cozy mornin’ berry quinoa

Quinoa, originally grown in South America, has definitely become one of my favorite grains once I became vegetarian. It’s nutty, versatile, full of protein and fiber, and can be eaten hot or cold, morning or night. Quinoa also contains antioxidants, anti-inflammatory phytonutrients, omega-3 fatty acids, oleic acid, and alpha-linolenic acid.  Quinoa is also a complete protein, and contains adequate amounts of both the amino acids lysine and isoleucine.

In the past, my favorite quinoa recipe was a spicy Mexican quinoa (recipe soon to follow).  I was never a huge oatmeal fan growing up, although just like any other kid I loved the dinosaur egg instant oatmeal, as well as the apple cinnamon quaker oatmeal….however, that was at least a decade ago. Since then, I haven’t really eaten oatmeal for breakfast but my boyfriend decided to try/surprise me with this sweet and comforting quinoa porridge. You can add whatever fruits and nuts you like, and use any sweetener as well (we used maple syrup, but honey or agave nectar should be good too).

Recipe (adapted from 101cookbooks):

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup non-dairy milk (I used almond milk)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups of fruit (I used raspberries and bananas)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup toasted almond slivers
  • 4 teaspoons maple syrup, or more 🙂

Instructions:

  1. Heat milk, water, and quinoa in a saucepan and boil over high heat.
  2. Reduce heat and simmer over medium-low for 10 minutes until all liquid has been absorbed.
  3. Add remaining fruit, cinnamon, nuts, and maple syrup.

 

super tasty garlic tahini baked fries

Helloo readers! Things have been busy once again and I have been going back and forth from Amherst to New York like a mad woman, and cannot wait to get off of this bus. Nevertheless, we still have been cooking up a storm in our little apartment and these fries, which I mentioned in my curried cauliflower dish, hit the spot! Cam overcooked the garlic a little too much, and the sauce did not come out as creamy as seen in the original recipe, but the flavor was nutty, spicy, and could throw the flavor of poutine, ketchup, or whatever else you put on your greasy fries out of the kitchen. I also like the quality and texture of these baked fries, as they are simply crisped without leaving too much oil on your fingers when you’re munching.

A quick aside about tahini. Tahini is a paste made from sesame seeds, and is used in a lot of middle eastern cooking (also used in hummus and baba ghanoush recipes featured in my posts). Tahini has 89 calories per 1 tablespoon and is a good source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, as well as a good source of copper, manganese, and methionine, an amino acid. Methionine is important for treating liver disorders and wounds. Tahini is also higher in fiber and lower in saturated fats than peanut butter!

Recipe adapted from Vegan Richa:

Ingredients:

For the Fries:

  • 2 large potatoes, we used yukon gold
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt, pepper to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano

For the Magical Garlic Tahini Sauce:

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons of hummus, or blended canned chickpeas with lemon juice to supplement
  • 3 tablespoons tahini
  • 3 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon dill or parsley, we used parsley
  • 2 tablespoons of water, add more as needed to thin the sauce

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 F.
  2. Chop potatoes into matchsticks/wedge shape; combine other ingredients in a bowl and throw in the potatoes to evenly coat them.
  3. Place potatoes on a greased baking sheet (don’t overcrowd them!), lined with tin foil or parchment paper and bake for 20-30 minutes, checking the potatoes at around 15 minutes and every 5 minutes after that to ensure that they don’t get too brown.
  4. While potatoes are baking, heat skillet with oil over medium-low heat and add garlic, cooking until translucent.
  5. Blend remaining ingredients with half of the garlic in a food processor until creamy. Drizzle generously over the baked fries and sprinkle the remaining garlic over the sauce. The sauce is also great as a salad dressing or spread. 🙂

 

 

 

i-can’t-believe-it’s-vegan eggplant parm

This recipe is unbelievably good. I have tried making vegan eggplant parm in the past and was disappointed with the flavor and texture of the eggplant, and had some breading and binding issues but this recipe came out perfectly!!

