Category Archives: Recipe

One Pot Mexican Quinoa

This One Pot Mexican Quinoa was totally meant to be.  Let me explain.

1. Over the weekend, I randomly found an unopened bag of quinoa in the depths of my pantry.  I haven’t cooked with quinoa in months, so this was huge!

2. I went a little crazy during my last grocery run and bought a ton of vegetables that we probably could have done without.

3. Vishnu’s schedule is all kinds of crazy right now.  So far this week, he’s worked two 11a-11p shifts and one 7p-7a shift.  And he has one more night shift to go.  It’s a little hard to plan and make meals during weeks like this.  I tend to want to make a big batch of something and just eat it throughout the week/weekend.

The combination of these three things plus a little creativity on my part amounted to a delicious Mexican Quinoa dish that was reminiscent of enchiladas.  YUM!

Quinoa enchilada 3

This dish has it all – it’s full of warm, slightly spicy flavor, several different textures, and a ton of healthy ingredients.  It’s the complete package!

AND if you play your cards right (AKA do a little bit of prep work beforehand) this dish will be ready in ~30 minutes.

Here’s how I made it!

One Pot Mexican Quinoa
Serves 4-6

1 cup quinoa, prepared according to package directions
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium sweet onion, chopped
3 large garlic cloves, minced
2 jalapenos, partially seeded and minced
1 cup cherry tomatoes
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 medium sweet potato, finely diced
12 ounce bottle of enchilada sauce (I’m partial to Trader Joe’s), divided
4.5 ounce can of diced green chilies
14.5 ounce can of black beans, rinsed
Juice of 1 1/2 limes
1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon chili powder
Toppings – avocado, cheese, olives, sour cream, whatever you want!

1. Add the oil to a deep medium saucepan and place over medium heat.
2. Add the onion, garlic, and jalapenos to the pan and cook for 3-5 minutes.  Add cherry tomatoes and red bell pepper and cook for additional 2 minutes.
4. Add the sweet potato, 1 cup of enchilada sauce, and green chilies to the pan.  Cover and allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes on medium-low heat or until sweet potatoes are cooked through.
5. Add remaining enchilada sauce, black beans, lime juice, quinoa, salt, black pepper, oregano, cumin powder, and chili powder.  Mix well, cover, cook for 8-10 additional minutes on low heat.
6. Serve warm with your favorite enchilada toppings sprinkled on top!

Quinoa enchilada 2

What’s your favorite Mexican dish?  It’s so hard for me to choose!  But if I had  to, I would pick enchiladas filled with veggies, beans, and lots of gooey cheese.  With a side of rice, beans, and guac of course!

5 Delicious Meals Lately

I absolutely love sharing recipes and meal ideas on the blog.  But if I were to be honest, recipe posts aren’t necessarily my favorite to write.  They just take so much time between the photographing, the exact measurements, all the detail, etc.  But I do it fairly often because some meals are too good not to share!

While I won’t be outlining exact recipes in today’s post, I thought I’d do a roundup of some delicious meals we’ve had lately.  And I promise I’ll share as much detail as possible!

Avocado toast with feta

Avocado toast with feta

I cut a huge piece of sourdough bread in half, toasted it, and topped it with avocado mash and a little bit of feta.  The avocado mash included 1/2 a small avocado, a little lime juice, and S&P.  So much yum!

Zucchini meatballs, roasted Brussels sprouts, and sourdough toast

Zuchinni meatballs

I made this the other night, and it was D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S!

I made the “meatballs” using this Skinnytaste recipe.  My only changes were to add an extra clove of garlic and two small jalapenos.  A definite must make!  The roasted Brussels sprouts were quartered, coated in a little olive oil, S&P, and a drizzle of maple syrup, and roasted for about 20 minutes at 400 degrees.  The toast is self-explanatory.

Eggy Banana Bread Oatmeal

Banana Bread Oatmeal

I blogged about this last week and had to mention it again because it’s that good!  Comfort in a bowl I tell you.

Veggie and refried black bean enchiladas

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This was totally a semi-homemade meal.  My friend Trader Joe’s helped me out a ton!

