Today we’re going very basic, because who doesn’t love basic?!
I promise you next week won’t be as basic because I have some ideas in mind, which will then be shared next Saturday!
But, for now, I want to also use the word ‘practical’ because it’s pretty much what I mean when I say ‘basic.’
Basically, anyone can practically make these recipes. So corny, I know.
I’m not going to call them recipes this time, but meals, because they are both super easy meals to prepare!
Meal #1 – Roasted veggies with quinoa
First of all…what the hell is quinoa?!
You’ve probably seen it a million times on other health website, and just to reiterate what everyone else does, here is the correct pronunciation: “keen-waa.”
It is a complete protein, containing all eight amino acids – this is great news in the protein department! Plus, it taste delicious!
Some things you want to know about quinoa before cooking with it:
- You must always rinse it before using it. It comes very bitter, so to rid it of all that bitterness, give it a quick rinse! –> Don’t have a fine sieve (don’t worry, I didn’t for a while either), simply take a coffee filter or even paper towel and line a regular colander. Voila!
- It comes in 2 forms: the one displayed above and red variety – both are equally delicious.
- Always cook quinoa in a 1:2 ratio where if you’re preparing one cup of quinoa, add 2 cups of water or veggie broth.
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
- 2 cups water or reduced-sodium vegetable broth
- a ton of veggies, chopped
My veggies of choice for this were winter-related:
Broccoli, parsnip, carrots, onions, acorn squash and sweet potato.
I preheated the oven to 450F, chopped (and peeled some) veggies, cut and put them in a baking dish. Toss with some olive oil, salt and pepper and place in the oven for between 20 – 40 minutes (depending on the vegetables you use) – 1/2 that time I had them covered in foil, the other 1/2 was uncovered.
Meanwhile, prepare your quinoa by stovetop, in a medium pot over medium-high heat, combine rinsed quinoa and water/veggie broth. Bring to a boil, then cover and let simmer for another 15-20 minutes. I also add one clove of minced garlic to my quinoa while it simmered, just for some added flavour.
If the quinoa is ready before your veggies, no worries, remove from heat and leave covered until veggies are ready to be served.
Once everything’s ready serve away – and no one’s judging you by how many veggies you take, so make a huge mound!
Meal #2: Homemade pizza
- vegan cheese (or no cheese, which is good – really, it is!)
- assortment of veggies
- prepared pasta sauce or homemade
- prepared pizza dough or homemade OR use pitas
This honestly is SO easy! I chose this because sometimes it’s fun to make homemade pizza!
If you don’t want to use dough, I suggest using pitas; they’re small and so easy to use as a base for pizza. If you are opting to make your own dough, this is the recipe I used.
Also, prepackaged pizza sauce makes it really easy as well, but for homemade ones as long as you have the basics like tomatoes and herbs you can pretty much make your own. Plus, there are a million on the web, if you don’t have your own!
Veggies – you can go veg crazy here. Pick and choose what you like – this is where the pitas would come in handy for individual servings and choices!
The vegan cheese: I know this is the scary part. I’m not going to sugar coat it…it’s not like regular cheese. Having said that, when you do officially give up cheese and haven’t ate that stuff in a long time, this begins to taste like your old friend dairy cheese. It’s not as horrible as it sounds. The husband likes it and he’s part of my peanut gallery. I don’t eat a lot of vegan cheese to begin with, but I do like it on pizza and nachos the odd time.
If you decide to sans cheese, load on the veggies and it tastes just as good – just add a lot of extra sauce 😉
If you do want something else that resembles cheese, I suggest sprinkling on some nutritional yeast. It is a vegan’s best friend (which I will cover in another post – or for now, google it!) and no joke, it seriously is one of my best friends.
And here’s a preview of things in store for next week!
I don’t do very well in my baking/cooking fiascos if the kitchen is not clean beforehand. It’s hard for me to work in an already dirty space, so naturally, I clean before I re-dirty it. Makes sense, right?
Yesterday in particular was I most meticulous about the following:
- cleared counter space
- no dishes in the sink (clear or dirty)
- space for laptop (as it is a valuable tool when cooking)
- having all the right ingredients (of course!)
- having all the right tools (measuring cups, pots & pans, peeler, grater, etc)
- box of kleenex*
- good music to dance/cook to
*my cooking does not normally involved kleenex, but given my neverending cold, I’m a lost soul without it…this also involves plenty of hand sanitizing after. We don’t want any other sick puppies near me!
I really wanted to created a good veggie burger, but not just any veggie burger, one that had quinoa.
Why quinoa is good for you:
- high in protein
- has all nine essential amino acids that our body needs
- good source of manganese (good for headaches)
- good source of iron
- high in dietary fiber
To name a few 😉 And hopefully this will help me kick this cold!
