Meatless Monday: Quinoa with Apples and Pecans

Happy Monday! How was your Thanksgiving holiday? Did you overdose on stuffing, turkey, pie, and so much more good stuff?

I certainly did. I mean, it’s only natural, right? Thanksgiving for me means food, family and friends – and a lot of all three, if possible. So now that I’m back to work and back from a Carnoski celebration (my family AND B’s), I’m ready to get back in the groove. Back into relatively healthy eating (with room for plenty of dessert added in as well ūüôā ), including plenty of veggies and a few meatless meals. So in honor of the first Monday after Thanksgiving, I wanted to share with you a meal my mom and I made when I was in New York last week. She had copied this recipe out of a recipe book and we made a few tweaks and I really liked it. So today, I bring you Quinoa with Apples and Pecans!

Quinoa with Apples and Pecans - i crashed the web

Quinoa with Apples and Pecans

Here’s what you need:

  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 green apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 c toasted, chopped pecans
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 c. quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 2 c. low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 Tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 tsp finely chopped fresh thyme

Here’s what you do:

  1. Melt 1 Tablespoon butter over a pot (you can use¬†the same pot throughout – ¬†use this for quinoa later so make sure it’s big enough)¬†on medium to medium-high heat. Add in diced apple and sugar and cook until apple is lightly browned. Make sure heat is high enough so apple starts to brown and doesn’t just get mushy. Remove apple from bowl and set aside – or even better, add it to your bowl of toasted pecans.
  2. Reduce the heat somewhat and add remaining butter. Once butter melts, add in the chopped onion  and cook until onion is translucent and just starts to brown.
  3. Add the quinoa and toast for several minutes until starts to smell somewhat nutty (about 3ish minutes). Add in vegetable broth and bring quinoa and onion to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until quinoa is softened and broth has reduced, about 15 minutes.
  4. Remove the cover and increase heat to medium and continue to cook quinoa until the broth has pretty much evaporated, about another 3 minutes.
  5. Stir in apples and pecans. Add in thyme and parsley and serve!

Some suggested variations:

  • Add chickpeas, cannelloni beans or another bean for additional protein
  • Like more fruit in your quinoa? Add in dried cranberries, blueberries or dried cherries as well at the end
  • Serve quinoa over a salad, such as kale or spinach greens.
  • Add in some cheese! I think it would be great with a soft cheese like goat, or even a gouda. Yum!

 

Quinoa with Apples and Pecans - i crashed the web

Some questions for you:

  • Do you like fruit in your salads?
  • How do you get “back in the groove” after the holidays?
  • What would you add to this dish? Or serve it with?

Chocolate Heath Bar Pecan Cookies

I love Heath Bar. I know, I’ve professed my love for all things Heath Bar before – and told you it was probably my favorite candy, thanks to my early love of Ben & Jerry’s Heath Bar Crunch ice ream (which is no more:(). But seriously – a cookie or candy or dessert with Heath Bar is deadly around me – I just can’t say no!

Which is why when I was perusing my Magnolia Bakery cookbook and came upon this recipe, my eye immediately was drawn to the page with the Chocolate Drop Cookies. Even though I don’t really like chocolate cookies (I know, I’m weird), I knew I had to give these a try. Heath Bar AND white chocolate chips? Count me in! At least I could share them, right?

Chocolate Heath Bar Pecan Cookies

Chocolate Heath Bar Pecan Cookies

Here’s what you need:

  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose¬†flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/3 cups unsalted butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons milk (I used unsweetened original Almond Breeze almond milk – it’s what I had on hand)
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups pecans, chopped
  • 1 cup Heath Bars cut up into small chunks (I bought the pre-diced bars from the baking aisle)
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate¬†chips

Here’s what you do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350¬į.
  2. Combine the dry ingredients Рflour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt Рin large bowl and set aside.
  3. In another  bowl cream the butter and sugars until smooth. Add eggs and beatwell. Then, add the milk and vanilla. Blend for another minute or until no lumps remain.
  4. Stir in flour mixture and mix thoroughly. Add the pecans, chopped Heath bar and the white chocolate chips.
  5. Refrigerate batter until firm, about 45 minutes (or freeze for 25-30 min).
  6. Drop tablespoon size dallops of dough on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  7. Bake for about 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven, cool cookies on the sheet. Remove the cookies after 1 minute and cool on wire cooling rack.
Chocolate Heath Bar Pecan Cookies

Enjoy! Milk optional.

 

Some questions for you:

  • What’s your favorite flavor of ice cream?
  • What’s your favorite candy to add to cookies?
  • Almond milk, regular milk or soy milk?¬†Almond milk all the way. Yum!
  • Besides traditional chocolate chip cookies – what’s your favorite kind? I need suggestions ūüôā