Vegan Cheezy Quinoa

For weeks on end, I have lacked inspiration in the kitchen.

I have fallen into the dangerously boring trap of tossing random vegetables & legumes in a skillet or steamer, topping with marinara sauce or Braggs, and calling it a day. It’s partly because I have no one to cook for, and partly because I have found an inspiring career into which I now pour the energy that I used to pour into my food.

Well, these last few weeks, I began to find a balance between my work and caring for myself. I started Pure Barre classes and recommitted myself to daily workouts & HIIT. I started taking a little more time to prepare meals and listening to what my body needed.

My pictures leave something to be desired. (I kept forgetting to charge my camera battery…..) The recipes, though, are another story. Delicious, nourishing, and comforting… Enjoy!

Vegan Cheezy Quinoa

(Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Vegan)

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup Quinoa
  • 1 cup Water
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1/2 cup Unsweetened, Plain Almond Milk
  • 1/3 cup Nutritional Yeast Flakes
  • 1.5 tsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 small clove Garlic, minced
  • 1.5 Tblsp Cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp dry Mustard
  • 1/4 tsp Paprika
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric
  • 1 tsp Creamy Peanut Butter
  • Black Pepper, to taste
  • frozen Green Peas, defrosted
  • 2 Tblsp Sundried Tomatoes
  • 1 Tblsp fresh Basil, minced

Directions:

  1. Place quinoa, water, & bay leaf in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover with a lid, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 12-15 minutes, until all liquid is absorbed. Remove the bay leaf, fluff with a fork, and set aside.
  2. Make vegan cheeze sauce by placing almond milk, nutritional yeast, garlic, cornstarch, salt, dry mustard, paprika, turmeric, peanut butter, & black pepper in a blender and processing until smooth.
  3. Pour cheeze sauce over the quinoa in the saucepan and return to medium-low heat. Cook until sauce has thickened to desired consistency.
  4. Stir in the peas, sundried tomatoes, & fresh basil. Cook until heated through.
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Vegan, High Protein Blueberry Breakfast Mug Cake

I might be a genius. Why, you ask?

genius

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I just made a cake…. for breakfast!!!

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The photos may not be the best, but at 6am, I am NOT taking the time to stage a photo-op. Besides, it’s the taste that matters!

My tummy has been unhappy with my breakfast choices of late. For the last few days, breakfast has been certified gluten free oatmeal. The result has been days of bloating, gas, cramping, and ……… My fellow “glu-tards” out there get the picture. I’m not happy about this recent development. I used to be able to tolerate certified gluten free oats. WHAT IS HAPPENING TO ME?!!!

I needed something to cheer me up this morning. I needed cake. So I made cake, and it was good. It was also good for me, so that makes it even better!

I took my normal sugar-free mug cake recipe and replaced the cocoa powder with my favorite, vegan protein powder and VOILA! In under two minutes, you get a vegan, gluten free, sugar free, high protein cake that you can eat for breakfast! You’re welcome. I will be accepting my Nobel Prize in 2014.

High Protein Blueberry Breakfast Mug Cake

(Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Vegan)

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Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp Brown Rice Flour
  • 2 Tbsp Vegan Protein Powder (I like Vega One Natural flavor)
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 4 Tbsp Unsweetened Plain Almond Milk
  • 1/8 tsp Vanilla Creme Liquid Stevia (omit if your protein powder is already sweetened)
  • 4-5 Blueberries

Directions:

  1. Place all ingredients in a microwave safe mug and stir until smooth.
  2. Place mug in a microwave and microwave on high for 1 minute.
  3. Top with vegan coconut milk yogurt and additional blueberries, if desired.

BBQ Baked Tofu

If you know me, you know that I am a ‘Fu Lover.

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I LOVE ME SOME TOFU!!!! (as long as it’s not fried)

Plain, straight out of the package or baked are my two favorite ways to enjoy tofu.

I know soy gets a bad rap, but here is the deal…..

I eat organic, non-gmo tofu. I don’t eat many processed foods which are often laden with genetically modified, processed forms of soy. The studies claiming soy is bad for you are inconclusive, in my opinion. Tofu is an excellent vegetarian source of complete protein. Plus, tofu tastes DELICIOUS!

Okay…. rant over. Cause ain’t nobody got time for that! *wink*

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I made a scrumptious BBQ marinade for my tofu before baking it to a “meaty” consistency in the oven. Served atop a baked sweet potato and sauteed greens, this tofu is my new favorite! I can’t wait to eat the leftovers tomorrow!

BBQ Baked Tofu

(Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Vegan)

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Ingredients:

  • 1 (14 oz) container Firm Organic Tofu, drained
  • 1/4 cup Low Sodium Vegetable Broth
  • 2 Tbsp Gluten Free, Vegan BBQ Sauce
  • 1/2 tsp dried Oregano
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 1 tsp Hot Paprika
  • 1/2 tsp Chili Powder
  • 1/8 tsp Liquid Smoke
  • pinch Sea Salt
  • pinch Black Pepper

Directions:

  1. Press tofu at least 4 to 6 hours to remove excess water. I use a Tofu Xpress.
  2. Drain.
  3. Slice tofu in half, width-wise, and then cut into cubes. Place cubed tofu in a resealable container and set aside.
  4. In a small bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Whisk until smooth.
  5. Pour marinade over cubed tofu and toss gently to coat evenly.
  6. Marinate tofu for 45-50 minutes.
  7. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  8. Place cubed tofu in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.
  9. Bake tofu for 30 minutes, flipping half way through.

