Tag Archives: italian

Quinoa and lentil Italian veggie hash

Our breakfast this morning…it was incredible!

Quinoa and lentil Italian veggie hash

Servings:  ~6

  • 1 cup (192 g) lentils (red, green, brown, or beluga)
  • 3-4 medium carrots (peeled if not organic), each cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 cups (235 to 475 ml) water for the lentils.  1/2 c for the quinoa.
  • 2 tablespoons (28 ml) coconut oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
  • 6 oz portobello and/or crimini mushrooms, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
  • 2 jars of your favorite red pasta sauce.  I use Bertolli’s organic Tomato and Basil
  • 1 c shredded parmasean cheese or nutritional yeast (optional)
  • 1½ t. dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon (2 g) dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes or crushed dried chilies or more per your taste
  • 1 cup (87 g) quinoa, rinsed well
  • 2 T dry red wine (optional)
  • 2 T basalmic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Eggs, over easy or cooked as you like
  1. Add the lentils, carrots, and 2 c water to a large soup pot. Add a dash of salt and/or hot pepper flakes to the pot if you want to flavor the pot a little.  Turn the heat to high, cook until the mixture is simmering, and then decrease to low and cover. Cook 20 minutes, stirring often to keep the lentils from sticking to the pan.

  2. While the lentils cook, heat the coconut oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Then add the bell pepper and garlic and saute for 1 minute.  Add the mushrooms, garlic, basil, oregano, hot pepper flakes, and basalmic vinegar and sautee for another 5 minutes.  Stir in the 1 jar of pasta sauce and red wine (if using) and simmer on low another 20 minutes.

  3. Add the quinoa, 1 jar of pasta sauce, and 1/2 c water to the lentil/carrot pot.  If there are any seasonings that you would like to add, do it now.  More garlic?  More basil or oregano?  Turn on medium high and bring to a light boil.  Turn down the heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 20-30 minutes, until the quinoa is done.  If using cheese or nutritional yeast, stir it in when there is about 5 minutes left to cook.   Be sure stir occassionally as this cooks to keep it from sticking.

  4. Cook the eggs over easy or according to your preference when the quinoa/lentil mix is about done.

  5. To serve:  Place a big scoop of the lentil/quinoa ‘hash’ in a large dish.  Place a large spoonful of the veggie sauce/mix on top.  Add the cooked eggs on top.  Garnish as you like.

  6. Eat and enjoy!


Italian cupcakes

Italian flavored cupcakes

Italian flavored cupcakes

I wasn’t really sure where I was going with this dish, but I knew I wanted a hearty, but reasonably healthful Italian dinner last night and this is what I came up with… awesome ‘meaty’ Italian cupcakes!  Yep, sounds weird.  Yep, tastes INCREDIBILMENTE DELIZIOSO (thank you google translate)!

In fact, my husband liked this one so much he suggested we put it on regular rotation!  That is pretty good feedback from a guy who isn’t overly keen on quinoa.

The texture of the quinoa and mushroom based cupcake was super meaty–which I LOVE because it makes this recipe so totally versatile. They are absolutely divine served over a spicy arugula salad OR on a bed of sauteed spinach/arugula/kale greens.  Next time I am going to do a gluten free pasta and make meatballs instead, for an authentic tasting spaghetti with meatballs.  I CAN’T WAIT!

Give this recipe a try!  I know you are going to love it as much as we do.


These are smaller cupcakes–making about 20/recipe–served over sauteed greens! YUM!

Servings ~6 large cupcakes

  • 1 c organic quinoa, uncooked
  • 1 jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce
  • 1-2 T EVOO
  • 5 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 6 oz portobello mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 t garlic powder
  • 1 T onion powder
  • salt and pepper
  • pinch chip pepper flakes
  • dash of agave nectar
  • 1 T basil
  • 1 T oregano
  • 1/2 c freshly grated parmasean cheese or nutritional yeast
  • 6 eggs, beaten
  • cooking spray

In a big sauce pan warm the EVOO.  Add the garlic, mushrooms, basil, oregano, and chipotle pepper flakes.  Cook over low until the mushrooms have softened 5-6 minutes.  Add the marinara sauce and cook over low heat for 5-10 minutes.  Stir in the quinoa, cover and continue cooking for about 30 minutes.  Turn off the heat and let cool.  

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  

Mix together the eggs, agave nectar, salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder.  Add this to the cooled quinoa with the cheese (or nutritional yeast) and stir until well incorporated.  

