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Kitchen Sink Quinoa

Kitchen Sink Quinoa

Quinoa is one of those throw-in-whatever-you-have-in-the-fridge bases that pays to keep

Eating healthy should still be delicious.

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in the cabinet. For me, this base used to be rice, but now with recent revelations let's just say I am eating quinoa more and more.

Seeing fresh food go to waste is a pet peeve to any food lover. Saying goodbye to that half-full carton of cherry tomatoes or yesterday’s avocado makes me feel wasteful and also makes me think of the money I am wasting at the grocery store.

Keeping around a neutral base, like quinoa or pasta, is the perfect answer to using up random fridge food and also makes for a quick weeknight meal. This particular brand of quinoa only took about 20 minutes to make. Afterward I combined cherry tomatoes, boiled green beans, feta cheese, black beans, basil, lemon, and olive oil. Cheese, veggies, and whole grains make a balanced one-dish meal (and leftovers were great for lunch the next day too). Need more ideas? Find 15 recipes for cooking with quinoa.


Everything but the Kitchen Sink Quinoa Salad

This hearty salad uses components from several of this week’s recipes, making for an easy grocery shop and a no-fuss end-of-the-week lunch.

Pack it up : There’s no wrong way to pack this one up. Just put it in a resealable container and you’re good to go.

Swap it out : Don’t have all the ingredients below? Don’t worry! Diced and seeded cucumber, bell pepper, chopped spinach, and red onion would all work beautifully in this dish.

1 cup (250 mL) quinoa
2 cups (500 mL) water
2 tsp (10 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup (60 mL) pesto from Thursday’s lunch
1/3 cup (80 mL) roughly chopped toasted almonds
1 - 15 oz (425 g) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup (125 mL) roughly chopped artichoke hearts
1 roasted red pepper, diced
1 cup (250 mL) halved grape tomatoes

Combine quinoa and water in medium-sized pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and let simmer until water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat, fluff with fork, and set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, combine olive oil and pesto and stir to combine.

When quinoa has cooled completely, add pesto to quinoa and gently combine until pesto is evenly distributed. Add remaining ingredients and toss to combine.

Split among 4 bowls and serve, or among 4 airtight containers and refrigerate.

Each serving contains: 469 calories 18 g protein 18 g total fat (2 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat) 61 g total carbohydrates (7 g sugars, 15 g fibre) 279 mg sodium


“Everything but the Kitchen Sink” Quinoa Cookies

Yet another quinoa creation from the week. I accidentally made enough quinoa to feed a small army, but I’m not complaining. These cookies were one of my favorite treats so far – not just because they’re tasty and satisfying, or because they’re super nutrient dense, but because they are the perfect snack for ANY time of day! They are a a great option for a sweet and savory dessert, an afternoon-hanger killing snack or an awesome pre-workout energy boost.

These babies kept me fueled for my 6am track practices every day for a week (until I ran out … which reminds me, I need to make more.).

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 cup natural salted peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 4 T almond meal (or flour of choice)
  • 2 T walnuts (or nuts of choice) processed into small bits
  • 2 T coconut oil
  • 1/2 or so of chocolate chips
  • 2 T unsweetened shredded coconut

Method

Step 1

1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl until thoroughly combined.

Step 2

2. Scoop 'dough' into 12 balls and press into cookie shaped mounds on a greased plate or baking sheet.

Step 3

3. Freeze for 20-30 minutes until firm. Once hardened, remove and enjoy!

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Lauren Bossi

My name is Lauren Bossi I run Track & Field at the University of Hartford in CT. I've got a passion for running and plant-based eats. When I'm not wandering around the aisles of the grocery store I enjoy cooking, baking, photography, pun-writing and tag-saling.


Muesli Kitchen Sink Cookies

Course Dessert, Sweet Thangs

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup creamy unsweetened almond butter (sub peanut or cashew nut butter)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Muesli
  • 1/4 cup carrots, finely grated
  • 1/4 cup plain cooked quinoa
  • 1/3 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp chocolate chips (optional)

Instructions

In a medium bowl, mix together almond butter, egg, and vanilla extract using the back of a large spoon. Don't over mix.

Add muesli, carrots, quinoa, coconut sugar, and baking soda. Mix using a spoon until everything is fully incorporated.

Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Create 6 even balls of cookie dough, gently press into cookie shapes.

If using chocolate chips gently press them in to the top of your cookies.

Let cool on a cooling rack.

Recipe Notes

Consider these Muesli Kitchen Sink Cookies my farewell gift to you. For now. What I mean by that is, I’m taking a short break from the blog and social media while I move across the country. So from the middle of June to the middle/end of July there probably won’t be new recipes on here and I won’t be updating or checking my social media.

If you’re thinking to yourself, “Why the heck would you do that Haley?” Let me explain…

Last year was a HUGE work year for me, and it has pervaded into this year. I’ve achieved more than I ever thought I would, and worked harder than I ever thought I could. And I’ve been pushing through some nagging burnout along the way. I’m creatively exhausted. I’ve made filming videos in my bedroom work for nearly a year and a half. It’s been very stressful.

