Roasted Sweet Potato Lentil-Quinoa Pilaf

The title should be even longer.  Roasted Sweet Potato Lentil-Quinoa Pilaf with Chili-Maple Vinaigrette.  But that’s a mouthful, right? I just want to mention every amazing flavour in this dish!

Sweet Potato Lentil Quinoa Pilaf - Vegan

So, January is almost over…how is your quest for healthy living going?  I, for one, am really focusing on eating the foods which will help me deal with my condition, PCOS.  I don’t want to bore you with a huge science lesson, but basically, this is a condition for which there is no cure.  The only treatment is medication or diet, or a combination of both.  I have chosen to work solely with my diet, and so far, so good.  The thing is, I am to avoid processed foods, wheat, sugar, and dairy (the most important ones).  Foods which cause inflammation are to be completely avoided.  Foods with a high Glycemic Index which contribute to type 2 Diabetes, also need to be kept off your plate because people living with PCOS are at higher risk for developing type 2 Diabetes in their lifetime.   I find the hardest one to really abstain from is sugar, but that’s only because it’s so darn addictive.  Like, truly, physically addictive.  So, I focused on eliminating it completely over the last two weeks, and, luckily – there are dates.  Nature’s candy.  To the rescue! 🙂  What does a PCOS diet consist of?  Lots of fruit and vegetables that are low in GI, beans, nuts, legumes, tofu, brown rice, whole grains, lots of high fiber foods, and good fats like avocado and nut butters.

So, all this has led to even bigger plates of veggies and whole grains, and truly, I know this is how I am supposed to eat.  I feel much better.  Less bloated.  My skin feels better.  I feel like I am exactly where I need to be.  If PCOS is something you are also living with, do feel free to share your experiences!  I am happy to discuss it with whoever is interested. 🙂 [Read more…]

Mexican Stuffed Peppers With Quinoa & Black Beans

One of our favourite meals to prepare (and eat) are stuffed peppers of many varieties.  They are simple to put together, kids love them, and they freeze really well for leftovers.  Growing up, my mother always made us stuffed peppers and tomatoes, but in those days it was with rice and meat.  When I started eating plant-based, my mother started adapting her recipe to be meat-free, and now it is a staple in her house as well.   Coming from a Greek household,  this is a pretty big feat. 🙂 Mexican Stuffed Peppers with Quinoa & Black Beans I love all peppers, so I bought the ones which were priced the best for this recipe.  You can definitely use green, or yellow.  The flavours work really well with either. This is an excellent way to change up the way you eat quinoa, as I mentioned in an earlier post, it’s super delicious, nutty, and fluffy when baked in the oven.  This time, I cooked the quinoa ahead of time, and tossed all the ingredients together to stuff the peppers with. Mexican Stuffed Peppers with Quinoa & Black Beans

Mexican Stuffed Peppers With Quinoa & Black Beans

Yield: Makes 5 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 cup quinoa, uncooked
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 (19oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, minced + 1 tablespoon for garnish
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 5 bell peppers (any color), sliced in half from stem to tip, seeds and membranes removed

Instructions

  1. Rinse quinoa well, then pour into a medium saucepan, with 1.5 cups of water and garlic powder. Stir, bring to a boil, then lower heat and cover, simmering for 15 minutes, or until all liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and scoop into a large bowl.
  2. Add olive oil to a medium-sized skillet over medium heat. Add onion, jalapeño and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes, or until onion is translucent. Add tomatoes, black beans, cilantro, salt, pepper, cumin and chili powder. Stir, continue to cook for another 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat, and pour into the bowl of quinoa.
  3. Stir all ingredients well to combine.
  4. Pour ¼ cup water to the bottom of a 9 x 13” baking dish. Place your peppers, cut side up into the dish. Divide filling among the peppers. Cover the dish with foil, and bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Remove the foil, then continue cooking for another 15 minutes.
  5. Serve peppers warm. You can drizzle them with hot sauce for some extra heat and sprinkle with fresh, chopped cilantro.

Notes

The bell peppers will be soft, but not too soft. If you would like very tender peppers, you can begin by boiling the peppers in a large pot for 5 minutes. Drain, and rinse with cold water.

http://loveandlentils.com/2014/04/23/mexican-stuffed-peppers-with-quinoa-black-beans/
IMG_4549-2 The quinoa along with the black beans, jalapeño , cumin, and cilantro give this dish a very flavorful Mexican feel.  We last visited this beautiful country three years ago.  It was my son’s first time traveling on an airplane, and he also learned to walk in Mexico, so it’s always been a very memorable trip for us!  Not to mention, the food was absolutely incredible, with vibrant and spicy flavours that we still try to replicate at home. Mexican Stuffed Peppers with Quinoa & Black Beans This dish is really not too spicy, making it perfect for kids as well.  If you want to turn up the heat, you can add more jalapeño or chili powder.     Mexican Stuffed Peppers with Quinoa & Black Beans  

