Asian Quinoa Cabbage Salad with Almond Dressing

I know it’s winter. I’ve looked outside – no need to remind me. This is what I see. SNOW.

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Yes, it may be gloomy and snowy (but somewhat pretty, right?). But still, we all need a pop of color sometimes. And bright salads. All year round – don’t we? While I do enjoy eating seasonally, I do also enjoy salads in winter (and soup in the summer). And since we go meatless on Fridays during Lent, here’s an easy meatless meal you can enjoy  then – or even for Meatless Monday or any day of the week.

Asian Quinoa Cabbage Salad with Almond Dressing - icrashedtheweb

Asian Quinoa Cabbage Salad with Almond Dressing

Here’s what you need:

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa* – I like red quinoa, but other varieties should work fine
  • ¼ cup all natural almond butter*
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 3 Tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon (or more, based on taste) Sriracha
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • 2 cups shredded cabbage – I like using 1 cup red and 1 cup green for color
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots
  • few handfuls chopped cilantro
  • ½ cup chopped unsalted cashews*

Here’s what you do:

  1. While the quinoa is cooking, you can make the nutty Asian dressing. To do so, mix the almond butter and honey in a medium bowl. Add in soy sauce, vinegar, Sriracha and water and mix well until dressing is smooth. and stir until mixture is smooth and creamy.**
  2. Mix half of the dressing with the cooked quinoa.
  3. Add in vegetables – cabbage, pepper, carrots and then add in remaining dressing.
  4. Before serving, top with cilantro and cashews.  Add more Sriracha if you like more spice and enjoy!

Mine made four servings – perfect for dinner and lunch leftovers!

*Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post, but thanks to Swanson Health for providing some of the ingredients (quinoa, cashews, almond butter).  My views and comments are solely my own and do not represent those of Swanson. AND I’ll  be doing a giveaway so you can get some goodies too, soon 🙂

**I used all natural crunchy almond butter which is pretty oily – if you were using a less oily spread you may need to microwave the almond butter first or add in a little oil / more water to get your consistency to be dressing-like.

Asian Quinoa Cabbage Salad with Almond Dressing

Some questions for you:

  • Do you eat seasonal?
  • What’s your favorite hot sauce?

For more vegetarian posts, check out some of my past recipes or visit the linkup below! I’m linking up with Sarah and Confessions of a Mother Runner.

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 🙂 ), 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?

Meatless Monday: Summery Kale, Quinoa and Black Bean Salad

I realllly wanted to call this salad The Best Summer Quinoa Salad Ever, but that was too ambiguous. Or even Quinoa, Kale, Black Bean, Avocado, Tomato, Onion, Hot Pepper, Corn Salad with a Lemon Vinaigrette but that just seemed like too long of a name and you would probably would have stopped reading then. So just go with it.

Anyway, I love a good summery salad. Something with a good light vinaigrette, add in corn and avocado and I’m sold. So when I realized we had pretty much all of my favorite ingredients for a salad thanks to our Fresh Fork CSA and some farmer’s market finds, I knew I had to just put it all together and make the best summer salad ever. Add in some quinoa and a can of black beans and it was perfect for a vegetarian main meal. Oh yeah – even B ate it as a main dish without meat. That’s how I know it’s a success.

Don’t be fooled by the name, I may just be making this salad this fall and winter too. Because we all need some summer meals all year round, don’t we?

kale, quinoa, black bean and avocado salad

Kale, Quinoa and Black Bean Salad

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1/3 olive oil (divided)
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely diced
  • 1/2 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 hungarian hot peppers or jalapenos, diced
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cup water
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 3 c. thinly chopped raw kale leaves
  • 1 c corn (approximately one giant cob)
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 1 avocado, chopped into cubes

Here’s what you do:

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Add garlic, onion and hot pepper, and saute for about 3-4 minutes. I also added a few slices of kale, but feel free to use all the kale in step #4 and keep it raw.
  2. Add quinoa and two cups water.  Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat and simmer until quinoa is cooked through, about 15-20 minutes.
  3. While quinoa is cooking, prepare the rest of the ingredients for the salad. First prepare the dressing. Mix 1/4 c lemon juice (about one whole lemon) with 1/3 cup olive oil and cumin.
  4. Finely chop the kale (remove the large thick middle stems from the leaves and then roll up kale into rods before finely chopping) and add to the salad dressing. Coat kale thoroughly in dressing. Add in corn and black beans.
  5. By now the quinoa should be nearly done cooking. After letting cool for a minute, add cooked quinoa, onion and pepper to kale, corn and tomato. Mix well.  Gently add in chopped tomato. Just before serving, add in avocado.
  6. Enjoy! Mine made 3-4 vegetarian main dishes.

kale, quinoa, black bean and avocado salad

Meatless Monday: Quinoa Hummus Patties

I may have a hummus problem. The other day I realized I’d eaten hummus, as part of a meal, 4 days in a row.  I know there are worse things to claim, but 4 days in a row? That’s nearly a week. Wonder if I can keep the streak going (I’ve also eaten chocolate about 40 days in a row) …

Anyway, I digress. The other night for dinner I was happy to have enough time to put together something vegetarian-friendly, flavorful and also that would serve as a side dish for B. I’d seem some recipes for hummus/quinoa tabbouleh and quinoa burgers and decided to combine both. They are somewhat crumbly but mine held together pretty well and were pretty flavorful without too many spices.

Warning – I took these pictures with my phone, per usual. They came out pretty gnarly (yes, worse than some of the other food pics I take) but the recipe was so delicious I had to post it. B asked I could make these again so I declare that a success 🙂

QUINOA HUMMUS PATTIES i crashed the web

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 c quinoa (cooked)
  • ½ c hummus
  • ½ c finely diced red pepper
  • 3 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 TBS flaxseed
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1-2 TBS olive oil

Here’s what you do:

  1. Combine quinoa, hummus, red pepper, garlic and green onions in a bowl. Mix well.
  2. Add in flaxseed to help bind the mixture. Add in crushed red pepper flakes (optional if you like heat).
  3. Form mixture into four to five even sized patties and place on a well-greased plate. Store in refrigerator for 30 minutes to one hour. (I put it in the freezer for about 20 minutes) This will help the patties harden.
  4. Heat a pan with olive oil over medium to medium-high heat and add olive oil once heated. Carefully add patties to pan and brown each side for about 4-6 minutes. Be careful when flipping – patties are crumbly and you may need to reshape them if they start to come apart.
  5. Enjoy!
  6. Serving suggestion: I had 2 as a main meal and served with spinach, roasted red pepper, more hummus, tomato, and hot sauce. They’d also be delicious with a garlic yogurt sauce. B had his as a side dish to some chicken with Greek spices. I’ll be doubling the recipe next time!
I swear it tastes better than it looks

I swear it tastes better than it looks

Some questions for you:

  • Are you on any food-eating streaks?
  • Are you a hummus fan? Yes! I also really love baba ghanoush, its smoky eggplant cousin. 
  • Do you make your own hummus? Actually, most of the time I find it easier and just as tasty to just buy it. If you find a brand you like – stick to it! The hummus from the recipe above was from a stand at the West Side Market and it was delicious.
  • Favorite veggie burger recipe? Come on, I’m looking for a new one!

Meatless Monday: Vegetarian “Fried Rice”

Since giving up meat for Lent another year in a row, I’ve actually had very little chance to play around with vegetarian recipes this year. It’s been 3 weeks, and due to a busy work schedule, B and I have been living on leftovers, Chipotle, Flaming Ice Cube and other takeouts. As much as I love all of those – I’m getting tired of it and can’t wait until returning to normalcy and eating home again!

