Has your family participated in Meatless Monday yet? Maybe you’re reluctant to because someone in your family thinks veggies are yucky. Or maybe you’re just perplexed on how to cook up a vegetarian dish that’s filling and will be liked by all family members. That’s why you have to check out the new cookbook by Suzanne Landry, The Passionate Vegetable. Her health inspired recipes promise to revitalize your life whether you’re a vegetarian or a meat lover.
You can tell that Suzanne is a health educator, because The Passionate Vegetable is as educational as it is inspirational. The cookbook includes a simple guide to food nutrition, suggestions for healthy vegetarian meals, transition recipes for the meat lover (love this!), and a guide to remaking your pantry to be healthier and vegetarian friendly. The Passionate Vegetable contains over 145 recipes including breakfasts, salads, soups, grains and bean dishes, and entries, as well as a chapter devoted to meat and healthy treats and desserts. It also features fantastic food photography for some but not all her recipes, unfortunately. Recipes I’m looking forward to making include Ratatouille over Spaghetti Squash and Roasted Fresh Figs with Goat Cheese.
With the weather getting warmer, I’m on the lookout for recipes that require a minimum of cooking and are more on the light side. This recipe from The Passionate Vegetable for California Fiesta Quinoa Salad fits the bill, since you can make it ahead of time in the morning when it’s cooler. Quinoa makes a terrific main dish since it’s an excellent source of vegetarian protein and it’s gluten free. Suzanne suggests adding leftover quinoa salad to scrambled eggs – just before the eggs set hard, add 1/4 cup and give it a stir. She likes this egg and quinoa salad dish for breakfast, but you could make it for lunch or dinner, too!
California Fiesta Quinoa Salad
- 1 cup quinoa, uncooked
- 2 cups water
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 3/4 cup tomato, chopped (1 medium tomato)
- 1/4 cup celery, chopped (1 stalk)
- 1/2 cup cucumber, seeded and chopped (1 medium cucumber)
- 1/2 cup scallions, chopped (4 scallions)
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, cleaned and chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh or frozen corn, blanched
- 1/2 cup cooked black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1/4 cup black olives, pitted and diced (Kalamata are the best!)
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes (or more to taste)
- 2 tablespoon red wine vinegar or 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- Boil 2 cups water and add salt. Thoroughly rinse quinoa in strainer. Place in boiling water, cover, and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook for 20 minutes or until grain is fluffed and water is absorbed. Remove from pot into a large bowl and allow to cool before adding vegetables.
- Slice tomatoes into 1/2-inch slabs and remove most of the seeds. Then cut tomatoes into sticks and crosswise into ½-inch cubes. This will give you evenly sized tomato pieces that won’t get mushy if the salad isn’t eaten right away.
- Cut celery by slicing down the rib in the center of the stalk. If the stalk is large you might want to cut it in thirds. Then cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces.
- Slice cucumber lengthwise into 4 strips and then remove center seeds. Chop these strips into 1/2-inch pieces. Remove root ends of scallions and cross chop into 1/4-inch pieces. Toss cooled quinoa with all remaining vegetables, beans, and olives.
- Mix vinegar, oil, hot pepper flakes, and salt together. Toss lightly with salad. Refrigerate for an hour before serving. This will last 5 days in the refrigerator.
Recipe and picture used with permission.
Here’s another wonderful gluten free recipe the folks at San-J sent me from Amie Valpone of The Happy Apple. It would make a terrific side dish most nights, but is perfect for Meatless Monday as a main dish since quinoa is an excellent source of vegetarian protein – just double the amounts so you have plenty to serve.
Coconut Quinoa Salad
By Amie Valpone of The Healthy Apple
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 2 cups cooked shelled edamame
- 1 (15 oz.) can white beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup finely diced red bell peppers
- 4 button mushrooms, finely chopped
- 1/2 scallion, thinly sliced diagonally
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup shredded coconut
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 1/3 cup San-J Gluten Free Tamari Ginger Asian Dressing
- 1/2 cup roughly chopped cilantro
- 1/4 cup roughly chopped parsley
- 1/4 teaspoon lime zest
- Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
- Cook quinoa according to package directions.
- Meanwhile, prepare the salad by combining edamame, beans, red peppers, mushrooms, scallion, dried cranberries, coconut and carrot.