The enchiladas were pretty typical – tortillas, refried beans, sautéed veggies of choice, and enchilada sauce.  The “cream” sauce was what took the dish from good to great.  It beats a thick layer of real cheese or sour cream any day!

“Creamy” tomato soup with chickpea croutons

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This soup recipe comes from my Oh She Glows cookbook (one of my favorites btw!).  You can find the recipe here, but I still highly recommend buying this cookbook.  Yes, it’s a vegan cookbook, BUT all of the recipes are hearty, filling, and so flavorful.  Well worth the investment!

Well, that’s all I have for today!  I hope you have a wonderful weekend full of delicious food and lots of laughs. Smile

Tell me about your favorite meal lately!  I could honestly talk about food all day long.

Eggy Banana Bread Oatmeal

I didn’t always love oatmeal.  In fact, I used to be disgusted by the mere mention of it.  In my mind, it was something old people ate.  I loved things like cereal and granola!

Oh how things have changed!  Both Vishnu and I could eat oatmeal several times a week now – breakfast, lunch or dinner.  Sometimes we even crave it!

We aren’t your plain oatmeal with fruit kind of people though.  We like to jazz things up with  peanut butter, chocolate chips, walnuts…and eggs.  Yes, you read that right.  We whisk eggs into our oatmeal.  This is definitely one of those don’t knock it till you try it kind of things!

Eggy Banana Oatmeal 2

Now, I know what you may be thinking.  Adding an egg to hot oatmeal = scrambled oatmeal.  Not the case if you whisk furiously for a minute or two.  And when I say furiously, I mean it!

Vishnu’s idea of whisking involves taking the whisk and ever so gently moving around whatever is in the pan.  That, my friends, will get you scrambled eggs in your oatmeal.  My husband learned that the hard way!

But seriously, when you take quick oats, a mashed banana, a whole egg, plus a few other fun ingredients, you get the perfect eggy banana bread oatmeal.  It’s so good that you will find yourself making it in the dead of summer!

Eggy Banana Oatmeal 1

Think of your favorite banana bread recipe and now imagine it as a thick, creamy, and slightly sweet bowl of oatmeal.  Every spoonful is delicious and comforting.  The egg adds a little extra protein and acts as a thickener.  AND as long as you exhibit some self-control with the toppings, this stuff is healthy!

Eggy Banana Bread Oatmeal
Serves 1

3/4 cup almond milk (or milk of your choice)
1/3 cup quick cooking oats
1 banana, mashed
1 egg, lightly whisked
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon peanut butter
1 tablespoon chopped walnuts
1 tablespoon chocolate chips

1. Heat the milk in a small saucepan over medium heat.
2. As soon as the milk comes to a slow rolling boil, add the oats and mix well.
3. When the mixture starts to bubble, add the mashed banana and mix well.  Cook for 2 minutes.
4. Next, add the egg and immediately begin vigorously whisking the mixture for 1-2 minutes.  [*Have your whisk in hand and ready to go.  Do not let the egg sit in the oatmeal mixture for any amount of time.]
5. Add the vanilla extract and cinnamon and stir until incorporated.
6. Let the oatmeal cook for an additional 1 minute on low heat.
7. Transfer to a bowl, top with peanut butter, walnuts, and chocolate chips.
8. ENJOY!

Have a wonderful weekend!

What are your favorite oatmeal toppings?

Blueberry Banana Muffins

Before I share more about the delicious Blueberry Banana Muffins I made yesterday, let’s recap the weekend:

  • After 7 long months, I finally went and got a professional pedicure.  SO needed!  I even picked a summery shade (Essie Haute in the Heat).  I’ll spare you you a picture of my feet though.  Because the internet does not need any more feet pics! 
  • We had our friends Adam and Khusbu over for dinner on Saturday night.  I made a simple Asian stir fry and Katie’s chocolate chip blondies.  A&K brought the beer and wine.  Speaking of which, if you’re looking for a fruity Pinot Noir, check out Mirassou Winery’s 2012 Pinot.  It was delicious!  As usual, we had a blast eating and talking.  Can’t wait to see them again soon at our friend Sweeti’s wedding in Detroit!
  • I cleaned my little heart out this weekend!  Nothing was spared.  Vishnu didn’t think I’d find much to donate/throw away, but I filled two large trash bags – one with junk and another with clothes/shoes.  I’m hoping my efforts will make packing a little easier.  #alreadytired

That was my weekend in three concise bullet points.

