Quinoa Brussles Bowl

Oh man. You know those nights where you have a hankerin’…but you just don’t know what for?!  Well I was having one of those. It was so intense in fact that I decided to dig through the fridge and cupboards and try desperately to throw something together to satiate the feeling. 

Well. Not to sound arrogant, but…NAILED IT!!  I made a big batch of this and ate it for days. Didn’t even share. Mr. Rodgers stays away from quinoa, so I had it all to myself.  No complaints here. This is my new favorite craving fixer!  It’s so tasty and satisfying. It made me so happy that I have to share my glee with you !  

So, here’s what you need:

  • 1 lb Brussels Sprouts, halved
  • 1 Can Chickpeas, drained
  • 1 C Dry Quinoa (I used red)
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2-3 Tbsp Bacon Grease
  • Salt, Pepper, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, and Cayenne

And here’s how you do it!

  1. Preheat your oven to 350*!
  2. Place your sprouts and chickpeas in a bowl and drizzle with bacon grease. 
  3. Season generously with salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder. Add just a pinch of cayenne and toss it all together so that everything is coated with bacony goodness and all spices. 
  4. Dump onto a foil lined pan and slide into your oven. Roast 25-40 minutes, until brussel and chickpeas are browned and crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. 
  5. While waiting on your roasted ingredients, cook your quinoa according to package instructions (probably simmer in 2 C water for about 12 minutes).
  6. When water has evaporated and quinoa is done, create a crater in the middle of your pot. Scramble your eggs in a bowl then dump into the “crater.”  Cook, scraping, so that you get scrambled eggs. When eggs are done, mix it into the quinoa so you have little bits throughout. 
  7. As soon as your brussels and chickpeas are done, add quinoa mixture and stir to evenly combine. Adjust seasoning as needed, and eat warm. Sooo comforting I hope you love it as much as I did! 

Peectures!



Place your Brussels and chickpeas in a bowl. Toss with bacon grease and spices (careful with the cayenne!). I put just a pinch and it was perfect!



Sorry for the horrid blurry picture, but I knew this step might be confusing so I had to put it in there anyway. Cook your quinoa. When the liquid is gone, create a hole in the middle and pour your eggs into it. Cook, scraping often to get little bits of scrambled egg. DONT MIX IN QUINOA UNTIL THE EGGS ARE FULLY COOKED!



Pull out sprouts and chickpeas when they are deeply browned and crispy on the outside; tender on the inside. 

See how your quinoa mixture should look?



Dump quinoa mixture on top of roasted mixture and stir together. 



Season if needed. But mostly…just enjoy. Ah yeah. So happy. 

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Amazingly Delicious Quinoa Salmon Patties with Caper Sauce

Yum!  I was super surprised by these.  I have always been freaked out by seafood “patties.”  I don’t know why.  I’ve just been afraid to try.  Silly, I know.  But this recipe was product of a two week period where we had to stretch our funds as far as possible.  I had two cans of salmon from my foss (yes, I spelled that wrong on purpose…because she was my friend-boss, so we shortened it to foss.  And I was her fanny…cause I was her friend-nanny.  Yeah, haha.  It’s a special place in a person’s life, being their fanny).  Anywho…when the family I nannyed for moved to California, they gave me free rein to raid their cupboards.  That was back in May and I am still eating food from them 😀 SO…wow, rabbit trails today, sorry.  I had these cans of salmon in my pantry, and since funds were low I decided to be brave and use them up to save some grocery money.  And these beautiful patties were born.  Really, I should be thankful that we ran out of money last month, because I may never have taken the plunge and tried these…and never known how wonderful they are!

These were adapted quite a bit from tasteofhome.com.  A lovely recipe, just tweaked to our health goals…and to use what we had in our house, to be honest hehe.

 

So, here’s what you need:

For Patties:

  •  1 Stalk Celery
  • 1/2 Small Onion
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 3 Tbsp Butter or Coconut Oil, divided
  • 1/4 C Cooked Quinoa (I used organic red)
  • 2 Cans Salmon, Bones picked out
  • 1/3 C + 1/4 Cish Flax Meal (My favorite new bread crumb sub)
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 3 tsp Dijon
  • Pepper
  • Pinch of Cayenne

For Caper Sauce:

  • 6 Tbsp Mayo (I like the Olive Oil kind)
  • 2 tsp Capers, drained
  • 2 tsp Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon Mustard

 

Now, I had originally planned to put an egg in there to bind everything together, and realized that my dear husband had eaten them all for breakfast.  However, as long as I was careful these stuck together pretty well…but if you want to change it up and add an egg feel free to do so!

