coconut breakfast quinoa

I’ve been on a total quinoa kick lately. It started with that quinoa fried rice, and I’ve been hooked on this super-food grain ever since. 

Overnight oats are one of my staples during the school week, they can be prepared at night and devoured in the morning.  They keep me full of energy all morning so that I can search for my gym clothes and take my math quizzes without having to stop at the vending machine. 

Quinoa is a wonderfully nutty, crunchy alternative to classic oats, plus it’s loaded with protein. That means that I can substitute my usual Greek yogurt for something even creamier and delicious: coconut milk.  The rich, creamy, coconutty milk seeps into the fluffy quinoa overnight, along with some chia seeds. Now that’s something to wake up for!  Since winter break started, I’ve been waking up at 10:30 and staying up until 2:00. I just realized that school starts on Wednesday… but I have faith that this quinoa will lure me out of bed despite the fact that I’m going out yet again for New Years Eve tonight.

Think of this “recipe” as more of an outline — and top this quinoa off with any fruit, nut, or milk you like.

With love,
Erica

Serves 2

Ingredients

1/2 cup dry quinoa, rinsed
3/4 cup water

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon + more for sprinkling

pinch of salt
1 tablespoon chia seeds.
1/2 cup light coconut milk 
1/4 cup shredded coconut
2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds

1 banana, chopped

2 kiwis, sliced

The night before:

Combine quinoa, water, cinnamon and vanilla in a small
saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and let cook
for 15 minutes until quinoa can be fluffed with a fork. Combine the cooked quinoa along with the coconut milk and chia seeds in a container with a lid and let chill in the fridge overnight.

The next morning:

Divide quinoa into two bowls then top with bananas and kiwi slices. Sprinkle with coconut and pumpkin seeds.

instarecipe: quinoa fried rice

I have a confession.
Sometimes, I throw together amazing recipes… and I gobble them up before I can grab my big old DSLR.  I’m sorry, I can’t help it.  When I go back and try to recreate them for you all, I can’t remember what I did, and I end up not sharing my new culinary discovery. 🙁
Those of you who follow me on Instagram know that I am Instagramming 24/7 — updating you all on  my socks, my dog, and my new nail color.  From now on, I’m also going to Instagram my spontaneous culinary creations so that I can share them with you all before I forget.
Lets start with lunch.
We just got back from vacation a few days ago, and the kitchen is still quite sparse.  We had egg whites, quinoa, and a bunch of frozen veggies.
Fried rice brings back elementary school memories for me. My mom would make it for me at least twice a week with salami and egg.  That flavor combination will always have a special place in my heart.
Today, I made a healthier and more grown-up version of this childhood favorite of mine.  I replaced the white rice with quinoa and replaced the salami and egg with vegetarian sausage patties, egg whites, and a ton of green veggies.
This lunch packs a ton of protein from the quinoa, egg, sausage and edamame, and a ton of vitamins from all of those green veggies — so it’ll keep you feeling strong all afternoon!
With love,
Erica

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup quinoa (dry)
  • 1/2 +1/8 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1/2 cup shelled edamame (fresh or frozen)
  • 1/2 cup sliced baby carrots
  • 2 frozen sausage patties (I used Morningstar farms)
  • 1 cup frozen spinach
  • 1 cup frozen broccoli
  • 1/2 cup egg whites
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon curry powder

Add the quinoa and water to a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and cover.  Cook for 12 minutes, and let stand for 5 minutes.

In the meantime, put the sesame oil into a large frying pan and cook the egg whites.  Once set, add the saugsage patties and all of the frozen vegetables.  Cook until everything is defrosted.  Add the cooked quinoa and stir. Season with the soy sauce, ginger, garlic powder, and curry.  Cook on medium-high heat for 5-10 more minutes.  Enjoy!

lemon chicken quinoa salad

 We don’t have a cafeteria at my school, but we are allowed to go out into the town for lunch to Chipotle, McDonalds, Papa Johns, Panera (a personal favorite!), and other fast-food places. However, going out to lunch can get quite expensive. That’s why I usually bring my lunch to school.

Bringing my lunch doesn’t have to be soggy, cold, or depressing.  If I say so myself, this salad is quite the opposite. It’s full of fresh herbs and veggies. The quinoa gives it a nice texture and adds a lot of protein to keep me going throughout the day. The lemon dressing and tangy feta cheese make it simply perfect.  I’d take this over an $8 Panera panini anyday!

Do you bring your lunch?
With love,
Erica

Note: this recipe makes a lot, so I like to keep it in the fridge and scoop it out throughout the week.

 
Quinoa Salad with Grilled Lemon Chicken



10 chicken tenders


1/4 cup olive oil


1 lemon, zested and juiced


6 cloves garlic, minced


1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper


1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt






For the salad:


2 cups quinoa


2 large red bell peppers, diced


5 Persian cucumbers, diced


1 small red onion, diced


1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved


1 cup golden raisins, rehydrated in warm water


1 cup  feta cheese, crumbled


1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped






For the dressing:




1/3 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup olive oil
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. crushed dried mint
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. seasoned salt


To
make the dressing, whisk together everything in a small bowl to blend
and set aside in the refrigerator until needed. 
 
For the chicken, add the
olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic, salt and pepper into a
large bowl. Mix together and add the chicken. Stir well to coat, then
cover the bowl in plastic wrap. Allow the chicken to marinate for at
least 2 hours and up to overnight.
 
I like to cook my chicken in the panini maker, but any grill will do. It takes about 5 minutes in the panini maker. 

Cook the quinoa as directed on the box, and allow to cool.

In
a large mixing bowl, combine the quinoa,  all of the vegetables
and drained, re-hydrated raisins. Mix to combine. If not serving
immediately at this point, you can refrigerate this mixture until ready
to eat, it usually keeps in my refrigerator for up to a week. When ready
to serve, toss in the feta cheese and enough dressing to lightly coat.
Eat cold or at room temperature and serve with the warm chicken.

Adapted from Un-Deux Senses