Breakfast Quinoa

I made a batch of quinoa for an appetizer I made and thought I would look on Pinterest to see what other ideas I could make with it. As a new mommy, breakfast is a hard thing thing to make/eat every morning. I saw a bunch of overnight oatmeal recipes on Pinterest and thought I could do something similar with my quinoa. The best part about this quick dish is that you can top it with anything you like! I basically went into my pantry picked out my toppings below and it turned out to be so good! I really had to hold myself back from adding chocolate morsels…

Breakfast Quinoa

breakfast quinoa

Ingredients (serves 2)
1 cup coconut milk
1/2 quinoa
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon of any nut butter (I used maple almond butter)
Toppings:
Sliced almonds
Shredded coconut
Cinnamon
Honey
1 sliced banana

Directions
Cook the quinoa per instructions on the box, substituting the water for the coconut milk. After the quinoa cooks, mix in the vanilla extract, nut butter and cinnamon. (You can melt the nut butter in the microwave to incorporate it easier). Add any toppings you’d like, I added the ones listed above. Drizzle with honey, and enjoy! You can serve warm and it will keep well in the refrigerator to heat up the next day too!

Recipe source: http://www.howsweeteats.com/2012/04/breakfast-quinoa/

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Buffalo Chicken Quinoa Lettuce Wraps

I took my favorite healthy comfort food and turned it even more healthy! These lettuce wraps are the best way to add healthy to your diet while still getting the protein and yumminess you deserve.

Buffalo Chicken Quinoa Lettuce Wraps

buffalo chicken quinoa lettuce wraps

Ingredients

1 head of Boston, Bib, or Butter Lettuce
1 cup quinoa (measured uncooked)
2 cups water
3/4 lb boneless, skinless, chicken breast, cut into cubes or strips
1/2 cup Sambal (or any hot sauce)
1/2 cup olive oil
2 cups shredded carrots
2 Avocados
1 tsp salt
Chives-chopped (optional)

Directions

In a medium pot, combine quinoa and water. Bring to a boil, cover, and then turn heat to low. Cook until all the water is absorbed. It usually says on the quinoa package how long to cook it until.

While the quinoa is cooking, make the buffalo sauce. In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, hot sauce, and salt. I usually use Sambal chile sauce for my  “hot sauce,” so feel free to use any hot sauce you like. Whisk to combine and set aside.

Heat a skillet over medium high heat. Add a tablespoon of olive oil and add chicken to saute until cooked through. Add half of sauce mix, saute for two minutes and cook the chicken for about 5 minutes or until cooked through. For me, its easier to cook the chicken breast whole first, then after its cooked cut it up.

Now its time to assemble! Take 1 piece of lettuce, add the quinoa to the center, and a couple pieces of buffalo chicken on top of that. Then add a little shredded carrots and a couple pieces of avocado. Top with chopped chives if desired, roll up and serve!

Recipe source: http://natashaskitchen.com/2014/08/02/chicken-quinoa-lettuce-wraps-with-peanut-sauce

Cheesy Greek-Style Baked Quinoa

This healthy quinoa bake is so good you won’t even realize how healthy it is! Plus it is so easy to make with simple ingredients that wont break the bank. It’s the perfect healthy comfort food!

Cheesy Greek-Style Baked Quinoa

 cheesy greek style baked quinoa

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups Cooked Quinoa
  • 1 1/4 cup Fat Free Feta Cheese
  • 1/2 cup Reduced Fat Shredded Mozzarella
  • 1 cup Chopped Spinach
  • 1 cup Diced Cherry Tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup Skim Milk
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp Minced Garlic
  • 1 tsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 tsp Parsley
  • 1 tsp Onion Powder
  • Salt & Black Pepper

Directions

  1. Prepare the quinoa as directed.  While quinoa cooks, dice cherry tomatoes and chop spinach leaves, then set aside.  Next, in food processor combine feta, skim milk, garlic, lemon juice, and parsley, blending until smooth.
  2. When ready, cherry tomatoes and spinach into quinoa, plus 1 tbsp oil, stirring well.  Pour over with feta sauce, then season with onion powder and salt & pepper, combining thoroughly.
  3. Transfer mixture to oven safe casserole dish, spreading evenly.  Top with mozzarella, then bake at 400F for 15 minutes until top has melted.  Immediately plate and serve.

