It’s just a few days before the holidays, and amidst all the heavy meals, treats, and so on, we’re all in need for a healthy, light, yet comforting and satisfying alternative. Enter: quinoa. I love quinoa. Quinoa in my granola, quinoa as a side dish, quinoa as a stuffing for zucchini or squash, quinoa in soup, quinoa on my salads, etc (seriously, see all the quinoa I enjoy). Quinoa is filling, healthy and is a great starting point for any vegetarian meal.
I’ve been back in NY for the holidays and my mom let me make this dish for her and my dad. She pretty much had all the ingredients on hand, and it was great to be able to help her with dinner, especially as she’s been busy cooking, cleaning, baking, shopping, and so on in preparing for the craziness of the holidays.
Looking for a simple, healthy dish to make in less than 30 minutes that’s sure to please your family (even your parents)? Here you go. You’re welcome 🙂
Carrot, Spinach, Pepper and Chickpea Quinoa Salad
Here’s what you need:
- 1 Tbs olive oil
- 1 shallot, chopped
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 cups vegetable (or chicken if you’re not a vegetarian) broth
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 1 tomato, chopped
- 1 pepper, finely diced
- 2 cups baby spinach
- 1 cup chickpeas
Here’s what you do:
- Warm up the olive oil in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the chopped shallot and cook until softened and appears translucent. And smells delicious 🙂
- Turn down the heat to low and add in quinoa. Toast quinoa (continue to stir so it doesn’t burn) for about 2-3 minutes.
- Add in vegetable broth and thyme and raise heat to high. Bring to a boil. Cover quinoa, turn down heat to low and let simmer for about 6 minutes.
- Add in the chopped carrots. Cover and simmer for about 10 more minutes, adding in finely chopped pepper after about 5 minutes so it softens. When all broth is absorbed, turn off the heat, add the tomatoes and spinach, and continue to stir until the spinach is wilted. Just before serving, add in chickpeas and give it a final stir some everything is evenly distributed.
- Enjoy! Makes 4-6 side dishes or 2-3 main meals for a vegetarian dish.
some of the ingredients – not pictured, chickpeas and spinach
look how colorful it is!
Happy Christmas Eve Eve! (yes, mom – that really is a thing)
I’ve never been a hamburger fan. While I do love meat (sausage, steak and lamb please!) I’ve never been a big fan of hamburgers. Still, I love a good veggie burger. There’s something so comforting about the slight crunch on the outside, and the all-over healthy mushy veggieness on the inside (as you can tell I’m no food writer). SO, I’ve been looking for different recipes so that I can take on this task of making myself a good and quick veggie burger without just opening my freezer and grabbing a Morningstar burger patty (I tend to keep the Spicy Black Bean, Asian and Tomato and Basil Pizza Burgers on hand at all times). Well, here’s one recipe that I recently tried. It made a pretty good burger, but I’m still looking for another one to try that has a different flavor. B – who has a self-proclaimed “meat tooth” – even liked them! He ate two (with a plethora of hot sauces), asked to take the leftover for lunch, and said “If you make these again I’ll eat them.” I was stunned – and ecstatic!
Do you have any recommendations of other easy (meaning not only not complicated but likely I have all the ingredients on hand), quick veggie burger recipes?
Easy Spinach and Chickpea Veggie Burgers
Here’s what you need:
- 2 Cups Fresh Spinach
- 1 Can Chickpeas, Drained
- 1/4 Cup Chopped Red Onion
- 1/3 Cup Ground Golden Flaxseed Meal (I used this)
- 1 Tbsp Garlic Powder
- 1 Tbsp Cayenne Pepper
- 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
- Salt/pepper to taste
Here’s what you do:
- Heat oven to 475.
- Place all ingredients into an electric mixer.
- Slowly mix ingredients together, until they form a chunky liquid-like texture. The texture is almost like a thick cookie dough – moist but still moldable.
- Make batter into 5-6 veggie burger patties. Place patties on nonstick pan (or tin foil sprayed with Pam on top of a pan) and place into pre-heated oven.
- Cook each side for about 8-10 minutes. They should be lightly brown and crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, when through. You could also cook them on top of the stove or on a grill if you prefer.
- Enjoy! I like to serve mine on a wheat roll or English muffin with avocado, feta and arugula. Feel free to add ketchup or mustard if that’s your thing! I also made these with homemade oven baked fries.
More good news? Depending on how big you make the patties, they can be anywhere from 120-200 calories a burger!
The spinach/chickpea patties before they went in the oven
burger and homemade baked fries in the oven
Homemade veggie burger! Served mine with avocado, side salad and baked fries.