Red Quinoa Crock Pot Stew

A Big Mess of Slow Cooker Quinoa Deliciousness

Red Quinoa Crock Pot Stew

January is prime slow cooker season, as far as I’m concerned. The days are still pretty dark and pretty cold (okay, it was 70 and sunny here in Austin today, but that’s still kinda “cold” for us in Texas). When I get home it’s nice to have something hot and tasty waiting for me. (Besides my fiance. Haha. I’m fully of the jokes today.)

A lot of the popular slow cooker recipes out there are kinda unhealthy, but I’m still recovering from the massive infusion of sugar, butter, and booze I put my body through last month during the holidays, so I like to keep my January dinners fairly light. Luckily there are plenty of meals that are easy to throw in the crock pot, absolutely satisfying, AND good for you.

This red quinoa stew is one of those recipes. It’s so filling and flavorful that it seems like it should be worse for you, but it’s a paragon of good nutrition. Plenty of protein, fiber, and vegetables. This recipe makes 4-6 servings, so if you’re not feeding a big family you should have some nice leftovers for lunch the next day. The slow cooker truly is the gift that keeps on giving.

Red Quinoa Butternut Squash Stew

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Slow Cooker Ginger Honey Chicken

Slow Cooker Ginger-Honey Chicken

Slow Cooker Ginger Honey Chicken

I can’t believe it took me so long to blog this ginger honey chicken dish, because it was SO GOOD. While winter is in its last gasps I encourage everyone to make and enjoy this super-easy slow cooker recipe. As with all the best slow cooker situations, it’s quick to prep, makes your house smell delicious, and seems like you put waaaay more work into it than you actually did. Score, score, and score.

Slow Cooker Ginger-Honey Chicken

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Southwest Shredded Slow Cooker Chicken

Southwest Spiced Slow Cooker Chicken

Southwest Shredded Slow Cooker Chicken

Some of my friends and I are in a Bachelor fantasy league. Feel free to make fun of me, I don’t care. It’s awesome and a legit excuse to drink a questionable about of wine on a weeknight. It’s kind of like fantasy football, but we “draft” the hot messes from each season of the Bachelor franchise and then hate-watch and track whose players earn the most points (from achievements like “revealing a sob story,” “secretly has a kid,” “hot tub bonus make out” etc.).

We take turns hosting – whoever is on weekly host duty is also in charge of dinner. I hosted the premiere last week and needed to make a big batch of healthy food – and this southwest spiced chicken was perfect. I was able to prep everything the night before, throw the chicken in the slow cooker before work the morning of, and when I came home dinner was basically done.

Now that is worth some major bonus “hot tub make out” points. (If by “hot tub” we mean “slow cooker” and “make out” we mean “cooking.”)

Southwest Spiced Slow Cooker Chicken

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Red Kale Quinoa Salad

Back on the Health Train: Red Kale & Quinoa Salad

Red Kale Quinoa Salad

Well, it’s time… all of us who overate and overdrank during the holidays (probably everyone reading this, right?) now turns toward the new year with dreams of doing better. Eating better. Being better. And you know what that means… salad. Lots and lots of salad. Luckily, if anyone knows how to make salad not totally depressing, it’s me. And famed Texas chef David Bull, apparently.

This is a recipe I enjoyed in the finishers village after the Fit Foodie 5K in Austin in September 2014. I liked it so much I asked the event organizer if I could share the recipe with all of you. They graciously agreed, so now we can all make this kale salad together and try to wash away those blurry eggnog memories.

Red Kale & Quinoa Salad

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Curried Quinoa Avocado Naan Flatbreads

Curried Quinoa & Avocado Naan Flatbreads

Curried Quinoa Avocado Naan Flatbreads

Okay! These are my new go-to snack/app when I have people over for lunch/dinner and want to throw something impressive (but actually very easy) together. They’re pretty, colorful, and obviously most importantly, taste awesome. You can add as much or as little curry and cayenne as you’d like, depending on how spicy you like it.

Curried Quinoa & Avocado Naan Flatbreads

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Thai Cashew Cole Slaw

Creamy Cashew Quinoa Cole Slaw

Thai Cashew Cole Slaw

This is a very ME recipe. Asian-inspired flavors? Check. Quinoa? Check. Some sort of shredded cabbage/slaw component? Check. Cashews? CHECK, of course! Oh, and avocado, but at this point that should go without saying.

There is nothing not to love about this salad. Slash slaw. Slash pilaf. Okay, I’m not really sure what exactly to call it. It’s easy to throw together on a busy night. It’s packed with nutritious vegetables, protein, and fiber. It can be your full meal or a side. If you want some meat/additional protein, you could easily top with shrimp or chicken. Make it your own!

Creamy Cashew Quinoa Cole Slaw

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Strawberry Fields Salad

Strawberry Fields Spinach Salad

Strawberry Fields Salad

This recipe is so simple I almost feel bad posting it as a “recipe”… except for I don’t feel bad, because it is SOOOO GOOD. You’ll see.

I originally experienced this heavenly combo during one of my weekly girls’ night dinner parties. I knew it was going to be a winner when I saw the dressing employed: Rich Poppy Seed Dressing from Brianna’s. Normally I don’t love bottled salad dressings, but this Brianna’s is different. I’ve been a big fan of their poppy seed dressing since I discovered it years ago. It’s an amazing complement to every sort of fruit (including peaches, as indicated on the bottle—and also avocado!)

The sweetness of the strawberries and the dressing is an obvious pairing with the tangy, creamy goat cheese and balsamic vinegar. The surprise here is the quinoa—usually I serve cooled quinoa in salads, but this one keeps it warm. This allows the goat cheese to melt into the quinoa and the rest of the salad ingredients, and slightly wilt the spinach. It all melts and mixes together just enough, not too much. The key? Slightly warm quinoa, not super hot right off the stove!

Sweet Strawberry Fields Salad

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