Alright!  Now, how you do it!

  1. Start by making your sauce so the flavors can infuse and it can chill!  Simply mix together all the sauce ingredients until well combined, cover, and stick in the fridge.
  2. Prep your veggies…chop chop mince mince yeah!  Heat butter or coconut oil (about a Tbsp) in a skillet over medium heat.  Saute onion and celery for a few minutes, until starting to become tender and translucent.  Add garlic, stir, and cook for another minute or so until everything is tender crisp but garlic is not burnt.
  3. In a bowl, dump all patty ingredients (just the first 1/3 C of the flax meal), including the veggies you just sautéed.  Mix with your hands until combined.
  4. Form into patties and carefully coat with remaining flax meal.  Honestly, I did this by placing them on a plate covered in wax paper and sprinkling them with flax meal, flipping them, and sprinkling again.  Place in fridge for 10 minutes to set up.
  5. Heat remaining butter or coconut oil over medium heat.  Cook patties for about 5 minutes per side, until they have a lovely golden brown color and are heated through.
  6. Arrange on a plate, add a dollop of the cool and tart caper sauce, and be amazed!  So delicious, protein packed but still light and…I’d venture to say…pretty darn good for you!  The only thing I’d be iffy on is the mayo, and you don’t use much…and a lot of health people are good with mayo in moderation so yes…feel good about this meal!

Hope you guys love these as much as I did!  I will never judge salmon patties again, hehe!

Peectures:

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Combine all sauce ingredients and refrigerate until ready to serve.

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Chop and mince veggies and saute until tender crisp.

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Place all patty ingredients in a bowl (only first 1/3 C flax meal…and don’t forget to take the spines out of the fish…they freak me out!)

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Combine!

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Form into patties and place on wax paper covered plate.  Coat with remaining flax meal, however it works best for you.  I sprinkled them so I didn’t have to move them around to much.

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Refrigerate for about 10 minutes.

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Heat remaining butter or coconut oil over medium heat.  Carefully add patties and cook for five minutes, or until starting to brown.

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Flip and repeat with the other side.  Please excuse the bad lighting in my kitchen.  Gotta love the awkward over-the-stove lights that you can’t see without but make the coloring awful without!

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Plate over your favorite side…I did a steaming hot pile of quinoa!  I could imagine it would also be great over a pile of greens, or some gluten free noodles or crusty bread (not that I encourage you eating bread, but let’s just be honest…it’d be tasty haha).  Drizzle some sauce over the top, and indulge!  Holy yum I can’t even describe how wonderful the flavor was on these!  The hot and soft on the inside, crispy on the outside morsels topped with the creamy tart sauce…it was just the perfect combo and I think you should try it.

Let me know what you think guys!!

 

Quinoa Stuffed Omelet!

Did you read my last post?  The Quinoa Stuffed Bell Pepper post?  Well if you didn’t, you should…cause it may rock your world.  And if you did…then you may remember me mentioning that you will have left over stuffing for other recipes.

What I didn’t tell you is that I would be providing you with one of said recipes!!  This was delicious and I was so glad I thought of it!!  And super easy.  I’m usually not a huge fan of omelets, but the heartiness and flavor of this one won me over.

 

So, here’s what you need!

  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Tbs Greek Yogurt
  • About 1/4 C Quinoa Stuffed Bell Pepper Filling
  • Small amount of butter or oil for cooking
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Small amount of parmesan or cheddar
  • Toppings of choice: sour cream, Frank’s Hot Sauce (Mr. Rodgers’), Sriracha (Mrs. Rodgers’), green onions, salsa, more cheese…whatever!

 

And here’s how you do it!

  1. Whisk eggs together with Greek Yogurt.
  2. Heat butter or oil in a pan and dump in your eggs.
  3. When eggs are starting to solidify and you have a little color on the underside, spread half with the quinoa mixture.
  4. Fold over and top with cheese, allow to melt a bit.
  5. Gently slide out of the pan onto your plate and top however you please!  Easy as that!!

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Whisk eggs together with greek yogurt (this makes them a little extra creamy!)

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Melt butter or oil in a pan over medium heat and pour in your eggs.

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Grab your leftovers…

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When beginning to solidify and under side is starting to brown, spread quinoa mixture over half the eggs

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Fold over (you don’t have to get yours as brown as mine…I like the crispy flakiness it gives but this is totally up to you!  It’s also cause my butter browned before I dumped the egg in there haha!)

