Red Quinoa Cabbage Kale Salad

Sweet and Spicy Triple Red Quinoa Salad

Let’s talk about cabbage. I love cole slaw—like, really love, it’s one of my favorite sides/snacks. Sometimes I will eat a big bowl of slaw for dinner. Is that weird? Probably. Other than cole slaw, though, I don’t really do much with cabbage. So I had to get a little creative with the huge head of crisp, red cabbage that came in our Johnson’s Backyard Garden CSA box last week.

Red Quinoa Cabbage Kale Salad

What’s my go-to when it comes to using up vegetables? Mixing them into some quinoa, of course. What’s my other go-to? Adding a runny egg to anything/everything. Using these two standby moves, I transformed a head of cabbage into a super flavorful, easy, and healthy dinner for the household. (Let me tell you, it’s fantastic living with a boyfriend and roommates who enjoy healthy cooking as much as I do.)

This warm salad is red on red on red on red! We’ve got red quinoa, red cabbage, and red onion mingling with kale, sour apple, rich tropical coconut oil, and sweet raisins. The addition of curry and red chile flakes kicks up the spice and keeps this combination from becoming too sugary. Make sure you don’t overcook your quinoa or produce—mushy quinoa is a bummer and you want to be able to savor the crispness of the cabbage, apples, and kale.

Sweet and Spicy Triple Red Quinoa Salad

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Southwest Quinoa Salad

Keepin’ it Light: Southwest Quinoa Salad

Southwest Quinoa Salad

Now that the holidays have passed and things are calming down, I’ve been trying to focus on easy, nutrition-packed meals, like this one! This super simple quinoa salad is a lovely mix of flavors and textures. Cool, creamy avocado and spicy squash are folded into a protein packed mix of quinoa and black beans. With some other vegetables and a bright splash of lime for good measure.

This particular creation was actually dreamed up thanks to a bunch of leftovers I had the other night. I had some friends over to watch The Bachelor (don’t judge—criticizing sobbing drunk girls on TV is amazing) and I prepped homemade burrito bowls for our dinner. This is the salad that came out of all the remaining components. There is literally NOTHING bad for you here. 100% health. Tons of protein, tons of vegetables, and some good fats from coconut oil. You’re welcome.

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Leftover City: Pumpkin-Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yet another recipe involving pumpkin from yours truly. What can I say, it’s Thanksgiving time! If you’re wondering what you’re going to do with all that leftover pumpkin puree from your Thanksgiving pumpkin pie recipe, I have one for you. It’s easy, cheap, tasty, and healthy without tasting particularly like a health food. You can serve a couple of these as a main course, or use one as a nice, hearty side with your turkey leftovers. Either way, you’re looking at a complete protein, fiber, veggies, and a little bit of savory indulgence (blue cheeeeeese!) all at once. Win win win.

Pumpkin-Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

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Beefy Taco Veggie Quinoa Bake

taco quinoa bake

So, three weeks ago I had the bright idea that we should re-do the kitchen.  Aaaand we are in the thick of it.  It’s an ongoing process and there is so much to do!! Needless to say, I don’t really feel  much like digging through the boxes in the dining room for lots of pans and coming up with clever recipes.

This one happened by accident.  Such a happy accident!

I was talking to my mom, musing about what to make for dinner one night and she said to come shop in her overflowing pantry.  She has a million cans of things.  Once I saw her can of black beans, I knew what to do. I could eat this combination of flavors every day and be cool with it.

It is kind of a long list of ingredients, but your entire, healthy & delicious meal is all in one dish.  Can’t get simpler than that! Every ingredient adds another layer of flavor to this dish.  It’s a party in your mouth!  But if there is something you don’t have on hand, substitutions could easily be made.  If you don’t have butternut squash, you could add in a cup of diced zucchini.  Mushrooms would also be a lovely addition.


Beefy Taco Veggie Quinoa Bake

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Japanese Quinoa Salad

I know quinoa has been somewhat of a divisive subject here on the ol’ Simmer, but that only makes me want to write about it more. So, here’s this! A recipe that my roommate Dayna actually whipped up and I have stolen from her, because it is sooooo good. Healthy, light, and packed with protein (edamame plus tofu plus yep, quinoa), this has become one of my favorite post-workout snacks and a lunch-on-the-go staple. It’s super easy to throw together and keeps well in the fridge for up to about a week.

JapaneseQuinoaSalad

Japanese Quinoa Salad

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Healthiest Chocolate Bar Ever?

In my neverending quest to find weird, wacky candies, I unearthed something surprisingly healthy last weekend: a quinoa chocolate bar!

QuinoaDarkChocolate

Weird, right? They had it in the artisan chocolate section at my Central Market (which is basically the Texas local version of Whole Foods). I just had to buy it ($4.29) because I love quinoa, but also because I knew it would enrage the resident ES quinoa haters. In your face, haters! Made by Alter Eco Foods, this candy bar is objectively good. Seriously, if you didn’t know the crispy bits were quinoa, you’d just think it was a dark chocolate Krackel bar or something.

In all honesty, you’re probably not reaping more benefits from this bar than you would from any other dark chocolate (it has 2g of protein per serving, I don’t think that’s shockingly beneficial), but whatever—I like to pretend I’m being super healthy and responsible when munching on this bad boy. Plus it’s organic! What more do you need? Basically I just lost 5 pounds, lowered my cholesterol, and got my week’s worth of fiber by trying this new candy.*

*No, I didn’t, but whatever.

Spicy Bibimbap Oatmeal

Sick of the same old breakfast? Bland old cereal and fruit not doing it for you anymore? Well, today I’m here to spice up your morning routine… literally. Presenting your new favorite way to start the way: bibimbap oatmeal!

The idea for this glorious creation came together last week when I was trying out a new condiment, Gochujang, or Korean Hot Pepper Paste, from CJ Foods. I love anything spicy and/or Asian, so I was curious to see how this product stacked up to beloved old standbys like Sriracha. I gave myself a little taste test and determined that the Gochujang has a bit of a slower, more controlled savory burn that builds up after you eat it, while Sriracha is a bit more of a bright, immediate in-your-face kind of spice. Both are fantastic—and in my opinion, crucial—condiments for any home chef.

Anyway! I was thinking, hmm, what creative new dish can I make with my new chili paste? Then it dawned on me… the spicy oatmeal I read about and pinned from HuffPo last week! If it’s good with Sriracha, I bet it’s even better with Gochujang and Sriracha! And that’s how my Bibimbap Oatmeal was brought into this world. I added some complexity to my dish by combining quinoa and oatmeal, but you could easily make it only with oatmeal or only with quinoa. I made my first version with just the grains, seasonings, and egg, but in true bibimbap fashion I encourage you to mix in sautéed seasonal vegetables and/or some thin-sliced meat. Either way, make sure you have that runny yolk on top, because that makes all the difference.

Spicy Bibimbap Oatmeal

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