Archives for quinoa

Quinoa Balls with Lettuce, Apples and Carrots | Drizzled with Balsamic Glaze

My brain has been overflowing lately with recipe ideas. I started jotting them down in a notebook that I carry with me everywhere and it seems to be helping. My perpetual problem however, is the lack of productive hours in a day in which to make these recipes come to life. If the body didn’t need sleep, I’d be GOLDEN. But alas it absolutely DOES need sleep and I don’t buy into the YOLO (you only live once) and ISWID (I’ll sleep when I die) acronyms the “kids” are using these days. So, unless I invent some cool way to be productive with no sleep at all, I’ll have to simply keep my eye on my 2013 goal.


As I discovered at the start of 2013, I cannot simplify – it is not in my DNA and it just doesn’t feel RIGHT. There is only one life we live and I want to live mine to the fullest and be as happy as I can be; which includes learning as much as I can, sleeping as much as I need to, and experiencing as much as I can. So, in my pursuit of a full and productive life I strive to be more efficient! One of the ways I’ve learned to do this, is to tuck recipes away in the DRAFTS section of my blog so I can pull them out of my back pocket when those pesky too-full days (or weeks) pounce on me! So without further ado, here is an oldie but goodie from the Zucchini Runner draft vault.

Added some diced apples

Quinoa Balls with Lettuce, Apples and Carrots drizzled with Homemade Balsamic Glaze

3/4 c. dried, rinsed quinoa
1 1/2 c. water
1 medium onion, chopped into small pieces
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 medium tomato, diced small
2 tbsp. tomato paste
Chopped fresh thyme to taste
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp. almond meal
2 tbsp. ground flax meal + 6 tbsp water (flax egg)
1/3 c. fresh parsley, chopped

Balsamic Glaze (optional)
1 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp maple syrup

Preheat oven to 350°F

Follow your package instructions for cooking the quinoa. (Typically you combine both the water and quinoa in a pot, bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium-low and cover; cooking for 12-14 minutes. Unlike rice, you can remove the lid and check on the moisture level during cooking.) Combine the flax meal and water in a small dish and set aside. In a skillet over medium heat, add a little water and the chopped onions. Cook until the onions become translucent. Add garlic and toss to combine. Add diced tomato, tomato paste, salt, pepper and fresh thyme. Let simmer for 5-7 minutes, stirring once or twice. It may be necessary to turn the heat down to low as well.

Place the cooked quinoa in a large bowl, and pour the tomato mixture on top. Stir well to combine. Sprinkle almond meal over mixture and pour flax egg on top. Stir again. Lastly add fresh chopped parsley and gently toss to incorporate.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, to avoid using oil and to prevent quinoa balls from sticking. Scoop out the mixture using a cookie scoop or large spoon, and make approximately 24 balls. Bake in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes, or until the balls begin to firm up and become golden brown on the edges.

Serve over a bed of your favorite greens – fresh or steamed will work! I topped mine with fresh cut carrots and a diced apple. I also drizzled with some balsamic glaze. (You can quickly make your own glaze by heating 1 cup of balsamic vinegar in a saucepan with 2 tbsp. maple syrup. Cook on medium heat until the liquid starts to thicken, but remove before it gets too thick, as it will continue to thicken when removed from the heat. It should take less than 5 minutes. Use immediately on this recipe and store the rest in an airtight container in the fridge for future use. Lasts for about a month.)

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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. 🙂


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

You’ll need:

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

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°F 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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