steamy bowl of comforting chili ready in less than an hour! If you prep your veggies ahead of time- have the garlic, onion and peppers in one bowl and zucchini & mushrooms in another, you could have dinner ready in 40 minutes. Don't feel married to the ingredients maybe you don't have zucchini but have a sweet potato or aren't sure which peppers you like yet. Use what you have and experiment to find your taste with spices and peppers.
Ingredients
Veggies
  • spray oil
  • large chopped onion & 2 minced garlic cloves
  • peppers (2 bell, & 2 of a spicy: jalepeno/poblano/serrano OR chipotle in adobo), minced
  • 2 zucchinis cubed
  • 4-5 portobello mushrooms or package of baby bella mushrooms cubed
  • 2 cups corn (frozen or fresh)
Spices
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1½ tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1¼ teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
Tomato & Beans
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes
  • 3 cups black beans (canned rinsed or cooked dried)
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup water
Instructions
  1. Spray your deep pot with oil
  2. Over medium high heat saute your onions, garlic, peppers
  3. Add zucchini & mushrooms saute until browned.
  4. Add corn and spices.
  5. Turn up heat and add tomatoes, beans and water.
  6. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to simmer.
  7. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed, let simmer for about 20 minutes (just enough time to pop your cornbread in the oven and spin your salad!)

 

 

 

2 Quick Fix: Sage Apple vegan Sausage with Gnocchi & Sausage Pretzel Rolls

I’m not usually a fan of faux meat products, but once in a while I crave the texture and flavor of a comfort food like chicken tenders or in this case, pan-fried sausage. Most of the time I love a good panko crusted veggie, fried tofu or crispy eggplant but I must say, Field Roast “sausage” is de-liscious!!
We tried the Smoked Apple Sage – “a savory combination of apples and sage anchored with yukon gold potatoes with a subtle hint of hickory smoke”. We pan-fried it in olive oil and it got super crispy and browned, reminiscent in texture to moms breakfast sausage. In fact, we both “mmm”ed repeatdly. When mixed in with the pillowy gnocchi and olive oil it tasted better than the real deal. Not to mention they are made with all natural (soy-free) ingredients, pack 26g of protein and only 10g of fat:

Filtered water,vital wheat gluten, expeller pressed safflower oil, nonsulphered dried apples,yukon gold potatoes, naturally flavored yeast extract,onion powder, barley malt,garlic, natural hickory smoke flavor with torula yeast, sea salt, spices and rubbed sage.

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2 Quick Fix: Field Roast vegan Sage Apple sausage with Gnocchi; Sausage Pretzel Rolls
entrée
Cuisine: American, Italian
2
 
2 Quick Fix Meals using Field Roast Vegan Sausages
Ingredients
Gnocchi & Sausage
  • Olive oil
  • Package Gnocchi
  • 2-4 links of Field Roast Sage Apple Sausages
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Sage
Pretzel Sausage Rolls with Broccoli slaw
  • Olive oil
  • 2 links of Field Roast Sage Apple Sausages
  • 2 Pretzel rolls or buns
  • 1 package Broccoli slaw
  • Veganainse
  • Salt & Pepper, Garlic Salt
  • Spicy Mustard
Instructions
Gnocchi & Sausage
  1. Add few teaspoons olive oil to medium high heat pan
  2. Slice sausages into bite size chunks, add to pan and cook on both sides until browned
  3. Add package of gnocchi (you don't need to boil first) and more olive oil. Cook until browned. Season all with salt & pepper and more sage if desired.
Pretzel Sausage Rolls with Broccoli slaw
  1. Slaw: Pour Broccoli slaw in bowl, season liberally with salt & pepper, garlic salt, stir in ¼ cup Veganaise until desired flavor & consistency. Set aside. (Can be made 1-3 days in advance)
  2. Add few teaspoons olive oil to medium high heat pan
  3. Add sausages to pan and cook until browned
  4. Split pretzel rolls, lightly toast interior in pan
  5. Pile together, squirt with Spicy Mustard and enjoy

 

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We used Pumpkin Gnocchi this time, and sprinkled a bit of grated Brazil Nuts over top. The next day, we split some soft pretzel rolls and added some pan-fried sausage with a bit of broccoli slaw on top…equally YUM.

Seriously quick pix…they were devoured quickly!

 

We haven’t been this impressed with a store-bought product in a long time. If you’re a plant predator or just looking to cut down on your meat consumption a little, go buy some Field Roast sausages, you will be pleased! (Found in the frozen section next to vegan/vegetarian products like “burger” patties etc.)

Quick Fix: Miso Lime Marinated Tofu Sandwich with Broiled Tomatoes & Avocado

Sometimes you just want a big ‘ole sandwich to sink your teeth into. I also wanted something flavorful enough to stand up to my delicious heirloom tomatoes. We loved the bite of the crisp tofu with the juicy warm tomato and creamy avocado on a toasted kalamata olive roll. This would be great on toasted multigrain bread too!