Savory Gluten-Free Oatmeal

Confession: I haven’t been blogging, and I’m okay with it….

Life is fantastic out here in the Rockies! Work is challenging, the weather is beautiful, and fall-themed outings with friends have provided weekends full of laughter and cheer.

“Pumpkin Posing”

 

I have been cooking, but felt no desire to measure ingredients and take pictures. I have spent the last few weeks cooking instinctively, playing with flavors, textures, and aromas. It has been soul-feeding cooking, and I highly recommend you give it a go. Last night, I started dipping my toes back into blogging. I snapped a quick photo and took mental note of the ingredients and amounts I used in my meal preparation.

I have been cooking more “rustic”, humble meals, of late. Comfort food, I choose to call it. Last night’s comfort food involved a little BFD (Breakfast for Dinner). I took a stab at creating a bowl of savory oats, which I topped with a scrambled egg. Delicious, simple, and filling. Bon Appetit!

Savory Oatmeal

(Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Vegan)

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup certified Gluten Free, Old-Fashioned Oats (Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 2/3 cup Water
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1/2 tsp dried Thyme
  • 1 1/2 tsp Nutritional Yeasts Flakes
  • 2 Tbsp Salsa (I used a Southwestern Black Bean & Corn Salsa)
  • 1 cup Power Greens (combination of Spinach, Swiss Chard, Kale)
  • 1/2 tsp Earth Balance Coconut Spread
  • 1 clove Garlic, minced
  • 2-3 dashes Hot Sauce
  • Sea Salt & Black Pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. In a small saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add gluten free oats and reduce heat to a simmer.
  2. Add bay leaf, thyme, and a bit of salt and pepper to the oats. Simmer 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until desired doneness.
  3. Meanwhile, melt coconut spread in a small skillet over medium-high heat.
  4. Saute garlic in coconut oil until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add greens in 2 batches to the skillet and saute until wilted.
  5. Season greens with hot sauce, salt, & pepper.
  6. Add sauteed greens, salsa, and nutritional yeast to the oats. Cook until heated through.

I topped my savory oats with scrambled eggs comprised of 1 whole egg and 2 egg whites and a little more nutritional yeast.

Protein Pancakes with Roasted Berries

A new job title always means no time in the kitchen.

Thankfully, this weekend involves no plans other than cleaning my disaster of a house and playing in my sadly neglected kitchen! To kick the weekend off on a healthy foot, here is a recipe for Protein Pancakes topped with Sugar-Free Roasted Berries! Start with my basic protein pancake recipe, found here, and top with warm roasted berries. Happy Saturday!

Sugar-Free Oven Roasted Berries

(Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Vegan)

Ingredients:

  • 3 Strawberries, sliced into thirds
  • 2 Tbsp Blueberries
  • 4 drops Vanilla Creme Liquid Stevia

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Place the berries and stevia in a small, oven-safe glass bowl and toss gently to combine.
  3. Roast 10-15 minutes until berries are soft and their juices are bubbling.

BBQ White Bean & Kale Sweet Potato Pocket

Thursday already? This week is flying by!

Recently (and by recently I mean yesterday), I came to a big conclusion. I am a small fry.

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What brought this revelation about, you ask? Well, these last 2 days I have been a part of some pretty big meetings at work. I would sit there all prim and proper listening to those around me discussing quarter objectives and ACVs and wondering how the heck I managed to get asked to participate in these meetings! I mean seriously! I must have been the youngest person in the room by at least 10 years (with 2 exceptions). The breadth of knowledge and experience of everyone was down right intimidating and more than a little inspiring. Long story short…. I came to the realization that I am completely content in the position that I am in, for the time being. I need to focus and pay attention to what is going on around me. I need to be challenged to learn and grow by my peers.

For now, I am a small fry. BUT, soon I will grow to be a medium fry, and eventually to a pretty sizable fry. I’m only 27. I’ve got all the time in the world. I’m okay with that…. for now! 😉

Now, the food!

Today’s recipe is a quick, week night supper that uses pre-made salsa and BBQ sauce for a cheaters version of baked beans. I may love to cook, but not after crazy long work day. I have my limits!

BBQ White Bean & Kale Sweet Potato Pocket

(Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Vegan)

Ingredients:

  • 3 Sweet Potatoes
  • 1/4 tsp Coconut Oil
  • 1/2 Yellow Onion, chopped
  • 1 large clove Garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup Crimini Mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 bunch Green Curly Kale, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Cannelini Beans, drained & rinsed
  • 1/3 cup Salsa
  • 3 Tbsp BBQ Sauce
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Wrap sweet potatoes in foil and bake in oven about 1 hour, until soft.
  3. When potatoes are almost done begin making the stuffing.
  4. Heat coconut oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until melted and skillet is hot.
  5. Saute onions about 5 minutes, until translucent.
  6. Add mushrooms and continue to cook 3-5 minutes until the mushrooms begin to “sweat”. (Watch the heat. You may need to reduce it to medium.)
  7. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute before adding the kale in 3 batches, sauteing until wilted before adding another. If needed, add 1-2 Tbsp water to help the kale cook.
  8. Add remaining ingredients cooking until heated through.
  9. Unwrap cooked sweet potatoes and slice lengthwise down the center.
  10. Stuff kale and white bean filling in each sweet potato.
  11. Top with sliced avocado to serve, optional.