Later this month I am packing up my stuff and moving back to Los Angeles, where I’ll have more space. I will have a studio room. I will have a completely different life. So it’s time for me to turn inward and ground during this process. I need to do this transition my way. I need to do it with my heart in my hands, rather than my phone. I need to get back to myself. And, honestly, I need to develop better coping mechanisms for dealing with stress than scrolling on instagram.

So next time you hear from me I’ll be showing you my new studio, and *hopefully* I’ll be so creatively excited about what’s to come next. This is definitely not a goodbye. I am still very much in love with my job. I just need some time to refocus.

If you’re wondering if I’m scared, you should know that I’m terrified. Ceasing to engage with the platforms that make me money, and risking the algorithm hating me once I return is TERRIFYING. But I am aware that that’s exactly why I have to do this. I can’t let the fear of those things stop me from living my life. I can’t let social media be more important than my real life.

So if you happen to be looking for permission to check out of social media for a while, here it is. Take time for yourself. Prioritize your mental health. Be gentle with your heart.

I will miss you all, but remember that my recipe archives are here, my youtube videos are here, and my heart is always with yours. See you on the other side. xo.


Breakfast is the most important meal of the day as it gives your body fuel and energy to get you ready for the long day ahead, also eating breakfast increases your metabolic rate! This Quinoa and Spiced Blueberry Bircher by Tiana Haines is gluten-free, dairy-free and is great for a good wholesome breakfast on the go and leaves you feeling satisfied for longer.


Mediterranean Herb Quinoa Salad Recipe

Prep time: about 15 minutes
Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed well
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed, grated, or pressed
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped scallions
  • 1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 cup cucumber, chopped into small cubes
  • 1/2 cup radish, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh mint, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 cup finely chopped parsley
  • 1 handful arugula, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons roasted red peppers, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup organic crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (

Bring the 2 cups of water to a boil, add the quinoa and reduce to medium heat. Let simmer about 20 minutes until all of water is absorbed and the quinoa is tender. Transfer to a mixing bowl and let cool to room temperature. You can put it in the refrigerator to cool it more quickly. (You can prepare the quinoa up to 4 days early and keep it in an airtight glass container in the refrigerator.)

Don’t forget to download the FREE eBook to help you create this and 4 other healthy quinoa salad recipes right now! Click the button below to get it instantly.

While the quinoa cooks:
– First, mix the garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a small bowl and let sit while you chop the veggies to allow the garlic to infuse the dressing.
– Second, chop/prepare and reserve the rest of the ingredients to be mixed into the salad.

Add all ingredients and dressing to the bowl of quinoa and toss until well combine.

Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to develop together.


Kitchen Sink Quinoa - Recipes

Cook the quinoa: Rinse briefly in a colander, drain and transfer to a saucepan. Add 1 cup water and bring to a boil.

Simmer on low for 15 minutes. If the quinoa is still liquid, strain through a sieve and let cool completely (see Note).

Line an 8- by 8-inch baking pan with parchment and grease with coconut oil (or use cooking spray).

In a small saucepan heat honey, nut butter, coconut oil, cinnamon and salt for 2–4 minutes over medium heat (it helps the mixing process to evenly coat all ingredients).

In a small food processor, pulse the chopped dates, coconut, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and dried blueberries for 1–2 minutes, or until mixture has a crumbly but still coarse texture. Add ½ cup of the oats and cooked quinoa, blend for 30 seconds to 1 minute, until chopped.

In a large bowl combine all of the ingredients and mix until you can press it together and it holds its shape (if needed add a bit more coconut oil).

Press the mixture firmly into the prepared baking pan and refrigerate until chilled, at least 1 hour. Cut into 12 bars.

Tip: Freeze any trail bars you make before going on a hike: No matter the kind of bar, this will ensure they hold their shape and stay fresh during your hike, especially in the warmer months!

Note: If you prefer crunchy quinoa, change to 1 cup and add it raw. Or you can toast it in a single layer on a baking sheet for 5 minutes at 350°F.

Substitutes: Tahini is a great substitute for any nut butter. Looking to replace coconut oil? Use grapeseed oil (neutral), avocado oil or olive oil (not neutral).


Everything-But-The-Kitchen-Sink Quinoa Salad

Yes, sometimes it is necessary to improvise in the kitchen. Maybe you&rsquove got family coming over for a big visit. Maybe you remember a couple family members are vegetarians as you&rsquore putting the roast beef in the oven. Maybe it&rsquos 8:30 a.m. and everybody is showing up at noon. You have a pantry and fridge full of great ingredients, but no specific recipes in mind. Time to make magic in the kitchen.