I was inspired when I saw this picture on Happy Healthy Life.

Miso Lime Marinated Tofu Sandwich with Broiled Tomatoes & Avocado
2
 
Ingredients
  • package of firm or extra firm tofu
  • 1 lime
  • 1½ tbl. miso paste
  • cracked black pepper
  • garlic salt
  • Heirloom tomato
  • Daiya brand mozzarella "cheese" (optional)
  • 2 whole grain rolls
  • ½ an avocado
  • spinach
Instructions
  1. Cut tofu block in half. Press tofu or use a kitchen towel to squeeze them dry.
  2. Whisk juice from lime, miso paste and few turns of cracked black pepper. Smear tofu with paste, heat a pan over high heat and spray with oil.
  3. Sear tofu on each side; (about 1-2 minutes per side) don't move it until it's browned, then flip.
  4. Sprinkle sliced tomato with garlic salt and then broil in oven with cheese (optional).
  5. Toast your rolls.
  6. Assemble with avocado slices and spinach.

 

Thank you so much Kathy at Happy Healthy Life for the inspiration! Yum! Check our her original recipe here.

 

Quick Fix: Fried Egg Polenta Cakes with Spicy Okra & Tomatoes

This came out of a desire to eat some items in the fridge that needed to be used. Honestly, I had never had okra before and was inspired to grab some at the Farmer’s Market to try. According to online foodies, it needed to be thinly sliced right before you cook it and pan-fried super hot to sear in the moisture. The polenta I sometimes buy in the prepared rolls at Trader Joe’s or Wegmans, just slice and brown on each side. We had dinner in under 30 min. and no food went to waste, perfect.

 

 

Quick Fix: Fried Egg Polenta Cakes with Spicy Okra & Tomatoes
entrée
2-4
 
Polenta is made from cornmeal and can be bought in tubes in the produce at Wegman's or in the Italian section of most grocery stores.
Ingredients
  • half a large onion, diced
  • 1-2 hot peppers of choice (or sub mild)
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • Okra, about ½ lb. rinsed and dried in kitchen towel
  • Tomatoes, diced about 1½-2 cups
  • Tomato paste/Ketchup
  • 1 cup veggie broth (or water mixed with veggie bouillon)
  • Polenta
  • Eggs
Instructions
  1. Saute onion, peppers and garlic in a large saute pan with a little olive oil.
  2. Heat a separate saute pan over high heat, add vegetable oil. Slice okra on bias to get longer slices. When oil begins smoking, add sliced Okra in single layer. Let sear, then stir to flip. Total of only 3-4 minutes cooking time.
  3. Add to sautéed veggies, add tomatoes, few tablespoons of tomato paste or ketchup and broth as well. Salt & lots of cracked black Pepper.
  4. Meanwhile slice polenta, spray okra pan with oil and begin browning one side over medium high heat. About 3 min. check for browness/crispness and flip.
  5. Taste Okra mixture, adjust seasonings/more tomato paste, add hot pepper flakes if desired.
  6. Cook eggs over easy when all is done and seasoned to liking. (Crack in medium high heat pan sprayed with oil, let cook until whites almost set and bottom browned, season heavily S&P, flip, turn off heat.
  7. Plate browned Polenta, Okra & Tomatoes and egg on top.

Quick Fix: Black Bean & Avocado Salad with Cashew Sour Cream & (Shetland) Tortillas

This is a great quick supper. I was craving Chipotle after a late Friday work day but decided to whip this up quickly instead. I had recently made the Salsa Verde Enchiladas with cashew sour cream so had black beans and sour cream on hand. I just made some mini Cowgirlbeans tortillas to serve on the side and my craving was quickly quelled.

Quick Fix: Black Bean & Avocado Salad with Cashew Sour Cream & Tortilla
entrée
 
This is a great leftovers meal if you already have the tortillas & cashew sour cream made. Otherwise make the tortillas and whip up some cashew sour cream in under 45 minutes.
Ingredients
  • Romain lettuce
  • Black Beans
  • Avocado, Diced
  • Cashew sour cream
  • Salsa (Trader Joe's Spicy Garlic Chipotle)
  • Tortillas
Instructions
  1. Make dough for tortillas
  2. Let rest while prep salad greens & make Cashew cream (20 min.)
  3. Cut dough into sections
  4. Get out skillet and preheat, slightly roll out dough into fat mini tortillas
  5. Cook dough (or spray already prepared ones with olive oil and reheat on skillet)
  6. Heat up beans
  7. Plate salad, beans, avocado, sour cream and salsa. Serve with Shetland-tortillas.