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Sprinkle lightly with some cheese of your choice and let it melt slightly…

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Gently slide out of the pan onto your plate and top however you choose…obviously this is mine, cause it has Sriracha on it 😀

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And here is Mr. Rodgers’ with sour cream and Frank’s, next to a lovely cup of Lemon Blueberry Oat Bran I also mixed up.  This was his breakfast in bed.  Such a lucky man ;P  Haha just kidding.  He spoils me more often than I do him.  I just love him with all my little heart.

ANYWAYS!  Food!  Omelets!!  Let me know how you like it!

 

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

To all my friends doing a Daniel Fast this month…if you leave out the eggs and cheese, this is a PERFECT recipe for you!!  Quinoa is full of protein so it will help you function, and it is crammed so full of good stuff that it will fill up your tummy.  Plus, it just looks like a normal, delicious meal.  So you will be thinking “meal” instead of “pile of veggies.”  And it will still work great and taste fantastic without the eggs and cheese…they’re both optional anyways!!

For those of you who have no idea what I am talking about and have never heard of a Daniel Fast…this is just a great meal either way!!  Great for the body, tasty, and a wonderful way to sneak in veggies!  Really, you can use whatever veggies you want, but I will explain what I used just for an example.  I kind of went with the “more is better” philosophy with this one. 🙂

Adapted from the lovely joandsue.BlogSpot.com

So, here’s what you need:

  • 6 Large Bell Peppers of all Colors (Note: YOU WILL HAVE FILLING LEFT OVER! It is perfect to work into other recipes, or if you have picky eaters in your house that don’t like bell peppers.  If you don’t want left overs, then use a few more bell peppers.)
  • 1 C Uncooked Quinoa
  • 1 C Cooked Black Beans (or canned)
  • 1 Sm Onion, Diced
  • 2 Stalks Celery, Diced
  • 2 Carrots, Diced
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1/2 C Peas, Frozen or Fresh
  • 1/2 C Corn, Frozen or Fresh
  • 1 Can Water Chestnuts, Sliced
  • 1 Sm Can Mushrooms, Sliced (My fresh ones went bad so I used a can!  Feel free to substitute with fresh.)
  • 2-3 Eggs (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 1 15 oz Tomato Sauce
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Seasoning Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Chili Powder
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Cheddar Cheese to top (optional)

 

And here’s how you do it!!

  1. Preheat your oven to 350*.
  2.  Rinse your peppers, trim off the top, and cut around the inside so all the seeds and white parts are removed.
  3. Now prep everything else so once you start, you don’t have to stop.  It’s much less stressful that way.  Chop veggies, open and drain cans, and cook your quinoa while you do it.  (Quinoa package should have directions…but if all else fails, simmer it in water for about 12 minutes covered!)
  4. Melt your coconut oil over medium high heat in a wok or large pan! Add carrot, celery, onion, peas, and corn.  Stir and cook until veggies are just starting to get tender, about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the rest of the veggies and stir, cooking another 5 minutes.
  6. Add black beans and quinoa and stir in.  Add seasonings and tomato sauce; stir.
  7. Make a well in the bottom of the pan and crack in your eggs.  Whisk and scramble until cooked, fried rice style!! Break into bits and stir throughout mixture.
  8. Fill each pepper generously.  Top with cheese if desired.
  9. Slide into preheated oven and cook until peppers are browned, cheese is melted, and everything is heated; about 35-45 minutes for tender-crisp peppers.

 

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First, preheat your oven to 350*.  Then, rinse your peppers, trim off the top, and cut around the inside so all the seeds and white parts are removed.

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Repeat with all your peppers.

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Now prep everything else so once you start, you don’t have to stop.  It’s much less stressful that way.  Chop veggies, open and drain cans, and cook your quinoa while you do it.

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Melt your coconut oil over medium high heat in a wok or large pan!

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Add carrot, celery, onion, peas, and corn.  Stir and heat until veggies are just starting to get tender, about 5 minutes.

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Add the rest of the veggies and stir, cooking another 5 minutes.

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Add black beans and quinoa and stir in.

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Add seasonings and tomato sauce; stir.

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Create a well in the middle.

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Crack in your eggs…

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Scramble until cooked…

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Break up the bits of egg and stir it alllll up.  Cook until heated through.

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Fill each pepper generously with the mixture…top with cheese if desired.  Obviously I started shredding my cheese, then decided it would work just as well with slices and would take less time, haha.

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Bake in 350* oven for 35-45 minutes, until peppers are starting to brown and cheese is melty!