Put the batter into the greased cupcake tin.  Bake at 400 degrees F for 15-20 minutes, until done through.  Use an individual tart pan for more meatball sized cakes–dropping the cooking time accordingly.  I haven’t done them yet, but probably to 10-12 minutes?  



Spinach, artichoke, and olive gluten-free lasagna

Delicious spinach, artichoke, and olive gluten free lasagna

Delicious spinach, artichoke, and olive gluten free lasagna

This is lasagna taken to a whole new level.  If you are a fan of REALLY flavorful lasagna, you are going to dig this recipe!  I got the original recipe from my friend Erica–gave it my usual overhaul and wound up with this exceptionally tasty dish.  I love the briny bits and the surprising flavors that wake up the taste buds and truly make this lasagna unique.  I didn’t list amounts for the cheese on the ingredient list–go as light or as heavy as you like!

Side bar–I personally try to stay away from dairy, but I made an exception with this dish.  I did use a couple of strong cheeses so I wouldn’t have to load the dish down, and goat’s cheese to make the burden on my body a little (?) lighter.  Goat’s milk is tolerated much better than cow’s milk by the human body, so on the rare occasion when I eat cheese or yogurt, I try to stick with goats milk.  There is a whole lot of research and information out there on this topic, but if you want a quick and simple read, check out this article to learn more about why it is easier to digest and causes fewer allergic reactions.  I have a local source for the goat’s milk (grass fed, antibiotic and hormone free) and I even make my own cheese from time to time.  

Back to the lasagna…I don’t know if it is the combo of goat cheese and rosemary that make this dish work so well, but it is truly the best lasagna I have ever made!  Savory, rich, packed with flavor, and very filling!  AND wow about not having to pre-cook the noodles??  Cue the applause!  I know you are going to love it as much as I did, so give it a try!

Bon Appetit!

Spinach, artichoke and olive gluten-free lasagna

Serves ~8

  • 2 jars your favorite pasta sauce (I use Bertolli, Organic Tomato Basil)
  • 12-15 gluten free lasagna noodles (I use brown rice lasagna noodles), depending upon your pan size
  • 1 T avocado oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 10 garlic cloves, crushed.  4 for sauce, 3 for the cream cheese mix, and 3 for the top.
  • 14 oz veggie broth
  • 2 c + fresh baby spinach
  • 1 can black olives, drained and olives sliced in half
  • 1 large can (33.5 oz) artichoke hearts, drained and sliced in half
  • 2 T chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 T dried basil
  • 1 T dried oregano
  • 1 t chipotle pepper flakes
  • 1 c soft cream cheese (I use dairy free)
  • freshly ground pepper
  • splash of agave nectar (optional)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • soft goat cheese
  • romano or aged parmasean, freshly grated
  • mozzarella, cut into small cubes or grated
  • fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (use convection if you have it).  Line the lasagna pan with a thin layer of the pasta sauce.

In a large saute pan, warm the EVOO and chipotle pepper flakes over low heat.  Add the onions and saute until they begin to soften, 5-7 minutes.  Crush 4 cloves of garlic and add to the onions along with the 2 t dried basil, 2 t dried oregano and ground pepper.  Cook for 5-7 minutes.  Add the veggie broth and rosemary and turn up the heat to bring to a boil.  Gently stir in the olives, and artichokes.  Reduce the heat back to low and add the remainder of the pasta sauce and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently.  Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning as needed.  Add the agave nectar if a little sweeter sauce tastes better to you.  This also helps balance the brine from the other ingredients — I usually add it.  

While the sauce is cooking, mix together the cream cheese filling by adding 2-3 cloves garlic (crushed), 1 t dried basil, 1 t dried oregano, salt, pepper, crumbled goat cheese, 1 t of lemon juice, and a pinch of chipotle pepper flakes.  Taste it and adjust seasoning as needed.  

Place 1/3 of the lasagna noodles in the pan.  Coat the lasagna noodles with 1/3 of the cream cheese mix, then 1/3 of the sauce and a sprinkle of cheese (your choice), a thin layer of spinach, and a small squeeze of lemon.   Repeat this process for layers 2 and 3 (if doing a 3rd layer).  Sprinkle some crumbled goat cheese,  grated romano/parm,  and freshly ground black pepper lightly on top.

Place aluminum foil over the top and seal up the pan well.  Spray the aluminum foil with some PAM (or the like) to keep it from sticking to the cheese.  Bake at 375 degrees F for 30 minutes.  Remove the aluminum foil, crush the last 3 cloves of garlic over the top of the lasagna and bake for another 20-30 minutes, or until the noodles are soft and the top is nice and brown.  

Allow the lasagna to cool for 10 minutes before cutting.  ENJOY!