- Remove quinoa from heat; set aside to cool for 5 minutes. Add cooked quinoa to the bowl of salad ingredients.
- Pour San-J Gluten Free Tamari Ginger Asian Dressing on top; gently toss to combine. Sprinkle with fresh cilantro, parsley, lime zest, sea salt and pepper.
Recipe and photo used with permission. © 2012 San-J International. All rights reserved.
One of the ways I love saving time in the kitchen, especially in the summer months when it’s too hot to cook, is by grilling and making a salad as a side dish. One of my new favorites is this Quinoa Tabbouleh recipe I found in the June 2012 issue of Bon Appetit magazine. Quinoa is a favorite grain (it’s actually a seed) with folks who are gluten free, vegetarian or vegan because it’s a complete protein and contains no gluten. Due to its protein content, you could serve this as a main dish, too.
My family loved this salad, especially my son and husband. I made a few substitutes like using mini heirloom tomatoes from Trader Joe’s instead of cherry tomatoes and zucchini instead of cucumbers due to my food sensitivities. Play around with the recipe on your own. For example, try cilantro instead of parsley, summer squash instead of cucumbers, and dill instead of mint. Make a double batch so you have leftovers for lunch, too.
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed well
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Ground black pepper
- 1 large zucchini cut into 1/4-inch pieces
- 1 (16 ounce) container mini heirloom tomatoes
- 2/3 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh mint, chopped
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- Follow the directions on your box or bag of quinoa to cook up 1 cup. I used Bob's Red Mill Organic Grain Quinoa, which has you bring quinoa, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1 cup water to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Then you reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until quinoa is tender, about 12 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
- Meanwhile, whisk lemon juice and garlic in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in olive oil. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.
- Spread out quinoa on a large rimmed baking sheet. Place in freezer for 10-15 minutes to let cool. Transfer to a large bowl.
- Add zucchini, tomatoes, herbs, and scallions to bowl with quinoa. Add dressing and toss to coat.
- Serving size: 1/6 of recipe
- Calories: 290
- Total Fat: 21g
- Saturated fat: 3g
- Unsaturated fat: 18g
- Sodium: 170mg
- Total Carbohydrates: 24g
- Sugar: 2g
- Fiber: 3g
- Protein: 5g
- Cholesterol: 0mg
Saving time in the kitchen
Having quality appliances is another way you can save time in the kitchen. Believe me, I’m suffering this now in our new home with a horrible 20-year-old stove top with only two burners.
Speaking of time saving, Electrolux induction cooktops and ranges combine the power of gas with the easy clean-up of electric, so you can boil water in just 90 seconds!1 An induction stove top is on my wish list when we do our kitchen remodel. Don’t know what they are? Then watch this video from Electrolux:
What other ways can having the right appliances help you save time in the kitchen?
110" induction burner with Power Boost, 6 qt./10" diameter pot, 1 qt. tepid water
Disclosure: I was compensated for this post as a member of Clever Girls Collective. All the opinions expressed here are my own.
I cannot believe we’re moving to Athens, Georgia in less than two weeks! We’re trying to cut down on the amount of stuff to pack, so the kids and I are in the process of consuming all the foodstuffs we can. That’s why I discovered one last package of venison in the freezer. Surprisingly it was stew meat, which was perfect to make Crock-Pot Hungarian Goulash from Heather of Hezzi-D's Books and Cooks blog for this month’s Secret Recipe Club assignment!
Yes, another slow cooker recipe for the Secret Recipe Club post. This is the third in a row after last month’s Healthy Slow Cooker Hoppin’ John and March’s Healthy Slow Cooker Pumpkin and Bean Chili. Hope you don’t mind, but when you have a small kitchen like I do in my temporary Boulder apartment, a slow cooker comes in handy!
I only made a few changes to Heather’s recipe. To make it gluten free, I used starch instead of flour and served it on quinoa instead of egg noodles. I also used coconut palm sugar instead of brown sugar, sea salt instead of regular table salt, and smoked paprika instead of regular paprika. Feel free to use whatever substitutes you wish depending on your food sensitivities and what you have on hand.