Anyway, on one of the few nights we were home, I realized we pretty much had all the ingredients to make a Quinoa Fried Rice recipe I had seen online. So while B was busy going for a run (I had worked out in the morning), I got busy, threw together my usual stir fry ingredients with a few extras (including eggs and quinoa) and voila – there you have it – vegetarian (well I guess technically it’s ovo-vegetarian) “fried rice.” This made about 4 servings – I had mine as a main meal and B had his with a side of some chicken that I made in the same sauce.

vegetarian fried rice with quinoa - i crashed the web

Vegetarian “Fried Rice” (with quinoa and egg)

Here’s what you need:

  • Pam or other cooking spray
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 egg, beaten, with 1 egg white
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce, divided
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 head broccoli, chopped into florets
  • 1/2 eggplant, chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup asparagus, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and grated
  • 2 to 2 1/2 cups cooked quinoa (I used 2 cups so our portions had more veggies than quinoa – if you prefer a higher ratio of quinoa to veggies, aim for 2 1/2 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • Sriracha sauce, for serving

Here’s what you do:

  1. Spray a small skillet with Pam or other cooking spray and turn into medium to medium-low heat. Add beaten eggs and cook for about 2 minutes per side, flipping once. Let cool, then dice into small pieces. Reserve.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat remaining olive oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic and onion. Cook, stirring often, until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add mushrooms, broccoli, eggplant and about half of the soy sauce (2 tablespoons).Cook, continuing to stir, for about another 5-6 minutes, until vegetables are tender.
  4. Add asparagus and carrots. Cook for another 2-3 minutes so vegetables cook through and absorb flavor.
  5. Add cooked (YES you must cook the quinoa first!) quinoa. Cook, stirring constantly, until heated through, about 1-2 minutes.
  6. Add freshly grated ginger and remaining soy sauce. Toss gently to combine and cook, stirring so it doesn’t burn, for about 3 more minutes.
  7. Stir in green onions and chopped eggs and serve. Drizzle Sriracha on top for added color and kick.
    vegetarian fried rice with quinoa - i crashed the web

    almost done!

    vegetarian fried rice with quinoa - i crashed the web

    ready to be eaten!

Meatless Monday: Easy Eggplant and Squash Curry

“We haven’t had Indian food in a while,” said B the other day. He was right – we were on a stint for a while where we were having Indian food as our go-to takeout or eat-out option on a somewhat (not daily) regular basis. And it’s true, I can’t recall the last time we both went out for Indian food. OR Thai food. BUT I’ve been on a going-out-to-eat spree and didn’t really want to continue it. Between traveling for work, lack of groceries and birthday / friend / etc. meals, I’m somewhat getting tired of eating out. Just ask B – I go eat to eat 4 times in a row and I’m sick of it.

Anyway, that’s why I decided to make some semi-Indian/Thai-hybrid dinner from what we had on hand in our apartment. OK, it’s probably neither (sorry if you are an expert in either cuisine) – it’s just a vegetarian curry dish. Anyway, we go to the West Side Market nearly weekly and tend to stock up on a ton of veggies from our favorite stand – and last week I had gotten tomatoes, squash, eggplant, peppers, onions and more. Keeping this in mind, and seeing a few fun recipes online, I decided to recreate the Indian/Thai/Going Out To Eat food experience right from our apartment.

eggplant and squash curry over quinoa - i crashed the web

Eggplant and Squash Curry with Quinoa

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 butternut squash
  • 3 TBS olive oil, divided into 1TBS and 2 TBS
  • 3 TBS cumin, divided
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 red bell peppers, diced and seeded
  • 1 onion (I used a red onion), sliced into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 medium eggplant, diced into bite-size pieces
  • 1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  •  3 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 2 TBS curry powder
  • 1 teaspon ground cardamom
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes in juice
  • 1 can (1 ½ cups) chickpeas
  • 1 c. quinoa, cooked according to package directions (typically with 2 c water)
  • ¼ c unsweetened coconut

Here’s what you do:

  1. Reheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Peel and cut squash into bite-sized pieces, about 1 inch squares. toss with 1 TBS of olive oil and season with salt, pepper and 1 TBS cumin.
  3. Place seasoned squash on a baking sheet and roast for 25 to 30 minutes, until squash is soft and starting to brown.
  4. While squash is cooking, heat  2 TBS olive oil in a large skillet. Add chopped pepper, onion, eggplant, ginger and garlic. Add salt, pepper, curry powder, cardamom and 1 TBS cumin. Cook for 3-5 minutes, letting vegetables start to get tender.
  5. Cover the skillet and cook for 10 minutes or until eggplant is softened. Add in roasted squash, canned tomatoes in juice and chickpeas. Add another tablespoon of cumin. Cook for another 3-5 minutes.
  6. Add in cooked quinoa and unsweetened coconut and cook for another minute.
  7. Enjoy!
eggplant and squash curry - icrashedtheweb.jpg

Add in the quinoa and coconut …

eggplant and squash curry - icrashedtheweb.jpg

Enjoy!

