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 =)

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Sugar-free Chocolate Breakfast Pudding

This past weekend was an amazing one! Saturday my husband, baby and I got to go to Johnson City, TN (the closest “biggest” city to where we live). We decided to do our weekly shopping while we were there, so I had a car full of coolers and ice packs. It was so much fun! We went to Earth Fare, yes, a bit more expensive than I’m used to, but all their produce was beautiful!

After I got my hubby off to work this morning, I decided to break from my usual oatmeal breakfast and try something new. When Caroline was around 6 months old and experimenting with new foods, I had a friend tell me that when her adorable twin boys were babies, she mixed up and avocado and a banana together and fed it to them. I tried it and Caroline loved it!

For some reason  I forgot about that little trick, until this morning.

You would think that combo would be really weird, but avocados are really accepting of other flavors and usually just add creaminess instead of flavor. I love avocados!

Instead of only mixing those two items up, of course I would have to add some chocolate 😉

Sugar-free Chocolate Breakfast Pudding:
Servings: 1

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Easy three ingredients: 1 banana, 1/2 ripe avocado, 1-1 1/2 tsp cocoa powder

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Add all ingredients to a food processor or blender, or your ninja like I have pictured. I like mine a more chocolatey rich flavor so I added 1 and 1/2 tsp of cocoa powder. If you don’t want it as chocolaty, only all 1tsp. Blend until it has a creamy pudding texture

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And you are done! One sugar-free, chocolaty deliciousness! Reminds me almost of a doughnut filling for some reason!

Hope you enjoy this as much as my little girl and I did…it only lasted maybe 5 minutes between the two of us after the last photo. It was hard trying to keep her little hand out of the picture because she wanted “mah-mah-mah!” (a.k.a. “more” said with her version of the ASL sign for more) 😉

Sugar-free Chocolate Breakfast Pudding:

Ingredients:

  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1 to 1 1/2 tsp of cocoa powder*

Directions:

  • add all ingredients to a food processor and blend until creamy smooth.
  • *1tsp is a chocolate flavor, but I like mine really chocolaty.

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 =)

Loaded Southwestern Vegetarian Quesadilla

I apologize for the lack of pictures, I will update it the next time I make them, promise! I had a starving hubby on my hands so no time for the extra time to take a picture.

BUT, we both LOVED this meal. It was so yummy, I could eat it every night this week! I want it to remain that delicious so I won’t burn myself out.

 

Loaded Southwestern Vegetarian Quesadilla
Makes 6

Ingredients:
– 6 Burrito Flour Tortillas

Stuffing:

– 1 Red (or green or yellow, or orange) Bell Pepper
– 4 Campari Tomatoes
– 1/2 Videlia Onion chopped
– 2 Avocados (the “meat”) sliced and diced
– 1 Cup Cooked Black Beans
– 12-14 oz Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese

Sauce Topping:

–  1/3 cup Plain Greek Yogurt
– 1/6 cup Mayonnaise
– 1/2 Tbs Taco Seasoning  — Recipe here
– 1/2 Tbs Ranch Seasoning — Recipe here

 

Directions:

– In a small bowl, mix all sauce topping ingredients together and set in refrigerator to remain chilled.

– Prepare all stuffing ingredients. Lay out tortillas. On half of tortilla, layer cheese, beans, onion, tomato, bell pepper, and avocado. Place in a skillet one at a time, folded in half until golden brown on both sides and cheese has melted.

– When ready to serve, slice into 4 “quadrants” and dollop a bit of the sauce on each quadrant.

 

Hope you enjoy them as much as my hubby and I did!
Let me know what you think below!

Chocolate Cherry Ice “Cream”

Oh my goodness. That is all my brain tells me, as I sit here eating the very thing I am  blogging about. I couldn’t wait to share this new recipe.

The wonderful thing about this is there is no cooking or baking skills required. You only need to know how to slice up fruit (and it doesn’t have to be pretty) and how to work a blender.

I have found, since eating mostly whole foods and plant based foods, that my body really does not seem to like ice cream anymore. And I make my own ice cream! Ice cream is one of those sweet chilly treats that I can sit down and eat a half gallon by myself. My husband will attest to that 😉

I was actually making this for my little one since she has so many food allergies it is challenging to feed her a wholesome treat for those in-between meals. She wasn’t interested in trying because all she had on her brain was “mmk” or in adult language “milk.” So darn, I couldn’t let this go to waste, so I am eating it as we speak. It is so good!!!! Caroline is going to be disappointed in what she missed out on.

 

Chocolate Cherry Ice “Cream” isn’t really cream at all. This is a 100% vegan or plant based treat. So ideally you could eat this as breakfast and not feel guilty at all!

Here is how to make it:

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You will need coco powder, one frozen banana sliced, half of a sliced frozen avocado, a handful of frozen cherries, and a little bit of sugar (I have been using Zulka sugar and loving it)

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Place all fruits in a food processor along with 1 Tbs of coco powder, and I did use 1 1/2 Tbs sugar – you might be able to leave that out – and I added a few Tbs of water for texture, but you could also add any type of plant milk or if you wish any other kind of milk. Blend until smooth!

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And serve! Ahhhh! So yummy!  I just put a double batch of fruit to freeze for an after dinner dessert.

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She eventually came around. I mean, how can you refuse chocolate?!?!

Chocolate Cherry Ice “Cream”

Ingredients:

– One banana, sliced, and frozen
– Half an avocado, sliced and frozen
– Handful of cherries, pitted and frozen
– 1 Tbs coco powder
– 1 1/2 Tbs sugar (you could lessen or leave out)
– water, plant milk, or other milk for consistency

Directions:

Place frozen prepared fruit into a food processor with coco powder and sugar. Blend and add your choice of liquid until desired consistency.