Gluten Free Slow Cooker Hungarian Goulash with Quinoa
- 2 pounds lean stew meat (beef or venison), cut into 1 inch cubes
- 1 onion, sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon coconut palm sugar
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 tablespoon corn or rice starch
- 2 cups cooked quinoa
- Place the meat in a 5 quart slow cooker and cover with the sliced onion.
- Combine the garlic, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, coconut palm sugar, salt, pepper, smoked paprika, and dry mustard. Stir in the water and mix well. Then pour mixture over the meat in the slow cooker.
- Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours. If mixture gets dry, add more water (1/2 cup at a time).
- Just before serving, remove a couple of tablespoons of liquid from the slow cooker and put into a small bowl. Add corn or rice starch and stir until dissolved. Pour starch mixture into the slow cooker and stir until goulash thickens.
- Spoon goulash over quinoa and serve.
- Calories: 412
- Calories from Fat: 46
- Total Fat: 5.1g
- Saturated fat: 5g
- Unsaturated fat: .1g
- Sodium: 681mg
- Total Carbohydrates: 46.7g
- Sugar: 8.5g
- Fiber: 4.5g
- Protein: 41.7g
More from the Secret Recipe Club!
Have you ever cooked with or eaten quinoa? For those of you unfamiliar with it, quinoa is a seed not a grain, though it looks and cooks up like one. It’s high in protein and best of all is gluten free.
- Mango Quinoa Halwa
- Quinoa with Pomegranate Arils and Goat Cheese
- Healthy Chicken Adobo with Quinoa
- Cherry Quinoa & Shrimp
- Quinoa “Fried Rice” with Pork
- Weight Watchers Quinoa Salad
- Quinoa Meatloaf with Sundried Tomatoes
Most of the time I like to have it plain with a little butter and salt or maybe some feta crumbles.
How do you like to cook up quinoa? Let’s discuss at the Udi’s Gluten Free Community or in the chat box below!
Disclosure: As a Udi's Gluten Free Community Leader I'm compensated for my time and efforts on their behalf.
For this month’s Secret Recipe Club assignment, I was partnered with Jayasri of Samayalarai – Cooking is Divine. Jayasri's Indian and lives in the UK, and likes to cook up traditional dishes as well as try out Western ones. I had a tough time choosing a recipe because I wanted to cook up an Indian dish but didn’t want to use ingredients that would be hard for my readers to find. I also wanted to make something that was healthy and her recipe for Mango - Quinoa Halwa in Microwave seemed to be a good choice on both counts.
Halwa is a sweet Indian dish. It’s usually made with lots of ghee (clarified butter) and can be made with carrots, banana, or semolina boiled with milk, almonds, sugar, and cardamom. Jayasri’s recipe used quinoa, which is full of healthy, vegetarian protein and is naturally gluten free.
However, I was puzzled by her microwave directions. Obviously, UK and US microwaves are very different! I decided to make my version on the stove top. I also wanted to health things up by using coconut oil for ghee and coconut milk for cow’s milk, which turned the recipe into a vegan dish. I eliminated calories by using stevia instead of sugar, and didn’t include almonds because of my daughter, Lucie’s nut allergies.
- 1 cup mango pulp (2 mangoes), pureed
- 1 cup quinoa, cooked
- 4 tablespoons light coconut milk
- 3/4 cup Stevia in the Raw
- 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
- 3-4 saffron threads (optional)
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1/4 cup raisins
- Cook quinoa according to package directions.
- Cut and peel the mangos and remove the pulp. Puree in a small food processor or blender.
- Place pureed mango, cooked quinoa, coconut milk, stevia, cardamom and saffron (if using) in a medium sized sauce pan over medium heat. Stir to blend.
- Cook over medium heat, occasionally stirring, until mixture starts to bubble.
- Add the coconut oil. Stir to combine.
- Continue to cook over medium heat until mixture starts to thicken. This should take 10 to 12 minutes. The halwa should be thick like oatmeal and glossy from the coconut oil.
- Add raisins and stir until evenly distributed and heated through.
- Dish warm halwa into small bowls and serve immediately.
- Calories: 354
- Calories from Fat: 178
- Total Fat: 19.8g
- Saturated fat: 15.3g
- Unsaturated fat: 0g
- Sodium: 6mg
- Total Carbohydrates: 40.8g
- Sugar: 12.0g
- Fiber: 4.2g
- Protein: 6.5g
- Cholesterol: 0mg