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Now pick your color, dive in, and enjoy!!  Mr. Rodgers LOVED these!!  He even texted me the next day when he was eating one for lunch just to tell me how good “those peppers” are.  😀  Which, if you are reading this and you are a wife…you know how good that made me feel!

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Look at that warm, overflowing goodness!

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Don’t you just want to dive in?!  Make them so you can!!  And let me know how you like it, and how you adapt it yourself!  Next time, I’m thinking…hot sauce!!!  You know me and Sriracha.  Well maybe you don’t.  Here’s a hint.  I LOVE SRIRACHA!!  Okay, there you go…this is Mrs. Rodgers, over and out!!

 

Chronicles of a Chipotle Pepper; Entry 3: Four Cheese Chipotle “Macaroni” and Cheese

Yum.  This little experiment has been in my brain for a long time!!  Ever since I first posted on facebook asking my friends what their favorite recipe is with Chipotle Peppers in Adobo sauce, in fact!  A wonderful, genius-in-the-kitchen lady from my church commented and told me about how her family blends chipotle peppers into their macaroni!  I have only tried to make home made macaroni once before…it didn’t work too well.  It was in the crock pot, and the recipe had an option where you mix eggs in.  Well, being a young cook at that time (well, honestly…I’m still a young cook)…I didn’t think about how that could be weird.  I like to use everything in the recipe the first time I make it, to make sure I get the full flavor.  So I put in the eggs.  Yeah.  Eggs.  Macaroni.  Crock pot.  Not a good combo.  It was like scrambled egg macaroni.  Gag.

This attempt was the opposite of gag.  It was super successful and delicious!  And I am proud to say that this is very nearly “healthy macaroni!!”  I say “very nearly” because…well, frankly, it’s macaroni and cheese.  The “diet” we try to loosely follow, The Maker’s Diet, says that dairy should be raw and less than 25% of your daily intake.  This exceeds the dairy limit according to that standard.  However…as far as macaroni and cheese goes, this is pretty phenomenal because of the substitutions I used in place of some of the more traditional ingredients.   Curious?  Read on!

So, here’s what you need:

  • 1/4 C Ezekiel Bread Crumbs
  • 2 tsp Olive Oil
  • 2 C Almond Milk, divided
  • 1 Medium Butternut Squash (Alternately, apparently you can find frozen winter squash puree)
  • Small amount of butter or coconut oil
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • 1 lb (2 Boxes) Ancient Harvest Quinoa Pagodas
  • 1 1/3 C Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese, Grated
  • 2/3 C Monterrey Jack Cheese, Grated
  • 1/2 C Ricotta Cheese
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp Powdered Mustard
  • Pinch of Chipotle Chili Powder
  • 2 Tbsp Parmesan, Grated

And here’s how you do it:

  1. First, you gotta get your squash started, because it takes the longest.  Obviously, if you are going the “frozen puree” route then you can skip these next couple steps.  Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Very carefully cut your squash in half long ways.  You may have to cut into the squash as far as you can, then use a rubber mallet or something similar to tap the blade through.
  2. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds.
  3. Place on a foil-lined pan.  Rub with a small amount of butter or coconut oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper!
  4. Bake until tender, about 40 minutes.  When done, turn your oven up to 375* for your macaroni.
  5. Grate your cheese.
  6. In your food processor, dump your ricotta, 1/2 C of the almond milk, 1 chipotle pepper with a tsp or so of the sauce (depending on how spicy you like it), garlic cloves, salt, mustard, and chipotle chili powder.
  7. As soon as your squash is cooked, spoon the flesh into your food processor.  Pulse until smooth and creamy!
  8. Time to start your noodles!  Cook them according to the package directions.
  9. Now, pour your squash puree into a pan over medium heat.  Stir in the remaining 1 1/2 C of almond milk.  Stir until combined and creamy
  10. When squash mixture is getting bubbly, mix in your ricotta/chipotle mixture and stir until combined.  When your noodles are cooked and drained, you can stir in the cheddar and Monterrey jack cheese.
  11. Dump in your noodles and stir to coat.  Dump into a baking dish (9X13 or comparable)
  12. In a small bowl, combine bread crumbs, oil, and parmesan.
  13. Sprinkle on top of the macaroni.  Slide into your preheated oven and bake about 20 minutes, until cheese is bubbly and bread crumbs are browned.  Flip your oven on to broil if you want more brown…but watch it close and only leave in there for a minute or two.  It’s amazing how fast things burn in the broiler!