Recipe source: http://cookingwithcakes.com/cheesy-greek-style-baked-quinoa/

Quinoa and Spinach Un-Mac n’ Cheese

This recipe takes my favorite mac and cheese to a whole new level. Instead of pasta, it uses quinoa which adds protein and cuts back on the carbs. Adding the spinach adds a little vegetable to the dish making it that much more healthy! This recipe has been added to my list of favorite comfort foods!

Quinoa and Spinach Un-Mac n’ Cheese

quinoa and spinach unmac n cheese

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Quinoa
  • 3 tablespoons Butter
  • 3 tablespoons Flour
  • 1 1/2 cups Milk
  • Freshly Grated Nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Shallot (minced)
  • 8 ounces Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 1/2 cup Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese (divided)
  • 1 bag Fresh Baby Spinach
  • 4 tablespoons Butter (melted)
  • 3/4 cup Panko Breadcrumbs

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare a casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray.

Cook the quinoa according to the package instructions.

In a sauce pan over medium heat, add 3 tablespoons of butter and the shallot. Cook until the shallot is slightly soft then whisk in flour. Continue to whisk until a paste forms and becomes light golden in color.

Whisk in the milk and increase the heat to medium-high. Bring to a boil while whisking. Stir in nutmeg and salt along with the cheddar cheese. When the cheese sauce is smooth, remove from heat.

In a large bowl, mix cooked quinoa, cheese sauce, spinach and half of the parmesan cheese. Transfer mixture to the casserole dish. Top with the remaining parmesan.

In a small bowl, stir together the melted butter and panko breadcrumbs. Sprinkle over the casserole and bake for 20 minutes.

Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before serving.

Recipe source: http://abc.go.com/shows/the-chew/recipes/quinoa-spinach-un-mac-n-cheese-dana-urbinati

Quinoa with Cheese and Herbs

This is my new favorite comfort food. It’s healthy, it’s cheesy, but most importantly its easy and delicious! The original recipe called for farro, but I couldn’t find that in my grocery store so I substituted it for quinoa, which is great and adds protein to this simple dish. Call it an adult mac and cheese if you must!

Quinoa with Cheese and Herbs

Quinoa with Cheese and Herbs

 

Ingredients

1 cup uncooked quinoa, with 2 cups water
2 cups (8 ounces) grated extra-sharp Cheddar
2 cups (8 ounces) grated mozzarella
1 cup whole milk
3 tablespoons herbes de Provence
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 (about 5 ounces) 1/2-inch thick slices multi-grain or whole-grain bread, preferably 1 day old, torn into 1/2-inch pieces
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
Butter, for baking dish

Directions

Put an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Butter a 9 by 13 by 2-inch glass baking dish. Set aside.

Quinoa: In a pot, bring the quinoa, water and salt to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat, cover the pot, and simmer until the quinoa is cooked, about 10-15 minutes. Fluff once the water has evaporated.

Filling: In a large bowl mix together the cheeses, milk, herbes de Provence, salt, and pepper. Add the cooked quinoa and stir until coated. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish.

Topping: Arrange the bread pieces on top of the farro mixture and drizzle liberally with olive oil.

Bake for 15 minutes until the topping is golden. Cool for 5 minutes and serve.

Recipe source: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/farro-with-cheese-and-herbs-recipe.html

Honey Sesame Chicken

I got a crockpot as a wedding present and haven’t done much with it yet. However, I found this recipe for a honey sesame chicken and thought it would be a good start!