In less than an hour I created an Everything-But-The-Kitchen-Sink Quinoa Salad. My method is simple: Take everything you&rsquove got that would taste good in a quinoa salad and combine with cooked quinoa. In my kitchen yesterday morning that meant red pepper, frozen corn, a can of chickpeas, cucumber, tomatoes, red onion, mint, the juice of two limes, lime zest and plenty of salt and pepper. Simple and delicious. I enjoyed the freedom of creating a dish of the moment, adding ingredients on the fly, tasting as I went. Had the items been in my fridge, I could have popped in some asparagus, mushrooms, carrots, or radish&mdashthe options really are endless. A success with the vegetarians and meat eaters alike, my spontaneous salad hit the mark and was even better the next day for lunch. Annabelle Waugh, Canadian Living&rsquos food director, is the ultimate freestyle quinoa salad creator. She uses whatever&rsquos in the fridge to make a refreshing salad and then tops it off with a terrific dressing. The next time I get creative with a quinoa salad, I might take Annabelle's suggestions to throw in some crumbled feta and dress with wine vinegar and olive oil!


Kitchen remodel & Watermelon quinoa salad recipe

Some of you have asked for pictures of our kitchen remodel, so I finally took some decent photos of the finished areas. I’m still not done adding the charm of decorating and there isn’t a single picture on the wall or a quilt for that matter. If you’re not interested in the kitchen photos, skip to the end of this post for a delicious watermelon quinoa salad recipe that is perfect for the warmer weather.

Our kitchen, dining room and family room were divided by walls and very outdated. We took out two walls and rebuilt another so that the flow is better and it’s a more open area. Here is a picture taken the day before demolition:

I love the white cabinets and the granite counter tops. The flooring is wide planked engineered wood. It warms up the whole house. We added a wet bar area and double ovens (combo steam oven on top and convection oven below) to one section of the kitchen that was previously a brick wall. I also love having an extra sink in this area.

The kitchen island is a wonderful thing. I have more counter space than I know what to do with (not really). It has deep drawers to hold my dishes and cookware. We opted for a microwave drawer in the island that can be used as a warming drawer, too.

In the dining room, we converted an old sliding door into a french door with side panes. Now we’ve got beautiful, natural light that fills the entire space. It also motivates me to keep the yard clean and the flowers blooming.

The family/living room has also been overhauled with new furniture, gas fireplace and media cabinets. That big TV is all about Mr. Crafty Quilter. I sacrificed my mantle so he could have the big screen. I did get a nice kitchen out of the deal, though! That leather recliner will be finding a new home as soon as the new chair arrives.

Our entrance hall is new and shiney as well. We raised the ceiling and added all new crown molding throughout. Boy does that dress a place up!

Every day I walk into this new space, it’s a gift. It was long overdue, but I know how lucky I am to have the means to do it (and live through it). We couldn’t have done it without our amazing general contractor (Frank Cali), our wonderful cabinet maker (Woodenbridge) and our talented designer (Hellen at Design Loft). Thank you, all! We finished a week early and we are completely happy customers!

It might take me another six months to get all of the final furniture pieces, artwork and window treatments in place. I’m still hesitant to hammer a nail into the walls, but I did manage to add the “Home Sweet Home” sign above the kitchen sink. I love it so much! I ordered it from LittleBoxSigns on Etsy. They were reasonable and prompt. I asked them to add “Est. 1984” which is the year we got married I love the personalized touch.

Since we’re in the kitchen, let’s talk recipes! I ordered a delicious watermelon salad from Eureka! a few weeks ago, and I did my best to recreate it. It has a wonderful mix of sweet and savory taste that’s not too overwhelming. This is a great way to use a watermelon that isn’t as sweet as that thump on the shell promised.

There are a lot of substitutions that you can make if you don’t have the exact ingredients. I started with a base of arugula and spinach. You can make it from just one type of green if you don’t have them both. I used 1/4 of a watermelon (cubed) and added quinoa, cucumber, walnuts and feta cheese. You could try it with mango, almonds and no cheese. The quinoa adds a little substance to the salad and I love the flavor and texture.


Savory Sweet Quinoa Muffins

Here’s a hearty mini-muffin that’s great to serve with dinner, brunch or to enjoy as a snack. I considered naming these Kitchen Sink Muffins, since I filled it with so many flavorful additions…everything but the kitchen sink :-)

The flavors here are savory and sweet, with salty bacon, fresh herbs, spiced apples and cheesy nutritional yeast. Cooked quinoa adds texture and heartiness that make these little muffins really enjoyable!

1 cup blanched almond flour

1 cup coconut milk, canned and full fat

2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

¼ cup coconut oil, melted over low heat

1 cup shredded zucchini, drained

2 tablespoons chives, minced

2 stripes cooked bacon, minced

Preheat the oven to 350°F and line 48 mini muffin cups with liners and lightly coat with coconut oil. Set aside.

For the Spiced Apple: In a small skillet over medium heat, combine the coconut oil, apple, cinnamon and salt. Sauté until tender and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

Combine the almond flour, nutritional yeast, coconut flour, quinoa, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl and set aside. Combine the eggs, coconut milk, vinegar, melted coconut oil and stevia in a large bowl. Mix well, then add the dry ingredients. Mix until fully combined. Fold in the spiced apple, zucchini, chives, and bacon.

Fill 48 mini muffin cups and bake for 15 minutes, or until golden and set.

Let the pan cool for 5 minutes. Transfer the muffins to a wire rack. Enjoy!