Tag Archives: vegetables

Mexi-quinoa bake

All of that great color and good nutrition in one big bowl

All of that great color and good nutrition in one big bowl

Yum, yum,yum, yum, yum!

Thank you twopeasandtheirpod for inspiring me to make this awesome dish!  It is the healthful version of a serious enchilada casserole, sans the mountains of cheese and tortillas.

Quinoa is such an easy grain to work with, especially if you cook it for flavor!  All it takes is a little creativity and you can turn an ordinary dish into a masterpiece in no time.  This enchilada bake is such a brilliant example of that.

Instead of cooking the quinoa in water as the original recipe calls for, cook it in the enchilada sauce.  Oh, it is unbelievably good and makes this dish a standout!

The Mexi-quinoa bake is colorful, flavorful, healthful and pretty easy!  I love, love, love this one and know you will too!  It is going to be a cold and snowy weekend here in the Ozarks and all around the midwest.  Why don’t you try the Mexi-quinoa bake and keep your family warm–from the inside out!

You can see the nutrition yeast uncheese sauce on top!  So good!

You can see the nutrition yeast uncheese sauce on top! So good!

Mexi-quinoa bake

Serves 6-8

  • 1 1/2 c quinoa
  • 3 3/4 c enchilada sauce
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 T EVOO (olive oil)
  • 2 bell peppers, chopped.  I like either red or orange for the sweetness they add to the dish
  • 2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed 
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 1/2 c non-gmo organic frozen corn
  • 1-2 T ground cumin, to taste.  The more the better IMHO
  • 1 t chipotle pepper flakes, or more to taste
  • 1-2 c shredded cheese or uncheese cheese sauce (recipe to follow).   I like 1 c provel and 1 c uncheese cheese sauce.
  • salt and pepper 
  • 1 frozen jalapeno, optional.  
  • avocado, sliced
  • green onions, chopped
  •  cilantro chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a saucepan, add 2 3/4 c enchilada sauce and the quinoa.  Stir well and bring to a boil.  Lower heat and cook until the sauce is absorbed by the quinoa and it is al dente–about 20 minutes.  Stir frequently to keep from sticking to the pan.

Set aside and let cool a bit.

Saute the garlic with the red and yellow onions in the olive oil over med/low heat for 5 minutes, until they begin to soften.  Let cool.  

Meanwhile, in a large bowl mix the beans, bell peppers, 1 c enchi sauce, cumin, chipotle pepper flakes, lime juice, cheese and/or uncheese sauce, 1/2 of the green onions (reserve the other 1/2 for a generous garnish), salt, pepper, and corn.  Add the quinoa and sauteed onion/garlic.  Mix well.  Taste and adjust the seasoning to meet your flavor requirements.

Coat a lasagna pan with some cooking spray.  Add the mixture.  Cook for 25-30 minutes.  Turn up the heat to vari-broil and leave in oven for another 2-3 minutes, just to brown the top a little.  

As you dish the enchilada bake, zest the frozen jalapeno over the top of each bowl for those who like a sprinkle of heat.  Serve with a healthy garnish of green onions, avocado, and cilantro.  Gluten free, non-gmo tortilla chips are a nice side for this dish.







Italian spinach pasta salad

Even though it is turning cold outside we wanted a hearty salad for dinner last night.  I checked the contents of my fridge/pantry and this is what I created.

Italian spinach and pasta salad.

Italian spinach and pasta salad.


This is an Italian spinach pasta salad that will add some color to your table and make your taste buds spring back to life.  The flavors are intense enough to give this salad just what it needs to become your new favorite.  That is what happened for us last night anyway as we dug into second helpings of our dinner.  You can look at the ingredient list and get a pretty good idea for the huge flavor in this one.  Italian, a little tart, a little briny, and a lot of zing!

Don’t be intimidated by the longer ingredient list for this salad–I promise, you will have it on the table in 30 minutes or less!  Give it a go and see how it wakes up your dinner plate!

Cheers to eating well and loving every bite!

Make sure to scroll to the end of this post for a picture of our stray Quattro!  Isn’t she beautiful?