If you’re new to Love and Lentils, be sure to subscribe by email so you don’t miss any healthy recipe posts! As always, thanks for reading. xx Untitled-1

Baked Quinoa Burger Patties + Lemon Tahini Sauce

I was browsing the net today and stumbled upon a photo of Montreal taken on this day in 1976, and it was a fun springtime photo on the top of Mont-Royal on a balmy day of 22 degrees. Today, however, we woke up to MORE snow, and I realized Mother Nature is getting a real kick out of this endless winter weather joke! We just inherited a barbeque from my hubby’s father, and we are dying to use it. I’ve been dreaming up summertime meals, and barbequed burgers and veggies are on the top of that list.
Baked Quinoa Burgers

Well, it was kind of freezing cold this evening, so burgers we had, but I baked them in the oven. That’s not to say they didn’t turn out really delicious, we are just really looking forward to days that are too hot for the oven to be on!
I’m always on the quest for a delicious veggie burger, and these ones were really tasty with a great texture with a little crunch thanks to the quinoa and I’m happy to say, held their shape really well! Although I used a flax egg to bind them, they didn’t feel like a sticky enough texture, so I added in 1 boiled, mashed potato and it really did the trick in keeping all the ingredients nicely held together.

Baked Quinoa Burgers
The lemon tahini dressing is so quick to whip up and is the ideal sauce for these patties. It is creamy, vibrant, and highlights the Middle Eastern flavours of this burger.

Baked Quinoa Burgers
Of course, you don’t have to eat these quinoa patties on a burger bun, they are delicious on their own with a side of salad, or tucked in a pita with of course, lemon tahini sauce poured overtop.  They are honestly even great if you pop them in your mouth cold!  Lots of options, you do what you’re in the mood for!
Let’s get to the recipe. 🙂

Baked Quinoa Burgers + Lemon Tahini Sauce
Yields 10
Write a review
Print
Cook Time
25 min
Cook Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. Baked Quinoa Burger Patties
  2. 2 tablespoons ground flax + 3 tbsp water, mixed in bowl
  3. 2 cups fresh spinach
  4. 1 cup cooked quinoa
  5. 1 medium sized potato, cubed and boiled
  6. 1/2 cup onion, minced
  7. 2 garlic cloves, minced
  8. 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  9. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  10. 1 teaspoon sea salt
  11. 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  12. 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  13. Lemon Tahini Sauce
  14. 1/4 cup tahini
  15. 1/4 cup water
  16. 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  17. 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  18. 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Prepare the flax egg by combining 2 tablespoons ground flax meal with 3 tablespoons water in a bowl. Whisk, then place in the fridge while you prepare the rest of your ingredients.
  3. Steam spinach for 4-5 minutes over 1-2 inches of simmering water. Remove from heat, reserving the water to boil your potato. Rinse spinach with cold water, then squeeze dry. Finely chop the spinach, then place it in a large bowl along with the quinoa.
  4. Add the onion, garlic, flax egg, potato, flour, baking powder, salt, cumin, and pepper to the bowl of quinoa/spinach. Mix well to combine.
  5. Shape into 10 patties and place on the prepared baking sheet.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes, flip them over, then bake for another 10 minutes, until golden brown and firm.
  7. While the patties are baking, prepare your sauce. Combine tahini, water, lemon juice, salt and garlic powder in bowl. Whisk, then pour into a jar so you can store leftovers.
  8. To assemble, place quinoa burger patty in a whole wheat burger bun, add your favourite fresh toppings and pour lemon tahini sauce overtop.
Notes
  1. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Love and Lentils http://loveandlentils.com/
Baked Quinoa Burgers IMG_4488-2

 

Are you on Facebook? I am! Join me by clicking here!  And if you are new to Love and Lentils, please subscribe by email so you don’t miss any healthy recipe posts!

Untitled-1

Quinoa, Kale + Chickpea Bake

One of my girlfriends made a delicious quinoa bake last week, with black beans and delicious Mexican flavours, and since then I’ve been craving making  a hearty baked quinoa dish myself.  Although we eat a lot of quinoa in our home, I don’t usually bake it in the oven, but it’s so filling, puffy and beautifully compliments your vegetable casserole.  

Quinoa Kale Chickpea Bake 

 The nice thing with this meal, is you don’t need to precook the quinoa, it cooks nicely in the oven with the other ingredients.  But, if you do have leftover cooked quinoa sitting in the fridge, by all means, use it.  Just cut down on the liquid and cooking time, by about half.

Quinoa Kale Chickpea Bake

My son is not so into cooked little grains, like couscous or quinoa, but mixed in with all the other veggies, it was a winner for him, too.  I like when everyone is happy at the dinner table!