Chipotle Macaroni .5First, you gotta get your squash started, because it takes the longest.  Obviously, if you are going the “frozen puree” route then you can skip these next couple steps.  Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Very carefully cut your squash in half long ways.  You may have to cut into the squash as far as you can, then use a rubber mallet or something similar to tap the blade through.

Chipotle Macaroni 1Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds.

Chipotle Macaroni 2Place on a foil-lined pan.  Rub with a small amount of butter or coconut oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper!

Chipotle Macaroni 6Bake until tender, about 40 minutes.  When done, turn your oven up to 375* for your macaroni.

Chipotle Macaroni 3However, that is a long time, so while you are waiting, prep everything else!!  Grate your cheese…which is really easy if you a fancy little grater attachment.  🙂  Gotta love wedding present goodies, even two and a half years later 😛

Chipotle Macaroni 4In your food processor, dump your ricotta, 1/2 C of the almond milk, 1 chipotle pepper with a tsp or so of the sauce (depending on how spicy you like it), garlic cloves, salt, mustard, and chipotle chili powder.

Chipotle Macaroni 7As soon as your squash is cooked, spoon the flesh into your food processor.

Chipotle Macaroni 8Pulse until smooth and creamy!

Chipotle Macaroni 9Time for your noodles!!  Now, I know that these technically aren’t “macaroni’s,” but as far as pasta goes, I have found these to be the best noodles as far as health nerds go…they have quinoa flour in them, they are gluten free…and yet they are still a great texture and taste!

Chipotle Macaroni 10Cook according to directions on your package.

Chipotle Macaroni 11Now, pour your squash puree into a pan over medium heat.  Stir in the remaining 1 1/2 C of almond milk.  Stir until combined and creamy

Chipotle Macaroni 13When squash mixture is getting bubbly, mix in your ricotta/chipotle mixture and stir until combined.  When your noodles are cooked and drained, you can stir in the cheddar and Monterrey jack cheese.

Chipotle Macaroni 14Dump in your noodles and stir to coat.

Chipotle Macaroni 15Dump into a baking dish (9X13 or comparable)

Chipotle Macaroni 12In a small bowl, combine bread crumbs, oil, and parmesan.

Chipotle Macaroni 16Sprinkle on top of the macaroni.

Chipotle Macaroni 17Slide into your preheated oven and bake about 20 minutes, until cheese is bubbly and bread crumbs are browned.  Flip your oven on to broil if you want more brown…but watch it close and only leave in there for a minute or two.  It’s amazing how fast things burn in the broiler!

Chipotle Macaroni 18Yummy!!!  Doesn’t that look heavenly?!

Chipotle Macaroni 19Crispy, creamy, cheesy…

Chipotle Macaroni 20Doesn’t that look amazing?!  It is!!  The perfect amount of heat…not overwhelming like a Chipotle Pepper has the potential to be…but just a kick at the end.  A fantastic saltiness from 4 favorite cheeses…and just a hint of sweetness from the squash.  And more than a hint of health because of that same squash!

Fresh Four Layer Quinoa Salad

 

Wow.  Just wow.  I didn’t know how I would feel about this…being a not-so-big fan of tomatoes.  I have found a few things I can eat them in that I can tolerate…even almost like.  But I always know they are there, and fight the cringe because I know they are good for me and it’s just in my head.

Well this was different.  It’s like they weren’t even there.  Not a thought to cringe.  I was too busy shoving this in my face.

Funny thing is, I made this the day after Mr. Rodgers and I had decided “we really have to stop cheating, let’s try harder to plan ahead and eat healthy.”  Well my day was insane…leaving the house at 7 am, working a 6 hour shift at one job, coming home for a couple of minutes, then heading to job number two for an 8 hour shift.  I really wanted to just drive through McDonalds.  Gross, I know.  Guilty pleasure.  I cannot pretend that I do not like McChickens and cheeseburgers and lard-fried French fries.  But I am trying so hard to leave them all behind.  So in my short amount of time I had at home, I made this bad boy.  Texted Mr. Rodgers to see where he was, and found out that he was at said job number two with a friend, waiting to say hi to me.  So I packed up this beautiful salad, and drove on over.  Walked in to see him spooning marshmallow ice cream into his mouth.

