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).

 

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.)

 

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.

Dinosaur Kale Salad

Dino-what? As perplexed as the checkout people at the grocery store were, the two names I knew to look it up under were Dinosaur or Lacinato Kale and they couldn’t find it. Oye…few minutes later a checker sprinted back “Tuscan Kale”. Alrighty then, this yummy dark leafy green has 3 names. It’s also one of my favorite new things to eat in the following salad. Thanks to MommaPea over at Peas & Thank You for turning me onto this fabulous idea!

Dinosaur Kale Salad
appetizer
2-4
 
Discovered and loved this kale from Peas & Thank You. A simple citrus Dijon dressing on this slightly bitter chewy green is delish. I eat the entire bowl in two sittings. Yum.
Ingredients
  • 2 bunches of Dinosaur/Lacinato/Tuscan Kale
  • 3-4 Tbl Dijon mustard
  • 1 lime (or lemon)
  • Olive oil
  • Honey
  • White wine vinegar (optional)
  • Nutritional yeast (optional)
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Nuts/Seeds (Sunflower Seeds, Pistachios, or Pine nuts)
Instructions
  1. Wash the kale and tear off the leaves leaving any very thick stems behind (save for smoothies or juicing). Briefly dry with kitchen towel or spin in salad spinner.
  2. In the bottom of a large mixing bowl, add juice from citrus, Dijon, drizzle of Olive Oil, Squeeze of Honey, S&P. Splash of vinegar & Nutritional Yeast if using.
  3. Add Kale leaves, use hands to mix well. Taste, adjust dressing ingredients as needed (if too bitter add more honey etc.)
  4. Sprinkle with seeds or nuts. Yum!

Check out Peas & Thank You’s version here.

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.

 

Quick Fix: Chickpea Veggie Saute

Super quick, super yummy vegan supper. Say that five times fast.

Good, you’ll already have dinner ready!

Quick Fix:Veggie Saute
entrée
1-2
 
A quick fix supper or lunch when you're craving a little cheesey-ness. Daiya mozzarella is the only non dairy "cheese" that actually tastes like, melts like, browns like cheese. It is made from tapioca root but magically tastes like mozzarella. Go figure.
Ingredients
  • ½ Onion, sliced
  • 2 cups Broccoli, bite size
  • Handful Mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 Zucchini, diced
  • Garlic Salt
  • ¼- 1/2 cup Chickpeas
  • Daiya Mozzarella, ¼ cup
Instructions
  1. Heat pan over medium high heat
  2. Spray with olive oil
  3. Add Mushrooms, saute until beginning to brown
  4. Add all other veggies, sprinkle with Garlic Salt
  5. Throw in chickpeas, stir to combine, Saute until all browned and tender crisp
  6. Sprinkle Daiya mozzarella over top, brown in oven if desired

 

Caramelized French Onion Soup

This vegetarian take on French Onion soup builds on the flavors of slowly caramelized onions in a balsamic reduction. I used the picture from my award-winning caramelized onions because sometimes food disappears fast around here.

Caramelized French Onion Soup
entrée, Appetizer
4-6
 
The optional ingredients are wine (just add more water) and cheese, omit if vegan. You can use a veggie bouillon cube and water in place of the veggie stock.
Ingredients
Caramelize Onions
  • 4-6 onions, sliced thinly
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ cup good dark balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
Finish Soup
  • flour
  • 2 bay leaves
  • thyme, salt & pepper
  • red wine (optional)
  • 6-7 cups water or veggie stock (or mixture of the 2)
  • slice of organic cheese, Gruyure or Swiss (optional)
Instructions
  1. Spray your pot with olive oil, add onions and garlic.
  2. Cook over medium-low heat until begin to color a bit.
  3. Add balsamic and brown sugar.
  4. Stir to combine, reduce heat to low and let caramelize, stirring occasionally, 30-40 minutes.
  5. After dark, golden brown, add wine and bring to boil. Reduce to simmer and let reduce about 5 min.
  6. Add 2 tbls of flour and stir to coat. Cook over low heat about 10 min. (This will thicken the soup a bit).
  7. Then add bay leaves, teaspoon of thyme, S&P, ½-1 cup wine and 6-7 cups water.
  8. Let simmer for 15-20 minutes, then check taste, and re-season with thyme and S&P as needed.
  9. If using cheese, place slices over oven proof mugs or crocks filled with soup in oven and broil until browned and beginning to crisp.
  10. Serve with warm baguette for sopping up tastiness.

