Tag Archives: quinoa

Crazy Healthy Quinoa and White Bean Soup

10 Feb

It’s cold out there in the big city. There’s snow on the ground, icicles hanging from eavestroughs and lots of grumpy, bundled up people. By the time you get home from a long day and maybe long commute, you want to get warm and eat something good. And quickly. I came across something perfect for just this scenario that has the added bonus of being really healthy. Vegan, even! It only takes about 30 minutes from start to finish and is full of flavour, textures and fantastic ingredients. Give it a try and I think you’ll quite enjoy it.

Serves 4

Ingredients

1b vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 ts cumin
1 ts coriander
1 ts salt
1 ts pepper
1/3 c quinoa, rinsed
2c vegetable broth (you could use chicken broth if that’s what you’ve got)
2c water
1 can white kidneybeans, drained and rinsed
2c baby spinach or 1c frozen spinach (thawed and drained)

Directions

1. In a medium pot, heat the oil to medium. Add in the onion and carrot, cooking til the onion becomes translucent (3-4 minutes).
2. Add in the garlic, cumin, coriander, salt, pepper and quinoa. Stir to combine, cooking for 2 minutes. Pour in the broth and water, bringing everything to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook partially covered for 15 minutes.
3. Stir in beans and spinach until heated through, just a couple more minutes and you’re done!

soup

Fresh Canteen Grocery Service

16 Sep

You worked all day. Getting home in rush hour is a hassle and you just didn’t have the time or desire to hit the grocery store. You’re home now and you’re starving. You want to have something healthy for dinner but you don’t have all the ingredients you need so you throw your hands up in the air and pick up the phone and order delivery.

Let’s rewrite this scenario:  you worked all day. Getting home in rush hour is a hassle and you just didn’t have the time or desire to hit the grocery store. You’re home now and you’re starving. You want to have something healthy for dinner…so on your way in the door you pick up the box of ingredients you ordered from Fresh Canteen and prepare yourself a healthy, flavourful, properly portioned meal.

This second scenario sounds more appealing, non?

From six possible entree options, I tried out the Jamaican chicken dinner. The box was delivered Tuesday afternoon and I received an email notification when it arrived. (Note: in speaking with owner Matt O’Leary , he told me that the boxes are packaged with materials and ice packs that allow the ingredients to remain unrefrigerated for up to 24 hours. Additionally, all the materials are recyclable. ) When I got home, I opened up the box to find all the ingredients I would need: two chicken breasts, pineapple salsa vegetables and herbs, 1/2 cup of quinoa and individually packaged spices. Included in the box was a step-by-step recipe card with clear instructions and pictures.

fc box

Food is snug as a bug in its recyclable packaging.

fc menu

Helpful recipe card.

The whole meal, from the time I opened the box to the time I sat down to eat, took 40 minutes. It didn’t require me to use any special kitchen tools and the only things I needed from my own pantry were salt, pepper and vegetable oil.  I wondered if there would really be enough food for two of us but we were quite full – in fact, there actually might have been too much salsa. That being said, having extra red pepper and pineapple salsa on hand is not a bad thing: it makes for a good snack later!

fc chicken

fc veg

fc final

Fresh Canteen is serving most of the GTA thus far, delivering a package of three meals once per week. “We know people are going to order out, too,” Matt tells me, “but at least they can have enough food in the fridge for a few days so they can eat healthy meals at home.” FC is a great service for those who love to cook but don’t always have the time to get to the grocery store. Each week the menu options change and there are fish, chicken, beef and vegetarian dishes from which you can choose. Check them out, folks. It’s a great service run by friendly, knowledgeable people who care about your food as much as you do.

Quinoa & Roasted Carrot Salad

15 Mar

In order to balance out all of the baked goods that have somehow made their way into our house (what else was I supposed to do with the Nutella? Or with the knowledge that there’s a killer bakery 15 minutes from my house by foot), I have been looking for some healthy recipes to balance out the gluttony. I came across this quinoa and carrot salad my latest issue of Bon Appétit and decided it looked perfect! Not only could I make most of it ahead of time, I could make a large batch for leftovers.

I made a few changes to suit my own taste and am really happy with how it turned out. The carrots were sweet, the feta was salty and the pepper rings added some heat. (You can find the original recipe here.) It’s an adaptable recipe, so feel free to make your own changes and let me know how you liked it!

Serves 4.

