Tag Archives: quinoa

Two Grainy Lunches

Quinoa and Couscous are currently tied for my favorite grains, and they recently made bases for two veggie-packed lunches.

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Couscous with roasted pumpkin, zucchini, roasted pine nuts, and olive oil. Easy, filling, vegan and nutritious.

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Quinoa Quiche. This had quinoa, eggs, green peppers, tomato, and a cheesy sauce based on nutritional yeast. If I re-make this, I’m going to go with spinach instead of green peppers – I was just out at the time.

I like eating grains for lunch if I’m going to exercise after work, which has been the case pretty much every day recently. Six days of exercising in a row gets pretty exhausting, so the least I can do is feed myself a filling lunch.

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Racing the Clock

Tonight was all about cooking multiple meals at once. I’m not sure why I was so motivated to stock the fridge with prepped meals. Now that I’m back to my cooking routine, I find that I can’t wait to get into the kitchen after work. It’s somehow relaxing to chop vegetables and assemble new recipes after long days of meetings and desk time.

The reason I had to race the clock even more than if I was just making a bunch of meals was that I also want to get in a 3-mile run (which I still have to do after writing this). So, without further ado, here are tonight’s meal creations:

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This is a super easy and quick pasta dish. I layered the pan with uncooked whole wheat pasta, marinara sauce/water, frozen peas, cottage cheese, goat cheese, and salt and pepper and baked it at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Leftovers for tomorrow’s lunches included!

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Then, I made a pumpkin curry with a quinoa and brown rice mix base. For the curry, I used half an onion, 3 cloves of garlic, 1/2 cup of almond milk, 1.5 cans of pumpkin, 2 heaping teaspoons of curry powder, salt & pepper, as well as some chopped walnuts and sunflower seeds for garnish. This is a good sauce! Awesome vegan alternative to cream-based curry, and way less heavy on the stomach. Again, this gave me some good leftovers for meals later this week.

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This is an awesome dessert – I mixed a frozen banana, 1/3 cup of almond milk, 2 table spoons chia seeds, 2 graham crackers, and 5 Trader Joe’s dark chocolate crisps and put them in the blender. Then I used additional graham crackers for dipping.

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So dinner was a bit unusual, since I served two entrees plus dessert. Dave had just been watching a competitive cooking show while cleaning up our camping gear, so he joked that he felt like he was being asked to sample and rate each dish. He liked them all. We were both especially impressed with the pumpkin curry sauce.

After dinner, I decided to make one more dish. For this purpose, I peeled and chopped my first ever butternut squash.

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Thank God for Youtube, but it still took me about 15 minutes.

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The cubes are now in the slow cooker, submerged in almond milk. I’m planning to end up with a vegan cheesy sauce for a pasta casserole, so stayed tuned for the results.

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Camping at Black Moshannon State Park

This past Saturday, Dave and I took our first couple’s camping trip since moving to PA. This is a little surprising considering Dave used to camp on the regular during his years with Boy Scouts. His Eagle Scout skills definitely go under-used these days, but we’re hoping to change that. He has a lot to teach me, from setting up a tent in a reasonable time-frame to building a fire to packing the right gear.

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We got to the camp site around 3 p.m., went for a hike, and got back just in time to get the fire going before it got dark.

It was in the low 40s even during the day (I don’t know how low the temps dropped at night), so the fire was necessary. I don’t know if it’s Dave’s Oregon-ness, but he didn’t really feel that it was very cold, while I was freezing the entire time. Sitting by the fire was my favorite part. Once it gave off enough heat, we could star thinking about dinner.

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The first course was Jewish Cinnamon Maple Whiskey Challah. Our friend brought it to a party we went to on Friday night and gave us some of it to take camping. It was absolutely delicious. He has since sent me the recipe and I hope to try making it sometime soon.

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The second course was a quinoa/potato salad with dried cranberries and roasted pine nuts. Not your typical camping fare, but a good idea since it didn’t need to be refrigerated and was hearty and filling.

For dessert, we had some dark chocolate before getting to my favorite part:

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Spiced apple cider made by holding a kettle directly over the fire from a piece of wood. 

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We enjoyed the cider while I read out loud from a book we’ve been reading together since April. It was so nice. This sounds lame and cliche, but I really never feel like I am unplugged from technology anymore and there is rarely space in my head to do some good old reading from an actual book. Being in nature with nobody but Dave and away from phones and laptops made me so much more receptive to the story. 

I was cold during the night despite about 5,000 layers and a mummy bag. This was mostly due to my lack of an inflatable pad. Overall, I really liked the experience though, and we’re kind of thinking of a two-day backpacking trip for the spring to see if that’s something we would enjoy doing together. Until then, I will stick to my heated apartment and soft mattress!

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Quick Weeknight Dinner

Stuffed vegan peppers were one of my prepped meals this week. Well, actually, they made for several prepped meals, both for lunch and dinner.