 

Oh, look. There's a dog in my soup mug.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Brazil Nut Parm

We l-o-v-e Brussels. We have even made our friends obsessed. Try preparing them this way (even if you don’t do the nut topping) and you too will be a Brussels believer.  

 

 

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Brazil Nut Parm
Side
 
Ingredients
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Olive Oil
  • Brazil Nuts
  • Garlic
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400
  2. Rinse Brussels, remove any bad leaves.
  3. Cut in half, put on sprayed cookie sheet.
  4. Spray with olive oil, salt & pepper well.  Flip them once after 10 minutes.
  5. Remove Brussels from oven when edges browned and crisp (about 20-25 minutes)
  6. In food processor or blender place handful of Brazil nuts, 1 garlic clove and pinch of salt. Process until fluffy like Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle over Brussels Sprouts.

 

Quick Fix: Barley Stew

This dish is warm and comforting and a quick fix if using pearled barley, or ready in an hour if using hulled/whole barley. Perfectly suited to enjoy steaming in a mug….

 

 

Quick Fix: Barley Stew
5-6
 
Feel free to sub whatever veggies you have, broccoli would be a great. I had a box of quick cooking Barley which makes this recipe come together in much less time. However, whole barley or hulled Barley is a much better choice nutrition wise, packed full of fiber and other important nutrients. If you have the time (1 hr) go with the real stuff.
Ingredients
  • 2 Garlic cloves Minced
  • 1 Onion Minced
  • 2 carrots chopped
  • 1 Zucchini chopped
  • 1 Yellow Squash Chopped
  • Mushrooms chopped
  • Green beans (frozen or fresh)
  • Spices (Rosemary, Oregano, Salt & Pepper, Red pepper flakes)
  • 4 cups Water
  • 1½ Cups Quick cooking Barley (Pearled that has been steamed & dried like oats)
Instructions
  1. Saute garlic & onions until brown, add rest of veggies.
  2. Brown slightly, add spices (start with tsp. if not sure amount).
  3. Add water & Barley, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover.
  4. If using quick barley, check in 8-9 minutes (45 min. for hulled/whole barley),Taste, add more seasoning if needed (i.e. is it bland? Add few more tsp.at a time of herbs., stir, taste again).

 

 

 

Quick Fix: Roasted Veggie Fusilli Bake

This is a quick, one pan pasta dish.  Roast your veggies, dump sauce over them and stir in cooked pasta. In less than an hour you’ll have a bubbly, browned dish, ready for your family or to share with a new mommy (Macaria : ).

4.0 from 1 reviews
Quick Fix: Roasted Veggie Fusilli Bake
entrée
4-6
 
Quick Pasta Bake, use whichever of the veggies you have on hand Prep: Veggies cleaned & diced, Pasta Boiled
Ingredients
  • Diced eggplant, mushrooms zucchini, and or yellow squash, about 3-4 cups (1 eggplant+2 squash)
  • Olive oil, S&P
  • Whole Wheat Penne or Fusilli pasta
  • Jar of sauce
  • Mozzarella Cheese (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
  2. Place veggies in olive oil sprayed baking dish (9''), Salt & Pepper
  3. Roast for 20-25 min.or until tender
  4. Prepare pasta al dente (2 min. under cooking time)
  5. Dump drained pasta and sauce into baking dish, stir to coat ( optional: Add mozzarella)
  6. Bake about 15 minutes or until bubbly and browned, yum!