Cheesy Quinoa Stuffed Avocados

Yes, cheese is in the title of this one, BUT it’s vegan 😉 This is a favorite dish of mine and my hubby. Not only are the avocados stuffed, you will leave feeling stuffed yourself, but guilt free since they are all healthy-good ingredients!

I will confess, there is a lack of photos documenting this meal. It really is more of a guideline instead of an actual recipe. I usually make them towards the end of the week and I use all the leftovers from prior meals in it.

So here it is, the recipe or guideline of one 😉

Cheesy Quinoa Stuffed Avocados:

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Ingredients:

fills 3 avocados

  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup cooked peas and/or corn
  • 1/2 cup cooked beans (your choice. In this particular meal I used 1/4 cup Great Norther and 1/4 cup Black)
  • 1/2 cup Daiya Cheese (your choice of mozzarella or cheddar style shreds)
  • salt to taste
  • 3 avocados, halved, pitted and meat taken out of skin

Directions:

  • Mix all ingredients except avocados in a small microwavable bowl, or a small sauce pan. Heat it up in either sauce pan or microwave until cheese has melted.
  • Once cheese has melted, stuff the avocados.
  • Place in oven safe dish and warm up the avocados in oven, or microwave them just until warm.
  • Plate and serve

I serve mine over a bed of “re-fried” beans, link here, and top it off with some 3 minute salsa. Can we say yummy! Oh I wish I could eat some more of this right now…too bad it has been all eaten up!

I have also mixed in sauteed mushroom, sundried tomatoes, bread crumbs, onion…etc, etc…point being I have mixed this so many ways and they have all been wonderful!

Let me know how you like it or any way you would improve it! I love hearing new ideas, so make it your own =)

Quinoa Fajita Stuffing

In my extensive search for creating a meal that is filled with nutrients and tasty (a.k.a. staring into my refrigerator until an idea pops into my brain), somewhere the idea of quinoa fajitas came around.  Both my hubby and I really enjoyed this meal, and so did our 15month-er.

A little bit of a back story, since yesterday was my first day at being 100% vegan, I was a bit stumped when it came to dinner time. Like I have said before, I have always used some type of cheese or yogurt product when making dinner, but since we officially found out what my little girl is allergic/sensitive to, vegan it is! Any way, I had this beautiful meal in my brain (key words) planned out, I was going to make quinoa fajitas, with guacamole and salsa, and as a side I was going to ‘veganize’ a recipe for a bloomin’ onion that I found, and then I was going to make up a vegan dip for the onion.

It all looked beautiful, as you will see in the final picture, and all but the vegan dip tasted yummy. The fajitas were delicious, but I couldn’t make the guacamole because the avocados weren’t ripe enough. The bloomin’ onion was good, but somehow the onion itself needed to be cooked a little longer without burning and all the crumbs fell off the peddles since I didn’t use an egg wash. And last but not least, I attempted to make a “creamy” sauce, but since my little one is allergic to coconut and soy, well, it just didn’t taste very good.

But! I will tell you how I did the quinoa fajitas and hopefully if you make this meal, all your other sides will turn out a lot better than mine did 😉

Quinoa Fajita Stuffing:

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Ingredients: 3/4 cup dry quinoa, 1 1/2 cups vegetable stock (or water if you wish), 1Tbs olive oil, 1 tsp minced garlic, 1 sweet onion sliced, 3 or 4 small sweet peppers, and at least 2 tsp taco seasoning with option to add more to taste.

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First step is to pour vegetable stock (or water) in a small sauce pan and add quinoa. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer until all liquid has been absorbed. About 20 minutes.

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In a skillet, add olive oil and garlic and saute until fragrant, about 3o secs. Add onion and sliced sweet peppers, and saute until onions are caramelized and peppers are soft.

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Once quinoa has been cooked, add 2tsp of taco seasoning, or more if you desire.

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Mix in your veggies and serve with guacamole, beans, salsa, lime wedges, or anything you wish!
(and obviously tortillas)

Quinoa Fajita Stuffing:

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup dry quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth or water
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 tsp garlic
  • 1 sweet onion, sliced
  • 3 or 4 small sweet peppers, sliced
  • 2 tsp taco seasoning + more if desired  — recipe here

Directions:

  • In a small sauce pan, add quinoa and vegetable broth (or water). Bring it to a boil then reduce to a simmer until all liquid has been absorbed. About 20mins.
  • In a skillet, add olive oil and garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30 secs. Add onion, and sweet peppers and saute until onions have caramelized and peppers have softened.
  • Once quinoa has completed cooking, add 2tsp taco seasoning or more to taste.

Ideas to serve with:

  • guacamole
  • 3 minute salsa
  • tomatoes
  • Tofutti
  • lime wedges
  • black beans
  • or any other yumminess you can think of =)

Spicy (or not) Tomato Sauce for everything!

Andrew and I decided to tackle a completely Whole Foods diet. Even while we were dating we knew we wanted to have a “Mediterranean” diet, so once we got married, we eat ourselves into a box. We didn’t know what a Mediterranean diet consisted of besides olive oil, salt, fish, and grains. Yes, that is what we think of when we say Mediterranean, but that isn’t all of it.

Just last month we were talking to Andrew’s parents, they told us they had watched Forks Over Knives (it is on Netflix), and gotten on board with eating Whole Foods. We watched it and a light bulb came on. Oh! That is what we wanted, not just a Mediterranean diet. We began cooking a whole foods way after that, and it was so much easier to think of meals and to search the internet to find them!