Ok, so about these muffins.  I came across the recipe while cleaning out a recipe folder I’ve had forever (I told you nothing was spared!).  Unfortunately, I have no idea who to give credit to for these tasty muffins.  The recipe I found was handwritten on a scrap piece of paper.  I did end up making a few changes to the original, so I’ll take some credit!  I subbed white whole wheat flour for all purpose, coconut oil for canola, and raw granulated sugar for brown. 

Blueberry Banana Muffins 017  
What you ultimately end up with are light, slightly sweet muffins bursting with juicy blueberries.  Muffins that would be perfect with your morning cup of coffee!  And because they are made with real/wholesome ingredients, there’s no guilt when you decide to eat two instead of one!

Blueberry Banana Muffins 012 

Blueberry Banana Muffins
Yields 12 muffins

1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup raw granulated sugar
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt (I used 2% Fage)
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 ripe bananas, peeled and mashed
1 cup blueberries

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Spray the muffin tins with cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the sugar, oil, Greek yogurt, eggs, mashed bananas, and vanilla until blended.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and ix together just until combined.  Do not over mix.  Slowly fold in the blueberries. 

Spoon the batter (~1/4 cup) into the muffin tins and bake for 18-20 minutes.  The muffins should appear golden brown in color.

ENJOY!

How was your weekend? 
What’s your favorite kind of muffin?

“Almond Joy” Date Balls (Recipe)

I’ve had “make date balls” on my to-do list for the last few weeks. Why the last few weeks? Well, I was missing the key ingredient and kept forgetting to buy it. So, step one – buy dates! I finally remembered to do just that over the weekend. Step two – make date balls! On Monday evening, I rolled up my sleeves and got to work in the kitchen.

Date balls 010

As simple of a recipe as this is, you have to buy the right kind of dates. I’ve made something similar in the past using pre-pitted dates, and the texture was completely different. If you want balls with a Larabar like consistency, you have to buy the dates with pits and then take them out at home. You can find them in the bulk bins section of Whole Foods (where I went this weekend) or even at Costco. Wherever you buy your dates from, just make sure they aren’t already pitted.

One other note – you can easily make this recipe vegan by using dairy-free chocolate chips (I love the Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips). I promise you won’t be able to tell the difference at all!

Date balls 007

Soooo, I call these “Almond Joy” date balls. The quotes obviously mean that they’re supposed to taste kinda sorta like the candy but are a healthier alternative. When I told Vishnu this, using air quotes, he said, “Yeah, saying these taste like an Almond Joy is misleading. They’re really good though.” Air quotes, Vishnu, air quotes!!!

Anyway, I really love these, and so does Vishnu (as evident by a few missing date balls!). Personally, I find these to be the perfect post-dinner treat. And I especially love the taste and texture – sweet but not overly sweet, chewy, nutty, and just plain delicious!

Enjoy!

“Almond Joy” Date Balls
Yields approximately 12 small date balls

¼ cup raw whole almonds
1 cup dates, pitted and roughly chopped
2 tablespoons mini chocolate chips (use dairy-free chocolate to make a vegan alternative)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of sea salt
2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut flakes

  1. Using a food processor, process the almonds until crumbly.
  2. Add the dates and process until a uniform batter starts to form.
  3. Add chocolate chips and vanilla extract and process until incorporated into batter.
  4. Scoop the date mixture into a large bowl.
  5. Add coconut flakes and sea salt and work the mixture with your hands to make sure the flakes are thoroughly incorporated.
  6. Pinch off about a tablespoon or so worth of dough at a time and roll between your hands to form balls.
  7. Store the balls in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week or so.

Have you ever made date balls? What’s your favorite flavor combo?