Crock Pot Honey Sesame Chicken

Honey Sesame Chicken

Ingredients

  • 3-4 Boneless/Skinless Chicken breasts
  • Pepper
  • 1/2 white onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 C honey
  • 1/2 C low sodium soy sauce
  • Approx. 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/3 C water
  • 3 scallions- chopped
  • sesame seeds
  • quinoa

Directions

  1. Lightly season chicken with pepper and place in crockpot
  2. Combine onion, garlic, honey, soy sauce, oil, and pepper over the chicken.
  3. Cook on low for 6 hours
  4. After about 4 hours I added in some water to the crock pot and after 6 just turned it to the “warm” setting
  5. Remove chicken and shred into bite-size pieces (here you can either set aside or put back into the sauce). You can shred the chicken with a fork, or I have seen it done in a kitchen aid too just keep the speed to semi-low.
  6. Prepare quinoa according to directions on package
  7. Serve quinoa onto plates, top with chicken and spoon sauce on top.
  8. Sprinkle sesame seeds and the chopped scallions over the top

Now as you might know by now, my husband likes things spicy. If you like it spicy I would add 1 tbsp of hot sauce or chili sauce into the crock pot so it absorbs in the whole dish. Or you can always taste the sauce before you serve it and add in your hot sauce then.

I  got this recipe on a fitness website so I knew it would be healthy. The author pairs this recipe with a workout routine so you can find the original workout and recipe here: http://fitandbusy.wordpress.com/2013/01/16/arms-and-crockpot-honey-sesame-chicken/

Buffalo Chicken Quinoa with Brussels Sprouts

By far my favorite dish to eat! This is the kind of recipe I will make at least once a month if not twice. I got this recipe off a blog that someone from my high school created. She too loves food so I love her website: http://savoringourtwenties.blogspot.com/2013/07/buffalo-chicken-quinoa-w-brussels.html

So my husband loves spicy food (nothing is ever spicy enough). So the one thing I love about this recipe is that it can be a spicy or as mild as you want depending on how much buffalo sauce you use. I have learned to like things on the spicier side thanks to my husband, but this recipe tops the cake.

The recipe called for blue cheese, but I am not a fan. In fact, I absolutely LOVE goat cheese. So I substituted the blue cheese for the goat cheese. It creates that creamy texture and still helps to cool off your palate from the spiciness of the buffalo sauce. However,  if you like blue cheese, feel free to stick to that.

Buffalo Chicken Quinoa with Brussels Sprouts, Goat Cheese, and Green Onions

Buffalo Chicken Quinoa

Ingredients
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
3/4 lb boneless, skinless, chicken breast, cut into cubes
1 cup shredded brussels sprouts
1/2 cup goat cheese crumbles
4 green onions, chopped

Dressing/”Buffalo” Sauce
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup hot sauce
1 teaspoon  salt

Directions

In a medium pot, combine quinoa and water. Bring to a boil, cover, and then turn heat to low. Cook until all the water is absorbed. It usually says on the quinoa package how long to cook it until.

While the quinoa is cooking, make the buffalo sauce. In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, hot sauce, and salt. I usually use Sambal chile sauce for my  “hot sauce,” so feel free to use any hot sauce you like. Whisk to combine and set aside.

Heat a skillet over medium high heat. Add a tablespoon of olive oil and saute the brussels sprouts until they begin to soften. Place in bowl and set aside. Add chicken to same pan and saute until cooked through. Add half of sauce mix, saute for two minutes and cook the chicken for about 5 minutes or until cooked through. For me, its easier to cook the chicken whole first, then after its cooked through, cut it into cubes.

Add the chicken, green onion, brussels sprouts, along with remainder of dressing to quinoa. Mix thoroughly. If you do not like things spicy, only add a little to no more dressing and taste until you come to your desired spiciness.

Add the goat cheese and half of the green onions. Mix again and serve warm with extra goat cheese crumbles and green onions.

You can also add diced avocado to cut down on the spice as well as to add a creaminess to the dish. You can also substitute the chicken for tofu for a vegetarian twist. Or simply omit the chicken all together.

Recipe source: http://savoringourtwenties.blogspot.com/2013/07/buffalo-chicken-quinoa-w-brussels.html