Sunday, April 15, 2012

Quinoa and Veggies with Sesame Soy Dressing

I’ve been a little lax on the posts lately. The truth is, I took a two-week hiatus. I traveled to a beautiful beach in Nicaragua for some much-deserved R&R and then spent some quality time with my parents as they vacationed here in San Diego.

In Nicaragua, we stayed in a lovely beach house. We chose to do all of our own cooking and grocery shopping which required a little more creativity than I had anticipated. I quickly found that common ingredients found in the United States are not necessarily commonly found ingredients in Nicaragua. And due to my inability to speak and read Spanish, items were added to my shopping cart based on images and pictures J As much as I enjoy beans and rice, I could do without these items for quite a while.

After returning to the States, my body was demanding green smoothies, whole-grains, and fresh produce! Quinoa and fresh veggies – you are all mine!

For Quinoa nutrition facts, click here to navigate to my Gluten-free Quinoa Veggie Pizza recipe.

1 cup of Quinoa, rinsed
1 ½ cups of water
½ cup of vegetable stock
1 large head of broccoli, cut into bite sized florets
4 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
1 cup of shelled edamame (use peas if you choose not to consume soy)
2 green onions sliced thin

Sesame-Soy Dressing Ingredients:
2 tablespoons tahini (sesame paste)
2 tablespoons of low sodium tamari soy sauce
2 tablespoons of rice vinegar
2 tablespoons of EVOO
1 clove of garlic (peeled and minced)
1 teaspoon of grated ginger
Sea salt

Bring the water and quinoa to a rapid boil. Cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until all the water is gone.

While the quinoa is cooking, combine all the dressing ingredients and mix well. Set aside.

Heat the vegetable stock in a deep skillet and then add the broccoli, carrots, and edamame. Simmer the veggies until tender but still crunchy (approximately five minutes). Pour the sesame-soy dressing over the veggies and stir until all the veggies are coated.

Dish the quinoa onto 3-4 plates (depending on portion size). Add the veggies and sesame-soy dressing, top with sliced green onions, and serve. Dig in!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Holy Guacamole!

On a warm summer day I LOVE a delicious homemade guacamole paired with tortilla chips. My new favorite is a black bean and quinoa tortilla chip – so good! Okay, back to the real deal, guacamole. There are so many different types of guacamole! Some are runny, some have tomatoes, some are almost entirely avocado! I like mine spicy, zesty, and chunky!

Of course there is the big avocado debate. I’m sure you’ve heard that avocado is high in fat. While this is true, the fat found in avocado is unusual and does in fact provide health benefits. These fats are key supporters of our inflammatory system and aid in the absorption of fat-soluble nutrients like carotenoids. Avocado supports cardiovascular health, promotes blood sugar regulation, and may be able to help prevent certain forms of cancer (mouth, skin, and prostate). What does this mean? The benefits of the avocado outweigh the fat debate – eat up!

3-4 avocados pitted and mashed (should be slightly chunky)
1/2 small red onion diced
1 red bell pepper diced
Zest from one lime
Juice from 1-2 limes (depending on how tangy you like your guacamole)
1/4 cup of chopped cilantro (more or less based on your preference)
1 jalapeno pepper diced (seeds removed)
Sea salt

Add the avocados to a large bowl and mash until only some chunks remain. Add the lime juice, lime zest and stir. Mix in all remaining ingredients, stir, and enjoy with your favorite chips or veggies. This is also delicious on eggs, scrambles, tacos, or veggie sandwiches and wraps!