Archives for March 2013

Quinoa and Zoodle Dinner

This is the coolest kitchen tool I’ve purchased in 2013. I love it! Dan and I frequent the local vegan restaurants and they’ve all started using this tool when creating their dishes. I knew I needed to find a way to get one too! Thank you Amazon. ūüôā

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This dish was pretty quick and easy to make and its packed with protein and veggies too!

You’ll need:

Quinoa
3/4 c. rinsed quinoa
1 1/2 c. water
1 clove of pressed garlic
1/2 c. chopped kale, spinach or other greens
1/2 c. canned butternut squash purée
salt

Sauce
1 tsp. olive oil
1/4 c. of chopped onions
1 clove of pressed garlic
1/4 to 1/2 c. of water
1 – 6 oz. can of tomato paste
2 diced and seeded tomatoes
few dashes of salt
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. dried oregano

4 small green zucchini (you could also just use spaghetti squash, or pasta)

Start cooking rinsed quinoa, with water and garlic in a saucepan on medium heat. Cover and cook for about 14 minutes once it starts to simmer, turning heat to low if needed. While the quinoa cooks, you can start the sauce!

In a shallow saucepan, heat olive oil with chopped onions and pressed garlic. Once the onions are translucent, add ~ 1/4 to 1/2 c. of water (depending on how thick you like your sauce). Add tomato paste, and tomatoes. Stir to combine. Add a few dashes of salt, and dried herbs. Keep heat on low and stir occasionally. Add more water for a thinner sauce.

By now the quinoa should be done cooking. Scoop out a 1/2 c. of the sauce with a measuring cup and pour it over the cooked quinoa. Also add the butternut squash and greens at this time. Mix well. Salt to taste if desired and mix again.

Using a cookie scoop or small ice cream scoop, measure out the quinoa balls onto a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. I was able to make 20 balls with this recipe. Bake at 350¬įF to 10-15 minutes, or until crispy on the outside and golden brown.

This is a perfect time to make your zucchini noodles! Once they are all cut into noodles, place in a saucepan and spray with a little olive oil and sprinkle a few dashes of salt. Cover and let cook on med-low heat for roughly 5-10 minutes, depending on desired  tenderness. I prepared ours al dente!

Plate the zucchini first, topping with tomato sauce and 5-6 quinoa balls.

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Amazing Lentil and Mushroom Burgers

Taste, texture, and looks – this burger has it all – except for meat! For anyone dabbling in vegetarianism/veganism THIS is the recipe you MUST try.¬†These burgers are based on ultrarunner Scott Jurek’s recipe, only modified slightly and gluten free.

I added pan seared carrots as a side.

I added pan seared carrots as a side.

 

I promise you, these are not your typical veggie burger. The quality and taste cannot be compared to anything store bought. For the meat-eaters out there: On your next Meatless Monday adventure, give this burger a shot! It might even help to label it something besides a burger (or so I’m told).¬†As my¬†carnivorous¬†co-worker suggested, “Just don’t call it a burger – call it a Veggie Cake or a Veggie Patty so your brain doesn’t think it will taste like a beef burger!” haha!

No matter what your dietary preference is, I think you will enjoy this hearty meal!

Start with the lentil mixture first, since it will take the longest to cook.

Lentil Mixture
1 c. green lentils, uncooked, rinsed and sorted
2 1/2 c. water
1/4 c. onion, chopped into small pieces (1 1/4 c. total, see veggie mixture)
1 tbsp. dried parsley
2 cloves garlic, pressed (3-4 cloves total, see veggie mixture)

In a pot, combine the above ingredients and cook on high heat until it comes to a boil. Turn heat to low and cover, simmering for roughly 30 minutes or until lentils are soft. Remove from heat and use a potato masher to mash the mixture and break up some of the lentils. When done, keep partially covered and set aside.

Veggie Mixture
3 c. baby bella mushrooms, chopped
1 1/2 c. fresh spinach, kale or winter greens, chopped
1/2 c. carrots, chopped into small pieces
1 c. onions, chopped
1-2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 tea. coconut oil

While your lentil mixture cooks, you can get your veggies chopped and started. Heat a large frying pan with the teaspoon of coconut oil and then add your chopped onions. Cook until transparent, adding a little water if needed to prevent sticking. Turn heat to medium-low. Add garlic and stir. Add mushrooms and carrots and cook until carrots are tender. Add whatever greens you want to use and cover with a lid to wilt the greens. Toss mixture and remove from heat.
Add 
3 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
Toss to combine.

Dry Mixture
1 1/2 c. oat flour (blend whole oats in your blender until flour consistency)
1/2 c. almond meal (leftover from almond milk or store bought)
1/2 c. flax seed meal
3/4 c. coarsely chopped walnuts
2 tbsp. nutritional yeast
1 tea. sea salt
1/2 tea. black pepper
1/2 tea. paprika

While the lentil mixture and veggie mixture are cooking or cooling (depending on how fast you prep, etc.) you can prepare your dry mixture in a large bowl. Stir all ingredients until combined.

Once all 3 mixtures are complete, you can add the lentil and veggie mixtures to the dry mix. Use a sturdy spoon to combine all the ingredients into one delicious burger mixture! If the mixture has cooled enough, you can use your hands, just be careful!

I used a 1/2 c. measuring cup to scoop out and help shape each burger. You can either fry them in a pan with some oil, bake them in the oven until heated through or even grill them if you’d like! For this batch, we fried ours in a pan with oil and then wrapped up the rest and put them in the freezer for later use. They work great as a quick lunch for work. I just put it in the fridge and it defrosts slightly by lunchtime. To heat, just microwave for 1 minute and eat with some mustard!

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For those of you calorie conscious folks out there, here ya go!

Makes 9 burgers
~ 1/2 c. serving
Calories: 271
Carbs: 31 g
Fat: 12 g
Protein: 13 g
Sodium: 151 mg
Sugar: 3 g