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They keep well in a tupperware container im the fridge and are delicious hot or cold. The quinoa and black beans are a powerful protein combo that fills me up, and the cilantro and spices make for a satisfying to-go meal. Perfect for a busy lifestyle.

You can get creative with stuffed peppers and pretty much load them with whatever you want/have on hand.

My meal prep marathon on Sunday has seriously made my week so much easier. There is so much going on at work that I’m just beat when I get home. Tonight, I plan to refresh myself with an easy run around the neighborhood, eat a quick, prepped, nutritious dinner, and curl up on the couch with a book. Happy Hump Day!

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Goat Cheese for the Win

Ahh, I was working away at my desk this morning, thrilled as ever about the new job situation. My new, sad challenge is to give up on coffee. My obsession with it has gotten the best of me, and I think my liver will thank me if I look for alternatives to get my work-day fixes. It’s a sad, sad resolution.

But now I have black tea! And soon, my first home-made batch of Kombucha. This one is also a sad challenge in a way – I was spending way to much money on the prepared stuff. I’ll write a post on the home-brewing process soon!

Anyways, here I was, working away, and what was nice about the absence of coffee was that I didn’t have a sudden drop in energy and a sudden huge increase in hunger once the caffeine wore off. I did supplement with two cups of black tea this morning because let’s be real, I’m going to need something, but the effects were a lot milder. My big withdrawal days were Saturday and Sunday, so the worst is behind me.

This all resulted in me not even needing a mid-morning snack. Around 11:45 a.m., I got very hungry though, so I finished up my review of online non-credit program research and got out my packed lunch.

It was goat cheese time!

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The spinach salad contained some quinoa (left-overs from my cooking marathon last night), halved cocktail tomatoes, balsamic vinaigrette, and tons of crumbled goat cheese. Wow, did this combo hit the spot! I could eat crumbled goat cheese every day and never get sick of it I think! Also, I think it’s funny that quinoa has not yet been adopted into Microsoft’s standard vocabulary, so my text program underlines it in red whenever I write it. Shows what a trendy, new-agey food we’re really dealing with here 😀

The banana that followed was a nice stomach-closer (not a word). Now to embark on a Monday afternoon full of meetings!

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Vegan Stuffed Peppers

This is a winner-dish all around. Unlike many vegan dinners, it filled me up and also did exceptionally well as a left-over lunch.

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Nom, nom, nom. Here is the recipe. The stuffing is quinoa and black bean based. It also contains some healthy spinach and tomatoes, as well as great herbs and spices. I added some Daiya Cheeze on top, which was not part of the recipe, but I would highly recommend it. 

It doesn’t get healthier and more satisfying than this. A wonderful addition to any weekly menu and they keep well in the fridge for left-overs.

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“What in the World Are You Eating?”

I ventured into the world of quinoa for breakfast this morning. That was mainly because I had leftover quinoa from last night’s dinner, which was this:

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Looks appetizing, right? It was quinoa, kale, and sauerkraut with a sauce made out of sunflower seed butter, red pepper, almond milk, and nutritional yeast. I liked it, but Dave thought it was absolutely disgusting due to the nutritional yeast. He hates nutritional yeast and I knew this, but chose to ignore it. He has now officially requested never to have to eat it again, so I will begrudgingly enjoy it by my lonesome in the future.

That said, the dish really must look disgusting because when I was eating it for lunch today, the VP in charge of our department walked by and asked “What in the world are you eating?” in bewilderment. “Ummmm, sauerkraut, kale and”… was my response, and then “it’s very healthy.” Not sure the man has ever heard of half of the ingredients, so I chose to spare him the details.

Anyways, back to today’s breakfast.

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My usual oatmeal combo with quinoa instead: quinoa, a fried egg, avocado, and nutritional yeast. Got my brain going for our daily morning German lesson. I also love grapefruit for breakfast, but haven’t had it much at all recently. Today I did, obviously.

My lunch run was so fun because the weather was amazing and perfect and all the glorious adjectives you want to use for 60 degrees and sunny when it’s April and everything is blossoming. I did intervals and listened to Turkish music.

When I got home, I was starving, but we wanted to play tennis before it got dark out. There was not enough time to make the Daiya casserole I wanted to make, so Dave creatively saved us and made a citrus salad.

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It had lettuce, avocado, grapefruit, and a dressing made from olive oil, grapefruit juice, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. It was perfect because it kept my stomach from eating itself but wasn’t to heavy to play tennis right after eating it.

The score of tonight’s game is so embarrassing, but I’ll share it anyway: 15:2 for Dave. There were a lot of sad spins around myself without actually hitting the ball, so Dave had plenty of opportunity to ridicule me. Now I am eager to start weekly Sunday volleyball with our friends because that’ll be his payback 🙂

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April 26, 2013 · 9:09 pm