Ingredients

1 c quinoa, rinsed
1/2 onion, chopped
3 medium carrots, peeled and sliced on the diagonal
1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
2 tb apple cider
2 tb honey
2 ts finely grated lemon zest
1 tb fresh lemon juice
2 tb apple cider vinegar
5-10 pickled hot pepper rings, chopped

10 oz feta, crumbled
1 head Bibb or butter lettuce, leaves torn

Directions

1. Preheat your oven to 450F.
2. Boil 4 cups of salted water and add the quinoa. Cook 10-15 minutes, until the quinoa is tender. Add in the onion and cook an additional minute. Drain and let stand 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork, transfer to a bowl and allow to cool.
3. Meanwhile, oil a foil-lined baking sheet for the carrots. In a medium bowl, whisk the apple cider and honey. Add in the carrots and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper and place on the sheet. Roast for 15-20 minutes. When done, remove from the oven and cool.
4. In a small bowl, whisk the lemon zest, lemon juice and apple cider vinegar. Slowly add the 1/4 c olive oil and whisk til smooth to make a vinaigrette. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
5. Add the carrots and hot peppers to the quinoa. Dress with most of the vinaigrette and stir to coat.
6. Place lettuce on a plate, scoop the salad on top and finish with the rest of the vinaigrette. Crumble feta on top.

quinoa and carrot salad

Quinoa BLT Salad

9 Jul

I stumbled across this recipe on the Dulcet Devotion site and was instantly interested: healthy salad + bacon and feta? Best of both worlds! I made a couple of minor adjustments but otherwise it’s pretty close to the original. This was a light, satisfying salad that had crunchy, salty and sweet elements that had me going back for seconds. Next time I make it, I think I’ll add in some chili flakes or Sriracha for a spicy bite.

Serves 2 (as a main)

Ingredients

1 c quinoa, rinsed
4 – 5 strips bacon
1 c cherry tomatoes, halved
handful of cilantro and/or parsley, roughly chopped
2 avocados, diced
1/4 c green onions, diced
1 lemon, juiced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tb balsamic vinegar
1 tb olive oil/avocado oil
1 ts kosher salt
1 ts black pepper
handful of greens
50 oz feta, crumbled

Directions

1. Cook the quinoa according to the directions on the package. Place in a large bowl and let cool for 30 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, cook, drain and crumble the bacon.
3. Put the tomatoes, green onion, avocado and herbs into a medium bowl. Mix together with a little bit of lemon juice.


4. Once the quinoa has cooled, add in the olive oil, rest of the lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, garlic and salt & pepper. Stir to mix thoroughly.


5. Add in the rest of the salad fixings and season to taste, remembering that the feta will add some saltiness.


6. Plate the quinoa salad and top with greens and feta.

Quinoa Tabouleh

2 Aug

I came across this recipe while doing some research for a friend and sent it on to a few others that I thought would enjoy it. One of those fabulous ladies made it for a group of us and it was a huge hit. It’s not your typical tabouleh; but, to me, flavor is more important than tradition and accuracy in this case. It has feta – how can you argue with a healthy, whole grain dish that incorporates such salty, lovely goodness?

Additionally, this is somewhat of a quinoa redemption dish for me. My first try at making quinoa yielded less than wonderful results. I suspect that I didn’t cook the quinoa enough my first go ‘round and instead of a light, fluffy side dish that pops a little when you bite into it, I took a bite and…well, it was crunchy. Like I said, less than ideal. With this dish, though, it came out exactly as it should have. Just remember: rinse the quinoa first and use a 2:1 ratio of liquid to grain. Once you’ve added the quinoa to the boiling liquid, let the entire thing come back up to a boil before you put the lid on and let it simmer for at least 15 minutes (or until the liquid has evaporated).

Serves 4 (with leftovers)

Ingredients

1 c quinoa
2 c water or vegetable broth
½ ts salt
½ red onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 c cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cucumber, cut to bite-sized pieces
1 bunch parsley, finely chopped
8 oz feta, crumbled
juice 1 lemon
black pepper to taste

Directions
1. Rinse the quinoa and cook according to the instructions on the package. When finished, transfer the quinoa to a bowl and put in the fridge to cool for 30-45 minutes.
2. Cover the diced onion with a pinch of salt and water. Leave the onion to soak while the rest of the ingredients are prepped.
3. In a bowl, combine the garlic, tomatoes, cucumber, parsley and feta. Drain the onions and add to the mixture.
4. Combine all the ingredients. Add the lemon juice and black pepper to taste.

Optional – you can add a little sesame oil to the salad for a nutty flavor.

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