The original recipe suggested using flax seed meal as a binder, but I used chickpea flour instead. I would like to continue to use chickpea flour in other recipes as egg binders, as it is extremely efficacious. 13405669_10153798742076379_877286541_o

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Ingredients:

  • 1 medium eggplant, the narrower the better (otherwise you can just cut pieces in half once cut into circles)
  • 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup of panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon of nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 1/2 cup of unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon of chickpea flour
  • Marinara sauce
  • Pasta of choice (we used adzuki bean pasta)

Directions:

  1. Slice eggplant into 1/2 inch thick rounds, and slice the rounds in half if they are too wide/large.
  2. Sprinkle each side with sea salt and place in a colander in the sink to dry/seep out water in the eggplant and let rest for 15 minutes.
  3. Lay eggplant on a baking sheet with tinfoil and plain a towel on top to absorb even more water. Leave eggplant for another 10 minutes.
  4. Remove eggplant and place on plate. Preheat oven to 400 F and lightly oil the baking sheet lined with tinfoil.
  5. Prepare three bowls: 1) flour, 2) almond milk and chickpea flour, 3) breadcrumbs, sea salt, oregano, nutritional yeast.
  6. Dip dried eggplant into flour , then almond milk mixture then breadcrumb mixture. Place on pan and then place in the oven. Bake for ten minutes.
  7. After 10 minutes, heat up a skillet with oil and while eggplant continues to bake remove 3-4 pieces from pan to fry until crispy. Continue to do this to all of the eggplant, and place back in oven. Total baking time should equate to 20-30 minutes.
  8. Heat up marinara sauce and boil pasta, serve with eggplant!!

 

finger lickin’ buffalo chickpeas

This recipe is SOO good and SO easy. I was fully surprised at how comparable the taste of these chickpeas is to buffalo chicken. Wrap ’em up in a pita with some hummus and veggies and you have yourself a “buff chick” wrap. I want to try these on everything, salads, pizza, and maybe even roasted as a little snack.

Chickpeas are high in protein, which is important for growth and maintenance of your body/tissues, with 15 grams of protein in 1 cup. To find out your personal protein requirements multiply .36 and your body weight, however amounts may vary for activity level/lifestyle. In general, 25-35% of the calories you consume should be protein, and has also been show to boost metabolism levels, if you comply to dietary needs. There are other websites/calculations you can use to determine your appropriate amount of protein consumption like this protein calculator.

Chickpeas also have 12.5 grams of fiber per cup, which is 50% of the daily value of 25 grams of fiber. Women need at least 25 grams of fiber, and men need 38 grams of fiber a day. Soluble fiber, which is found in chickpeas, is linked to lowering levels of bad cholesterol (LDL), blood sugar regulation, and lowering risks of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. Soluble fiber slows down digestion, resulting in better control of blood sugar and beneficial for those who have diabetes, and is also good for mitigating diarrhea, unlike insoluble fiber which is better for constipation.

For this recipe, you can use any type of hot sauce/seasoning (I used Frank’s Red Hot Sauce). I was also surprised at how well the coconut oil contributed to the taste effect of buffalo chicken. You will see that it adds an interesting buttery component to the flavor without having and outstanding coconut taste. The original recipe also comes with a dressing, which I have yet to try. Enjoy!!

Recipe for Buffalo Chickpeas (adapted from Minimalist Baker):

Ingredients:

  • 1 15-oz can of chickpeas, drained and dried
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 4 tablespoons hot sauce (I used Frank’s Red Hot)
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cajun seasoning, paprika, or any other seasoning you like
  • Veggies for salad: romaine lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, onions, avocado, anything else you want to include
  • Pita bread
  • Hummus to spread on pita

Directions:

  1. Add chickpeas, coconut oil, 3 tablespoons of hot sauce, garlic powder and salt to a bowl and mix until chickpeas are coated evenly.
  2. Heat a pan or skillet to medium heat and add chickpeas, sautéing for 3-5 minutes and mashing occasionally for added texture.
  3. Remove chickpeas from heat and add remaining hot sauce. Place chickpeas and mixed veggies in a pita and enjoy!!!

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