 

 

Sweet and Savory Kielbasa

I am not a person who cooks a lot of meat items, but since I am a wife with a hubby who has “meat” needs, I will cook a meat item once or twice a week. Kielbasa is the one sausage that I have loved ever since I was a child. I have always eaten it with fried potatoes and ketchup. Yep, that is my combo! So good.

Usually after that specific meal, I leave the dinner table feeling very heavy. So, to appease my hubby and my veggie loving self (my hubby loves veggies too, not to give the wrong impression) and my baby girl, I put a new twist on the traditional recipe.

 

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Ingredients: 2 russet potatoes and one medium sweet potato cubed. 1 fairly large Vidalia onion sliced, 3 or 4 big handfuls of organic baby carrots, two Kielbasas of  your choice coined, minced garlic, cumin, coriander, and salt.

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Saute 1/2 Tbs of garlic in olive oil.

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add the potatoes and carrots. Place the cover on and cook for about 10 minutes while stirring occasionally.

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This is what they should look like.

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Add the onion.

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Once the onion has cooked down a little bit, add the Kielbasa, 1/2 tsp cumin and 1/2 tsp coriander.

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Salt to taste and serve!

Sweet and Savory Kielbasa:

Ingredients:

– 1/2 Tbs minced garlic
–  Olive Oil
– 2 russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
– 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cubed
– 3 or 4 large handfuls of organic baby carrots
– 1 fairly large Vidalia onion, sliced
– 2 Kielbasas of choice, coined
– 1/2 tsp Cumin
– 1/2 tsp Coriander
– Salt to taste

Directions:

Add about 3 Tbs of olive oil to a large skillet with the minced garlic. Saute about 30 sec over med high heat. Add potatoes and carrots. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes while stirring occasionally. Add onion and cook down for about a minute. Add Kielbasa, cumin and coriander. Cook until onions are sauteed and Kielbasa is completely heated through. Salt to taste.

Let me know how you liked this recipe! If you have any suggestions I would love to know them. Hope you enjoy =)

 

 

Vegetarian Style Lunches

Sometimes we all get in a bind with what to fix for lunch. My hubby usually just likes a quick sandwich to take to work, and then some raw veggies or the occasional side of chips, etc.  I would get so bored having to eat a sandwich every day for lunch. I am more of a wrap girl. I can put anything from grilled veggies, to hummus and never get bored with them.

I wanted to share a few combinations that I have come up with of healthy lunches that will keep you feeling full and satisfied.

First off, here is how I make the Zesty Quinoa that I used in both of these wraps:

Zesty Quinoa
Ingredients:

1 cup dry quinoa (this makes a lot so it should last the whole week in the fridge)
1 tsp of minced garlic
Juice of one lime

Directions:

Cook quinoa as directions on package, but add the garlic with the water (or vegetable broth). Once it has been cooked, squeeze the juice of one lime over the cooked quinoa and mix it in. If  you want you may add salt and/or pepper, but I usually just leave it alone.

 

Okay now that you know how to do that, here are two different lunch combos, that are both delicious and nutritious!

 

First off, the Veggie Hummus Wrap (vegan):

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Take your hummus of choice and smear a thin layer all over the wrap. Add chopped carrots (I put a handful of baby organic carrots in a food processor), some chopped up baby spinach, chopped up avocado, and sprinkle a healthy portion of the zesty quinoa (recipe above).

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Starting from one side, roll up the wrap and slice in half.

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Now, as a side dish to this delicious meal, I sliced some Campari tomatoes and olives. Mix together with basil (fresh basil is the best, but I don’t have my basil plant up and going just yet, so I had to do dried) and drizzle with olive oil. Yum!!!

Here is the Zesty Quinoa Bean Wrap:

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This is really more like a burrito than anything, but still an easy healthy lunch. I make my own “unfried” beans and here is the link to the recipe I use. Add the “unfried” beans, zesty quiona, avocado, baby spinach, and tomatoes and wrap it up burrito style =)

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As a side dish for this wonderful dish, I took Greek yogurt (you can use either plain or vanilla. or whatever you want), and I slices some strawberries and oranges to mix in.

Now something a lot of people don’t really think about…What to drink with your lunch? You spent all that time thinking of how you could create a healthy lunch, you better not go grab a pop!!! [soap box time, sorry] Pop (or soda as I should call is since I moved to the south) is not healthy in any way shape or form. Not even diet, the artificial sweeteners can cause cancer and the carbonation is not the best thing for your body.  … okay, my rant is over.

There are several healthy options to take, but since I did two lunches, I will show you what I took with them.

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Oh, Vita Coco!!! Love this beverage! For some reason I am not a fan of Zico, but Vita Coco is a favorite of my little family here. Even my baby girl loves this stuff. Costco sells them in big packs  of personal sized drinks, which is ideal for taking for lunch.

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This is my option that I usually take. I love my reusable up. It is mine, I know where it has been, I know that I have washed it, and also it has pink paisleys all over it. Makes me happy.  Anyhow, water with lime juice is my favorite. I have a hard time drinking regular water, but it doesn’t take much lime juice to add flavor. Water is quite adaptable, you can squeeze lemons, mango, lime, etc. in it and it takes it to a new level.

Hope this gives some ideas to you! The good thing about this type of lunch is that there is no end to the possibilities! At the beginning of the week, buy several different veggies, hummus, and have an assortment of beans and quinoa on hand and you have a lot of combinations you can go for to make quick and healthy lunches. Give your taste buds an adventure 😉

Let me know what type of lunches you like to take with you throughout your week! I love having different options and ideas.