Anyway, I was trying to think of something to fix my hubby for lunch the next day. We hadn’t gone to the grocery store in quite a while, and had almost nothing. All I had were onions, garlic, mushrooms, canned tomatoes, some cooking red wine, spices galore, and pasta. Okay, I can work with that. I got out my sauce pan and proceeded to saute the onion in olive oil, then added mushrooms and red wine. After that I cracked open the can of tomatoes and added in some crushed red pepper flakes.

It looked a bit watery to me, so I figured I would let it cook down some. So after about 15 minutes it began to look more like a sauce to me so I added some salt, pepper and basil. It tasted sooo yummy! but it was really chunky for a marinara sauce.  So, I put it in the food processor, and it turned out perfectly!

Now, we like spicy food, but I know not all people like it as spicy as we do, but that is such an easy fix. Just don’t add as much crushed red pepper!

Recipe with Pics:

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Ingredients: 2 Tbs Olive Oil, 1 1/2 Tbs Minced Garlic (or 5-6 pressed garlic cloves), 1 sliced med-small onion, about 7 mushrooms or equivalent of sliced, 3 Tbs Red wine, 1 can 28 oz petite small tomoatoes, 1/4 to 1 tsp Crushed Red Pepper (1/4 being mild, 1 tsp being spicy hot), 1 Tbs dried Basil, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper

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Saute the garlic in the olive oil.

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Add the sliced onion and cook until almost caramelized

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Add mushrooms and red wine and cook completely

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Add the tomatoes and crushed red pepper. Remember, 1/4 tsp is very mild (no runny noses), and 1 tsp is very spicy (runny nose).

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Stir, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Remember to stir occasionally!

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After it has simmered, remove from heat and add basil, salt and pepper.

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Now here is where you decide. You may either leave it chunky and serve it over pasta or whatever you can think of, or you can do as I did here and puree it. This batch I was making into a pizza sauce, so we didn’t want it to be chunky.

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Here is a link to the pizza I make with this: Pizza Time!

This recipe is Whole Food, Vegan, and Gluten Free!

We put it on spaghetti, pita pizzas, sandwiches…okay, we just put it on everything. It is so yummy and versatile!

Ingredients:
1. 2 Tbs Olive Oil
2. 5-6 cloves of pressed garlic
3. 1 medium-small onion
4. about 7 mushrooms
5. 3 Tbs Red cooking Wine
6. 28oz can of tomatoes (or equivalent of fresh tomatoes, I just didn’t have fresh on hand)
7. 1 tsp crushed red pepper (for a very mild spice only add 1/4 tsp)
7. 1 Tbs dried basil
8. 1 tsp salt
9. 1/2 tsp pepper
Directions:
In a sauce pan, pour olive oil and saute garlic. Chop the onion and put in pan and cook until almost caramelized. Once onions have cooked down a bit, add sliced mushrooms and the red cooking wine. Cook this until mushrooms are fully cooked. Add tomatoes and red pepper. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and let simmer for 15mins. Add basil, salt and pepper. Pour into a food processor and puree, or you can leave chunky if you desire.

Breakfast Cream Smoothie

Andrew isn’t much of a breakfast eater, and I get tired of the whole cereal rout. Typically, Andrew doesn’t even eat breakfast, but then he is STARVING by around 10am, so he eats his lunch. Well, that is okay, but then he has no lunch to eat and has to work until 5, then commute 40mins home. He is one starving boy by that time.

So, I had a dilemma: how to keep Andrew from starving so he doesn’t eat everything and leave nothing for dinner when he gets home.

Duh! A smoothie! Andrew and I both love fruit, and always loved going to Smoothie King on our college campus when we could afford it. It is light, healthy, and fits right in with our whole foods diet.

There are MANY variations of smoothies, and it is honestly just a “whatever you feel like” kind of dish, but here is one the both of us love. On the plus side, even though it tastes creamy, it’s dairy free! (at least the way I make it).

What you need:

I use Almond milk, as a personal preference, but it does have more calcium than milk and is easier to digest!

I use Almond milk, as a personal preference, but it does have more calcium than milk and is easier to digest!

For this smoothie, I use 1 mango, about 2 handfuls of cut up strawberries, I only use half a banana, and about 1/2 cup almond milk (or regular milk if you wish). I personally don’t put any sugar in it, but if I were I would probably put 1-2Tbs depending on how sweet you want it.

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Cut up the mango, and strawberries (the night before) and place them in a freezer baggie. Put them in the freezer and you are good to go until the morning!

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Before you have to go to work, school, etc. Take the mango and strawberries out of the freezer and place them in the blender/food processor (it would probably be easier if I had a blender since that is what they do, but I don’t so I make it work). You will have to break up the mango and strawberries by hand to make it easier on the blender.

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Next add the banana. Why I usually only do half a banana, in my opinion, it can usually over power the rest of the fruits. By only putting in half, you still taste it, but it isn’t only a banana smoothie with sub-fruits! IMG_0506

Next, add in the almond milk. I would start with half a cup and then add more to get the texture you desire.IMG_0510Then you are done! Serve and be happy and healthy! This makes approximately ‘3’ cup servings so about 24oz.

This is great for even babies (over 9 months considering the almond milk, also be careful because strawberries can be a serious allergen). Our daughter loves these. Especially when she is teething. The cold feels good on her gums!

Servings: Approximately 3 8oz servings
Calories per Serving:
about 75.5

Ingredients:

~ 1 mango, sliced, peeled, pitted
~ 2-3 handfuls of sliced strawberries
~ 1-2 Tbs sugar (optional)
~ ½ Banana
~ ½ cup to 1 cup Almond Vanilla Unsweetened Milk

 

Directions:

Night before, prepare mango and strawberries and place them in a freezer bag then into the freezer. In the morning, take out the frozen fruit, break apart with hands and place into the blender. Add banana, and ½ cup almond milk (and sugar if desired) and blend until smooth. Add almond milk until desired consistency.