Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Quick Quinoa Lunch Wraps

Quinoa is so quick and easy to make that it's a great option for any lunch-time meal.  I personally love sandwiches and more then sandwiches, I love wraps!  So I took the left over quinoa I had from the quinoa raisin muffins and make a spicy quinoa wrap:

Spicy Quinoa Salad Wrap

For the salad: 
1/2 to 3/4 cup of quinoa or more, up to a 1.5 cups
1 small sweet red pepper, chopped
1 small sweet yellow pepper, chopped
1 small sweet orange pepper, chopped
1 medium red tomato, chopped
1-2 tbsp of hot pickled peppers, chopped
2-3 tbsp organic salsa (mild, medium or hot)
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (can omit if using hot salsa)
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tbsp of olive oil (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste (optional)

For the wrap:
1 whole wheat flat bread wrap
handful of spinach leaves, washed and dried

1. In a medium bowl add all the salad ingredients together and mix well. Set aside.

2. On a cutting board, lay the flat bread out and lay some spinach leaves on top.  Then add a few large scoopfuls of the quinoa salad.



3. Fold one side of the wrap, tucking all the food under it and begin to roll the wrap tightly so that nothing falls out.

4. Cut on an angle through the middle of the wrap and serve with a side salad or pickles, whatever you like.

Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Quinoa (C)raisin Muffins

Muffins (when properly proportionate) can make a nice breakfast option or a snack on the go .  These muffins were very dense but very hearty and delish!  I made a few adjustments to the original recipe because I was missing a few things and personally I'm not a big fan of raisins but do LOVE dried cranberries!

Quinoa Craisin Muffins
Original recipe from 500 Vegan Recipes, p. 71
 
1 cup gluten-free flour mix (or whole wheat flour)
2/3 cup light brown sugar (or raw sugar)
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 cup creamy nut butter (I used tahini actually - would have been nicer with almond)
2/3 cup + 2 tbsp of rice milk (or soy milk)
2 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup cooked and cooled quinoa
1/2 cup of dried cranberries (or raisins)

1. Preheat oven to 350F and line a muffin tin with paper or silicon liners.

2. In a large mixing bowl whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Set aside.

3. In a medium mixing bowl combine the nut butter, rice milk and vanilla, mixing well.

4. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, careful not to over mix.

5. Fold in the quinoa and dried cranberries and mix just enough.

6. Bake for about 20-24 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

7. Let cool on a wire rack before serving.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Too tired to Quinoa ...

This weekend I went out for a friend's birthday and although it was a good time and I love being with my friends, it totally kicked my butt for the next day (Sunday) there was just no way I was gonna get anywhere near my kitchen to cook.

I know, my quinoa week is not off to a great start but stay tuned for tomorrow as I do hope to get my butt in gear tonight and make something yummy to share with everyone!

Check out the website to see how quinoa is grown and brought to life!

Friday, September 24, 2010

MexiQuinoa: Why Quinoa is SO Excellenté!

MexiQuinoa
from 500 Vegan Recipes

So what's so great about Quinoa? (pronounced 'keen-wa')


Well for one thing it's pretty affordable and gluten-free, so it's safe for everyone to eat.  For all the vegans out there or non-meat eaters it's also an amazing source of protein. A ½ cup serving of dry quinoa has approximately 11 grams of protein, when cooked it's low in fat and still high in protein, nearly 9g per cup.  It doesn't end there, it's also loaded with minerals such as magnesium.


Best of all quinoa is as easy to cook as rice, maybe easier! It absorbs any flavour you add to it and it can make for an excellent comfort food alternative to potatoes or starchy bread.

Here's a great summary of quinoa's greatness: 

It provides a rich source of vegetable protein and slow releasing carbohydrates. A relative of spinach and chard, quinoa is the only "grain" considered to be a complete protein source. It contains all eight of the amino acids that are important for our health. This is especially important for vegans, because no other grain possesses the amino acid lysine which is important for the growth of tissue and their repair (source).

Sources:  
Diet Blog
Dietriffic
Quinoa Kitchen

In honour of this amazing grain-like seed I am going to challenge myself to make a new dish using quinoa every night for one week and will share it with you on this blog (September 27 - October 1).

Wish me luck!

Friday, September 17, 2010

My New Vegan Cookbook

For my birthday, my wonderful girlfriends bought me a great big vegan cook book - 500 recipes! I was very delighted but I only had time this week to finally make something from it.

I chose something simple, with few ingredients, but warm, yummy and a perfect dish to welcome the cool weather ...




Coconut Curry Carrot Soup
From 500 Vegan Recipes, p 134


2 cups vegetable broth
1 can (414ml) coconut milk
1 lb peeled and chopped carrots
1 tbsp yellow curry powder
1 tbsp minced garlic
salt and pepper, to taste (optional)

Add all the ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil.  Reduce to simmer for about 10 minutes or until the carrots are tender.  Using a blender purée the soup until smooth and "creamy."

Yield: 5 servings

Mike and I, who both enjoyed the soup last night, thought adding ground ginger would have been a really nice touch - next time!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Almost like Chicken but Not Quite

"Chicken" Tofu Nuggets
Got the original recipe at this website.

•1 block firm or extra-firm tofu, pressed
•1/3 cup rice milk
•2 tbsp mustard
•1 tsp onion powder
•1 tsp garlic powder
•1/2 tsp salt
•1/4 tsp black pepper
•1.5 tbsp nutritional yeast
•3/4 cup flaxseed meal (or bread crumbs)

1. In a wide bowl, whisk together the rice milk, mustard, nutritional yeast and spices until smooth. Place the flaxseed meal in a separate wide bowl.

2. Coat each piece of tofu with wet mixture first, then coat with crumbs.

3. These can be baked or fried until golden brown, I personally prefer to bake them at 350F for about 22-24 minutes, turning once.

Makes 2 servings of vegetarian tofu nuggets.

Kale Hemp Salad
Original recipe from Domestic Affair Blog.

The Salad:
1 large bunch kale, washed, thinly chopped, and dried
3 tbsp cider vinegar
1/2 tsp sea salt

Toss to distribute. The more you toss it the better! Then add:

The Dressing:
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
1/3 cup hemp seeds
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground cayenne pepper (original recipe called for coriander but I didn't have any)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup fresh sprouts (optional, I didn't use them)

Toss all ingredients together until well-distributed. Allow it to rest for a few minutes.

Makes 2-3 larger servings.

Enjoy!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Back Next Week! Recovering from Jet Lag ...

From a very funny blog: http://bizarrocomic.blogspot.com/2009/12/bizarro-is-brought-to-you-today-by-bill.html
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