Instead of reacting, I just walked over with this gorgeous salad in my hand.  He looked at it, stopped, and said something along the lines of “Oh my gosh, what is that?!  It looks sooo good!”  And then proceeded to look at his ice cream with an ounce of disgust.  Not a “you are gross” sort of disgust.  I’m not gonna lie.  Marshmallow ice cream is my favorite.  But more of a “why am I eating you right now when I could be eating that instead, and feel a lot better afterwards…?”  Haha!  Then as I continued to walk through the store, I got similar reactions from our friend that was hanging out with Mr. Rodgers, and my manager, who was talking about how “cute” that salad was until she left for the evening.  And I got to introduce her to quinoa!  I love informing people of my wonderful protein-packed and oh so delicious  friend called quinoa!

So, without further ado, here is my four layer salad…my new salad obsession that forever changed my life! 😉

Adapted from this wonderful $3 find!!!

Steak Mango 2Find it on Amazon here, or if you are in my area…go to a 5 Below store and pick it up!  They have lots of cook books I want to try!

This is the same book I adapted my Steak and Mango Salad from…it’s hard to say which I liked best cause they were both so fantastic!!  Yay for salads worth getting excited about!

 

So, here’s what you need:

  • 1/2 Large bag fresh spinach
  • 2-3 Ripe Tomatoes, diced…depending on your love level for them 😉
  • 1/4 Large Red Onion, Minced
  • 1 Small Yellow Bell Pepper, Diced
  • 1/2 Serrano Pepper, Minced
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, Minced
  • 2 Avocadoes
  • 1 Lime (for the juice)
  • 3 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 C Uncooked Quinoa
  • Handful of Cilantro or Parsley, Chopped
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Mrs. Dash, Onion powder, Chili powder…whatever you want to season your guacamole
  • 1 Tbsp Vinegar of choice (I usually use Red Wine because husband loves it)

 

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Start your quinoa cooking according to package directions.  It should say something along the lines of “Bring 2 C water to a boil, stir in 1 C quinoa, cover, reduce to a simmer and cook for 12 minutes or until liquid is gone.”
  2. Now prep all those beautiful veggies!  Mince, dice, chop!!
  3. Cut your avocadoes in half long ways, twist halves apart, remove pit, and separate flesh from the skin with a spoon.
  4. Smash avocadoes with a fork until it looks creamy but still a little chunky.  Squeeze in the juice of a lime, sprinkle with salt, pepper, Mrs. Dash, Onion Powder, and Chili Powder.  Just enough to get a little flavor, but not too much to overwhelm the avocado flavor…especially since there are so many other flavors in this salad.  Mix until combined.
  5. Put tomatoes, onions, garlic, bell pepper, and Serrano in a bowl and stir together.  Add Olive Oil, vinegar, salt, pepper.  Taste and adjust.  Stir in cilantro or parsley.
  6. In bowls, fill the bottom with a layer of spinach.  Add a large spoonful of the tomato mixture.  Drop a large spoonful of guacamole on next and gently smooth it out slightly.  Last layer!  Scoop up a spoonful of quinoa, and drop it on top of the guacamole as is.  Sprinkle with more cilantro and lime if you desire…now devour!!!

 

So filling…usually I am not satisfied with a meal unless there is meat in it.  This one had so much going on that it filled me right up and I didn’t even think about the fact that I hadn’t added chicken to my salad.  (I always add chicken!)  The protein in the quinoa filled me up, the thickness of the guacamole stuck to my bones, the freshness of the pico-style tomato mixture popped with flavor, and the spinach was delicious as usual and totally completed this perfect combo!  Give it a try and let me know what you think!!!

 

Peectures!!

Pico Salad 1Start your quinoa cooking, and start prepping your veggies!!  Try to get nice small, even cubes…

PIco Salad 2Do you remember how I showed you to get nice even squares out of bell peppers?  This picture is a hint…if you want a reminder head on over to my Summer Veggie Salad with a Crunch post!

Pico Salad 3Mash your avocadoes with the lime juice, salt, pepper, and seasonings of choice.  Set aside while you combine all your colorful veggies in a bowl…

Pico Salad 4Don’t you just love all those colors together?!  Now add your olive oil, vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste.  Stir to combine.

Pico Salad 5Stir in your fresh cilantro or parsley, whatever you have on hand.  Personally, I prefer cilantro! 🙂

Pico Salad 6Now line your bowl with a layer of spinach…

Pico Salad 7Dump in a ladle full of your “pico” mixture…

Pico Salad 8Smear on a big spoonful of guac…

Pico Salad 9Then top with a spoonful of quinoa, and you are ready to go!!  SO GOOD!  Make sure to get a little bit of everything on your fork for the first bite, so you can experience all of it’s beauty at once!  🙂