Quinoa Kale Chickpea Bake

Quinoa, Kale + Chickpea Bake
Serves 6
Write a review
Print
Cook Time
30 min
Cook Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 bunch kale
  2. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  3. 1/2 an onion, diced
  4. 1 red sweet pepper, diced
  5. 4 cloves garlic, minced
  6. 2 plum tomatoes, diced
  7. 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  8. 1 tablespoon dried sage
  9. 1 teaspoon sea salt
  10. 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  11. 1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
  12. juice from 1/2 a lemon
  13. 1 - 14oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  14. 1 cup quinoa (any colour), rinsed
  15. 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  2. Wash the kale and remove the tough stems. Roughly chop and set aside.
  3. In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat and add onion, red pepper, and garlic. Stir occasionally and cook until soft, approx. 5 minutes. Add in the kale, stirring, and cook until it has reduced in size. Stir in diced tomatoes along with the dried oregano, sage, salt and pepper. Remove from heat.
  4. Heat up your vegetable stock, either on the stove top, or in the microwave for 2 minutes.
  5. Put the contents of your skillet into an 8″x8″ pan. Add in lemon juice, chickpeas and quinoa along with the hot vegetable stock. Stir gently to combine. Sprinkle nutritional yeast overtop if you are using it. Cover the pan with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil, give it a stir. Check if quinoa has cooked through and if all liquid has been absorbed. If not, cover with foil and place back in the oven for another 10 minutes, or until all liquid has been absorbed.
Love and Lentils http://loveandlentils.com/
 Quinoa Kale Chickpea Bake

Quinoa Kale Chickpea Bake

 If you’re new to Love and Lentils, don’t forget to sign up by email so you don’t miss any healthy recipe posts!

Thanks for reading. XO

Untitled-1

My Favourite Quinoa Salad!

IMG_2143-2

I’ll start by saying I’ve missed you all and I hope you had lovely holidays with your family and friends!  It’s been a great year for Silk and Spice and I really look forward to creating and sharing more with you all in the new year.  I can’t wait to see what you all have in store as well.  Have you made any resolutions?  I personally don’t really like resolutions, probably because the only one I’ve ever kept was to floss my teeth every day.  Other than that, I like to focus on daily affirmations, like being positive and grateful, and ringing in the new year always inspires me to focus on those important things.

Of course, I also totally overindulged over Christmas and New Year’s Eve, I had a big Indian feast which was rich and delicious.  The pounds packed on, and now I’m back on track.  This is why I’d like to share with you my favourite quinoa salad which never disappoints, is super tasty, fresh, and packed with protein, fiber, and other essential nutrients.  I brought it along to what was our fourth Christmas dinner at our aunt’s house and it was a total hit.  Like I said it’s my personal favourite, a cinch to prepare, and also kid-tested and approved.  I think the key to a great quinoa salad is texture (I love the crunch of the raw veggies), nuts (to add texture and enhance nutty flavour), fresh herbs for a great pop of flavour (think basil, mint, oregano), and finished off with a bright vinaigrette.

My Favourite Quinoa Salad Recipe

Serves 6-8

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups red and white quinoa
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 3 small Lebanese cucumbers, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1 cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped
  • 3/4 cup chopped mint, minced
  • 1/2 cup almonds, roughly chopped and toasted
  • 3 tablespoons organic apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • a pinch of garlic powder
  • kosher sea salt and pepper to taste

IMG_2151-2

Directions:

  • Rinse quinoa under water for 5 minutes.  (Or, follow instructions for the quinoa you are using.)
  • Pour quinoa into a saucepan with 2 1/2 cups of water.  Usually, the packaging will call for doubling the liquid to quinoa, but I like to use a little less liquid for perfectly cooked quinoa.  I also like to add the quinoa with the water all at once (don’t wait for water to boil first). Sprinkle with garlic powder, kosher sea salt and pepper.
  • Cover and bring all to a boil over high heat.  Once boiling, lower heat to low, keep covered and simmer for 10 minutes, or until liquid is completely absorbed.
  • Toss the red peppers, cucumber, cranberries, onion, and mint into a large bowl.
  • Once the quinoa is cooked, lay it out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper to allow it to cool a little quicker.
  • Prepare your vinaigrette:  Pour olive oil, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice and maple syrup into a bowl.  Whisk together and add a pinch of salt and pepper.  Set aside.
  • After about 10 minutes, scoop the cooled quinoa into the bowl with vegetables.
  • Top with vinaigrette and toasted almonds.  Stir well to combine.
  • Have a taste.  If you agree this works for you, perfect, if not, add a little more apple cider vinegar.
  • Serve at room temperature.
  • Enjoy!