Italian spinach pasta salad

Servings 4-6

  • 1 – 8 oz box gluten free noodles, cooked al dente according to the package directions.  I used Ancient Quinoa Harvest Rotelle
  • 4-6 cups fresh baby spinach, chopped into bite size pieces
  • 2/3 c black olives, sliced into thirds
  • 1 c artichoke hearts in water, sliced in half
  • 1 – 14 oz can great northern white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 c sun-dried tomatoes, in EVOO, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1-2 T Red Wine Vinegar, to taste
  • 1 T fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 c EVOO
  • 2 T fresh thyme or 2 t dried thyme
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • chipotle pepper flakes, to taste
  • 1 c freshly grated, aged Parmesan cheese, optional

Mix together the EVOO, salt, pepper, chipotle pepper flakes, garlic, lemon juice, lemon zest, red wine vinegar, onion and let marinade for 15 or 20 minutes at room temp while you prep the other ingredients.

Add all of the other ingredients EXCEPT the spinach and cheese.  Allow to rest and marinade for a few minutes.  

Just before you serve the salad, add the spinach and cheese and toss to fully combine.  Garnish as you like–more cheese, some fresh herbs, a few fresh tomatoes, whatever you like!

Eat and ENJOY!

Shameless plug for our stray Quattro.

Shameless plug for our stray Quattro. Let me know if you would like to give her a forever home!




Stuffed portobello mushrooms

Stuffed portobello mushrooms.

Stuffed portobello mushrooms.

This is such a beautiful recipe.  Perfect in almost every way!

These gluten-free, meatless, stuffed mushrooms are packed with delicious vegetables and loaded with flavor!  The almond flour and egg give the stuffing the stickiness that it needs to hold together the juicy tomatoes, artichokes and onions.  The earthy mushroom base helps balance the acidity from the tomatoes and sauteed spinach and makes the meatless dish very satisfying!

I serve the stuffed mushrooms over a bed of my pesto quinoa, but you can serve it over anything you want, or nothing at all!  Last night I enjoyed this dish with a spicy mustard green and arugula salad and a big glass of herbal tea!

Spicy mustard green and arugula salad from the garden!

Spicy mustard green and arugula salad from the garden!


Stuffed portobello mushrooms

3-4 large

  • 3 c spinach greens
  • 1 T + 1 t EVOO
  • dash of lemon juice
  • 6-7 cloves (3-4 T) garlic, crushed 
  • freshly ground sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 c almond meal
  • 1/2 c nutritional yeast
  • 1 T onion powder
  • 1 t kosher salt
  • 1/2 c grape tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1/2 c artichokes, chopped (I use jarred, packed in water–not marinated)
  • 2 T sun dried tomatoes, chopped (I use the jarred, packed in EVOO)
  • 1/4 c red onion, chopped
  • 1/4 c green onion, chopped
  • 3-4 large portobello mushrooms, washed
  • 1/4 c italian dressing or marinade of choice for the mushrooms (I used an italian basalmic)
  • chipotle pepper flakes or cayenne pepper, to taste

In a large bag place the italian dressing or marinade, some hot pepper and the mushrooms.  Shake  gently to coat the mushrooms well.  Let the mushrooms marinade for 1-2 hours.

Saute the spinach in 1 t oil.  Just as soon as it starts to wilt, add 1-2 T crushed garlic, a pinch of hot pepper, and a dash of salt and pepper.  When the spinach is nicely wilted, stir in a dash of lemon juice, turn off the heat and set aside to cool.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a small bowl, beat the egg.   Add the chopped onion (red and green) and 2 T crushed garlic and stir well.

In a medium bowl, add the almond meal, nutritional yeast, onion powder, 1 t kosher salt, dash of black pepper, pinch of hot pepper and stir until well mixed.  Add the egg mix, sun dried tomatoes, sauteed spinach, artichokes, and chopped grape tomatoes to the dry mixture and stir until well mixed.

Place the mushrooms in a lipped pan for baking, button side down-stem side up.  Add the stuffing mixture evenly to the top of the mushrooms.  Drizzle with the italian marinade and bake for 45 minutes, or until the mushrooms are tender.  You may want to turn the heat up to broil for the last 2-3 minutes to really get the top nice and brown.

Delicious on their own or serve the mushrooms over a bed of my pesto quinoa!