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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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 =)

Sugar-Free Cinnamon Breakfast Oats

This is my first day at being 100% vegan, and what better way to start it out than with some yummy oatmeal?

My daughter’s pediatrician recommended I watch Sugar the Bitter Truth on YouTube several months ago. We all know sugar in large quantities is bad, but sugar in small amounts is not the best either.  And for anyone who knows me on a personal level can tell you I have a HUGE sweet tooth! It can be so bad, that when there are “blackies” (my family’s recipe for triple chocolate brownies, so chocolatey you can’t just call them brownies) I will literally get mean if you try to take away my 2nd…or 3rd…or, okay, I’m just addicted to sugar.

I have never been over weight, and have usually always had a “nice” figure, but I have this cushy layer of sugah-fat that likes to cover my body. So what better way to start being (mostly) sugar-free than to kick it off with my vegan diet? Make a complete life style change for the better, to teach my child and hopefully future children.

Here we go.

Sugar-Free Cinnamon Breakfast Oats:
serves: 2
(or one big serving, if you don’t want to share)

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Ingredients: 1 banana, 3/4 cup raw quick oats, 1 1/4 cups water, 1/16 tsp + more to sprinkle on top of cinnamon.

*This step not pictured, since it’s boring. Pour water in a sauce pan, bring to a boil, add quick oats and cook until tender*

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In your serving bowl, mash up 1 whole banana with a fork (you can add up to 1/2 a banana more if you wish it to be sweeter)

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Add your cinnamon and mix it together.

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Stir in your oats and enjoy! Super easy and yummy!

You could also add in blueberries, or strawberries, your favorite nuts, coconut flakes, or even some chocolate chips if you want to make it a bit fun!

Make it your own sugar free breakfast! Let me know how you like it =)

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.

 

 

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.

Breakfast Bread ~ A sweet, but mostly healthy treat

It has been awhile since I have posted anything, and that is mostly due to my major cleaning and organizing of the house. It was a long time over due, for sure!

I have been trying this recipe in my head for the past few weeks, and have finally decided to try it out. I love bread in almost any shape and form, and since I make all bread in our household, I end up slicing a piece and having it for breakfast with a slab of butter…this repeated over time is not the healthiest way to go. So, I set out to make a breakfast bread. Yes, I realize there is sugar in it, but hey! What is breakfast now days if it isn’t made with some sugar?!?  Might as well make it homemade without preservatives and chemicals, and make it mostly whole grains!

So here we go:IMG_0865

Ingredients: honey, active dry yeast, salt, unsweetened apple sauce, warm water, chia seeds, unbleached white whole grain stone ground flour, unbleached AP flour, rolled oats, cinnamon sugar, chopped pecans (or nut of choice).

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Mix 1/4 cup honey, 3/4 Tbs yeast, 1 1/6 cup luke warm water, 2 Tbs warm apple sauce, 2 Tbs Chia Seeds (optional), 1 1/4 tsp salt. Mix for 3 minutes.

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Add 1 cup white flour, 1 1/4 cup whole wheat, 3/4 cup pureed oats, 1/2 cup whole oats. Mix until well combined.

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Continue to mix on medium speed for approximately 3-4 minutes until batter remains sticky and very glutenous =)

Cover with plastic wrap or a wet tea towel and let rise for 45min to an hour.

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On a well floured surface, press dough out into a rectangle. Now here is the fun part. You can customize this however you want!  It’s your time to shine and to make it something you can personally brag about =) But here is what I did.

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Take your chopped pecans (or your choice of nut), and press them into the dough.

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Next, sprinkle the cinnamon sugar (ratio to make your own is 1:3 cinnamon to sugar). However much or little you want.

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Roll up the dough.

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Place it into a greased pan and let rise for 40 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees while 15 minutes still left of rising.

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This is after it has risen. Place in oven and bake for 35-40 minutes.

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after it has been baked, let cool completely on wrack

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Showing you my idiotic mistake. Make sure you put it in the pan with the end of the roll on the bottom, or else it will look like this 😉

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Once it has cooled, dig in! It’s really yummy!!! No butter needed.

This is a dense bread, so a little will fill you up quickly (thankfully!)
I hope you enjoy this! Let me know what you think and/or alterations you did to improve the taste and to make it uniquely yours!