Some notes:

  • B thought this recipe was “so so” and when I asked him what he’d change he said “maybe a little less seasoning next time.” SO please use the curry/cardamom/cumin guidelines to taste – you can always add more as it continues to cook.
  •  B also doesn’t like coconut so I only added a handful to the final dish, and mostly on the portion I was eating – feel free to add more, and even some coconut milk if you prefer coconut curry to traditional curry.
  • I have used the powdered red curry, which is spicier than the yellow curry I have. Thus I didn’t add any chili powder. If you like it spicy and you only have yellow (not-so-spicy) curry on hand, feel free to add some chili powder as well!

Some questions for you: Share your answers in the comments – mine are in italic!

  • Do you ever just literally throw everything you have on hand into a dish to see what happens? Yes, too often. In this case I was actually kinda pleased with myself – it seems pre-thought out!
  • What’s your favorite Indian food dish?  I love Chicken Tikka Masala or anything Vindaloo.
  • What’s your favorite Thai dish? Any thai soup, or pad ke mao and I love their spring rolls!
  • How often do you go out to eat? How often do you feel is “too much?” I don’t know why, but after eating 3-4 meals out in a row I start to feel sick/gross. Even if I’m eating healthy, I just prefer homemade meals!

Meatless Monday: Chickpea Ratatouille

B and I have been watching old episodes of Julia Child’s The French Chef lately. That’s what happens when you don’t have cable. The show is in black and white, done in all one take, and all in all pretty funny to watch – not only because Julia Child is a funny character (her voice sounds like a muppet to me!) but also because the kitchen appliances are SO old and also because things don’t always work out as planned. There is no “cut” and then on to the next scene – meaning if something boils over or Julia uses vermouth instead of vinegar, we see it all! Why aren’t food shows like that today? So much more real, and fun, in my opinion.

Anyway, one old episode we saw Julia make some sort of french ratatoullie. I think I zoned out during the episode, but it reminded me that I hadn’t had ratatouille in quite some time and I was overdue. So, here’s a simple and easy meatless meal you can enjoy. I served mine over a quinoa blend, and B had his with chicken.

Chickpea Ratatouille - i crashed the web

Chickpea Ratatouille (Vegetarian)

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 medium eggplant, cut into about 1-inch large chunks
  • 1 zucchini, cut into about 1-inch chunks
  • 1/2 medium red onion, chopped
  • 2 peppers (I used two red bell), sliced
  • 3 large carrots, chopped into about 1/2-1 inch slices
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 28 oz. can of diced tomatoes
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped in half
  • 1 16 oz. can of chickpeas, drained
  • salt/pepper to taste

Here’s what you do:

  1. Preheat your oven to 425°F.
  2. Combine chopped eggplant, zucchini, onion, peppers and carrots in a large bowl. Pour olive oil over mixed vegetables and mix well.
  3. Pour veggie mixture, can of tomatoes, garlic, and salt in large roasting pan.
  4. Roast vegetables for 30 minutes, until lightly brown and softened. Check at about 15-20 minutes in and stir mixture to ensure evenly cooked veggies.
  5. At about 30 minutes in, add chickpeas to roasting pan and cook for another 10-15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste and enjoy!

Makes about 4 vegetarian main courses (again, mine was served over quinoa!) or even more side dishes (B had his with some balsamic marinated chicken I made).

Vegetarian Chickpea Ratatouille - i crashed the web

I’m also thinking about giving up meat again for Lent? What do you think – should I try it again? It wasn’t easy for me, that’s for sure!

Some questions for you:

  • What’s your favorite cooking show?
  • Vegetarian main meals – yay or nay? What’s your favorite? I’m a big fan of hearty veggie burgers, either homemade or store bought if I have to (my faves are Luna burgers and Morningstar).
  • Do you try to eat meatless once a week?
  • Do you give up anything for Lent?