 

Salsa Verde Black Bean & Sweet Potato Enchiladas with Cashew Sour Cream

You can use store bought tortillas and jarred salsa verde but I promise if you use homemade these will be out-of-this world! Cowgirlbeans Salsa Verde & Corn Tortillas

Salsa Verde Black Bean & Sweet Potato Enchiladas with Cashew Sour Cream
Entree
4-8
 
Ingredient Notes: Salsa verde is usually made with green chilies and or tomatillos. Chipotle in Adobo sauce are delicious red jalapenos that have been smoked, dried and canned in a light tomato sauce. They are smokey, sweet and hot. Start with one chopped in recipes and then add more as you like. They can be found in any grocery in the Mexican section. Cashew Cream: (optional but SO delish. To make you must use raw cashews that have been soaked in water for two hours-overnight. (unless you have a Vitamix which will pulverize anything- no soaking necessary). I didn't measure exactly for the lemon and vinegar- so go scant with each and add more by the tsp. after you taste. You'll know when it's just right.
Ingredients
Enchiladas
  • 1 jar Salsa Verde
  • 10 Corn Tortillas, warmed (if you skip warming they will break)
  • 2 cups cooked or 1 can Black Beans
  • 3 Cooked Sweet Potatoes
  • Chipotle in Adobo Sauce
  • Smoked Paprika
  • fresh Spinach
Cashew Sour Cream
  • ½ cup raw cashews (cannot be roasted), soaked in water 2 hrs. prior
  • juice of ½ a lemon
  • salt
  • 1 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven 350 degrees
  2. Smash sweet potatoes in a bowl, add 1 chopped chipotle in adobo sauce and heavy sprinkle of smoked paprika. Taste, add more of both if needed.
  3. Pour half of the salsa verde in the bottom of a baking dish.
  4. Place a tortilla in the sauce, move around a bit to get saucy, then smear sweet potato mixture down the middle. Add spoonful black beans and spinach.
  5. Roll up and push to edge of pan.
  6. Repeat until fillings are gone and or your pan is full of enchiladas nestled next to each-other.
  7. Pour remaining salsa verde over enchiladas.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes: you want them heated through and the tops of the tortillas browned and crispy.
  9. Serve enchiladas with a dollop of cashew cream and a salad with creamy avocado.
Cashew Cream
  1. Place soaked cashews, lemon juice, pinch of salt and vinegar in blender or food processor.
  2. Blend until thoroughly combined and creamy. Taste, add more of lemon, vinegar or salt as needed.

Sunday Night Supper: Nshima, Greens & Beans

When AJ returned from Africa, we decided to start a tradition on Sunday nights of eating what the people of Zambia eat 3 meals a day (if they’re able). It is composed of 3 things: Nshima (pronounced she-ma) and two “relishes”, usually beans and greens. Nshima is a cornmeal mush similar to a firm grits or polenta. Zambians eat with their hands, scooping the nshima and then dipping into the relishes. The only addition I make to the Zambian traditional meal is a “Makoua*” veggie- sweet potato.

*What the children would yell whenever they saw AJ “white man!”

 

 

On the 10,000 acre farm at Sons of Thunder Mission where he visited, the local Tonga people learn agricultural practices to combat starvation & malnutrition while building self-sufficiency, confidence, pride, and independence. They learn “Farming God’s Way” including training in irrigation, harvesting, storage, and marketing.  Sons of Thunder  also operates a grade school, a clinic/medical ministry, and an outreach program, including evangelism, church planting, and feeding /meeting the needs of the hungry and starving.

 

All parts of  their meal is grown on the grounds, the Nshima is made of mealy meal, or corn ground into a fine flour, greens (AJ thinks swiss chard) cooked with tomatoes and onions and beans cooked with salt. They also grow some different kinds of squash to sell to the local hotels, but they do not in fact eat it themselves. AJ promised to bring me back to show them how to cook the Makoua vegetables! Gladly : )

Sunday Night Supper: Nshima, Greens & Beans
entrée
 
Traditional Zambian Meal
Ingredients
  • Dried Beans
  • Stone ground Cornmeal (2½ cups water+ 1 cup cornmeal = 4-6 servings)
  • Greens (Swiss Chard, Collard Greens, Kale), cleaned & chiffonade
  • minced Garlic & thinly sliced Onions,
  • 1 can diced tomatoes or 2-4 diced fresh
  • Sweet Potato, scrubbed & cut into bite sized pieces
  • Salt & Pepper, Vegetable oil, Water, vinegar (optional)
Instructions
  1. Rinse and cook beans (I use a rice cooker and just a bit of salt to season).
  2. Cook sweet potatoes in a baking dish with some water in the bottom (350 degrees,45 min- 1 hour)
Nshima
  1. Put water on to boil, add cornmeal, stir.
  2. Turn down to a simmer, stir often until thick and smooth (about 20-30 minutes).
Greens
  1. Heat a pot of water to boiling, add greens and stir.
  2. Heat a bit of oil in a saute pan over medium heat, add garlic & onions, saute until fragrant. Let collards boil 5-8 minutes, drain, add to saute pan.
  3. Add a can of diced tomatoes, stir. Let simmer 10 minutes, taste & add garlic salt if needed. This is where I add a big drizzle of Ume Plum vinegar (optional).
  4. To eat, form cornmeal Nshima into patties, use to scoop up the beans, greens and potato.