Veggie quinoa burgers
Wheat-free, dairy free, vegan, and can easily be made gluten-free.
Makes: 10 small patties
- 1/2 cup raw beets, grated
- 1/2 cup raw carrots , grated
- 1/2 cup raw portabella mushroom, finely chopped
- 3/4 cup raw zucchini, grated
- 2 cups cooked quinoa (1 cup of uncooked quinoa, 2 cups of water)
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 3/4 oat flour*
- 1 flax egg (1 tbsp ground flax + 3 tbsp warm water)
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- pinch of salt and pepper
- Prepare quinoa (1 part quinoa, 2 parts water – place on stovetop over high heat until it boils, then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15-20 mins), preheat oven to 350F, and prepare the flax egg (set aside).
- Grate and chop all veggies, including garlic (you can use gloves for grating the beets if you prefer to not get your hands dirty).
- In a large bowl, combine the carrots, beets, mushroom, zucchini, shallot, garlic, quinoa, salt and pepper, and mix.
- Next, add in the flax egg, followed by the oat flour and cayenne pepper.
- Make sure everything is combined, then on a baking tray lined with parchment paper, shape into patties and place on tray.
- Bake for 15-16 minutes each side then flip.
I made mine about the size of my palm (you could make them bigger and make less of them).
What I used for toppings: mashed up avocado, yellow tomato and sunflower greens – tastes delicious.
Pair this with Angela’s Weekend Glow Kale Salad and you are sure to be a nutritional powerhouse!
Angela had mentioned that she thinks this is the best salad she has ever made (agreed!), but she also mentioned how her husband loved it…my husband loved it. Just to demonstrate how much he loved it, this is what he told me last night.
Husband: (we’re in the car) That salad was sooo good; I could have ate the whole thing. I’m actually thinking about how I want more right now.
See! Guys can love kale, too! They can love it so much that you might just have to make another batch of the salad the next day.
Nutritional Information for the burgers:
Amount Per Serving
|Total Fat||3.1 g|
|Saturated Fat||0.2 g|
|Polyunsaturated Fat||0.6 g|
|Monounsaturated Fat||0.3 g|
|Total Carbohydrate||35.6 g|
|Dietary Fiber||4.7 g|
|Vitamin A||17.0 %|
|Vitamin B-12||0.1 %|
|Vitamin B-6||2.8 %|
|Vitamin C||2.5 %|
|Vitamin D||0.0 %|
|Vitamin E||0.8 %|
|Pantothenic Acid||3.5 %|
I wish I could say that Earth Day/Good Friday entailed awesome weather here, but sadly, it didn’t. Oh well, you move on and make the best of it. I started the day off right with another bowl of PB & J oats…seriously, how CAN you get enough?
It fills you up and taste SO good. I want more just writing about it!
I feel so unorganized lately and feel like I’m constantly struggling – struggling to fit some time in to get chemistry done (goal is to be done and start studying for my final exam by Sunday), read blogs (hardly a struggle, I know), make some awesome meals in the kitchen and do the little things on my to do list. I had either a blond moment today or an “I’ve lost track of where I am and what’s going on” moment when I started to leave my house today to run some errands. Good thing I didn’t get far before I realized, “hey, it’s Good Friday – everything is closed!” I quickly turned around and decided to make the soup I had planned to make
many a few days earlier.
I had already wanted to use quinoa in a soup, and Chelsey pushed me to do it…so I did it, I made a vegetable soup with quinoa.
I’ll post the recipe tomorrow because I’m exhausted tonight and I don’t know why! Let’s just say it was delish…tons of veggies (onion, snow peas, zucchini, tomaters, carrots, red pepper, celery, spinach; basically a small vegetable village!) and obviously quinoa.
The thing I love most about soup, is not how it’s the easiest way to add spinach to a dish, because it basically cooks itself and allows you to put a dent in the big container you bought for some reason.
Also, not because it smells as good as it tastes. Or is pipin’ hot, yet so so good in your mouth.
But because, you are provided with a ton of leftovers that are good for freezing or eating
an hour later the next day.
The one with the red lid is successfully in the freezer so we can enjoy it next week! Now, they look small, but trust me, they hold a lot. Did I mention that I would love a good camera and perhaps some 3D love so you can really get a feel for what I mean?! Someone pass the camera message onto the husband :D?? K, thanks!
Later in the day, we went to the hubby’s sister’s place for a nice din with all his family. The hubby had a super long day at work, so we decided to leave a bit earlier tonight and rest up so we could enjoy the day with them tomorrow all that much better! We got a little loot bag on our way out and was pretty happy to discover that we got some mini eggs, because I totally made a comment on the drive over that I wanted some. Guess the Easter Bunny read my mother-in-law’s mind!!!
Q: What are your Easter plans this weekend? What does the Easter Bunny bring you, if he still visits haha?