zesty quinoa and black bean bowl

mains, recipes, salads

Quino-what? Quinoa might be hard to pronounce but don’t let that keep you from giving it a try. This ancient grain turned superfood has definitely grown in popularity and can be a great gluten free option. We enjoy this recipe as a weekly staple because it is so easy to toss together and great on a budget. I love the subtle crunch of the quinoa and pumpkin seeds, the bright vegetables, and satisfying plant-based protein along with healthy omega fats. Inspired by the flavors of the US southwest, this Tex-Mex recipe is a comfort away from home.

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INGREDIENTS

240g black beans

200g quinoa

2 bell peppers, diced

1 medium red onion, diced

cherry tomatoes, halved

2-3 small avocados, cubed

pumpkin seeds

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SEASONING

olive oil

garlic salt

lime juice

cumin

red chili powder

cilantro

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METHOD

Prepare quinoa on stovetop based on package directions

On medium heat, sauté diced bell pepper and red onion

In a bowl, combine cooked quinoa, beans, grilled onion and peppers, cherry tomatoes and cubed avocado

Toss the above mixture with tablespoon olive oil, juice from one lime, sprinkle desired amount of garlic salt, a tablespoon of cumin and a dash of red chili pepper and fresh cilantro. Top with pumpkin seeds.

NOTES

If you are using dried beans, soak them the night before so they will be easier to cook and can help with bloating and gas. In the UK it can be difficult to find black beans, red kidney beans would make a good substitute.

All ingredients for the seasoning can be adjusted for personal taste and spice levels.

Have a delicious weekend!

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beetroot hummus

dips, recipes, snacks

Some people are terrified of beets.  Fair enough, they have a habit of bleeding over everything (my white cutting board loves this), they look a little out of this world and unfortunately, the pickled-vinegary-crinkle-cut variety have caused most people to turn them down. You might have even had a nightmare or two about being stranded at Dwight Schrute’s beet farm. Whatever it is, can I encourage you to give beets another chance? Beetroot is a unique combination of sweetness and earthiness. They provide our bodies with high-levels of potassium, magnesium, fiber, phosphorus, iron, vitamins A, B & C, beta-carotene and folic acid. Beets can be pressed into fresh juices and, believe it or not, added to chocolate cake and brownie recipes. They can also boost our mental health, lower blood pressure and fight off cancer! Enough said. Aside from their shared earthiness, beetroot and cumin could not be more different. The sweetness of beetroot is spiced up by cumin’s smoky edge and is deliciously creamy when mixed with chickpeas. It’s the perfect dip for a healthy snack or addition to supper. Ingredients  200g roasted beetroot / 2 medium  150g chickpeas 1 large garlic glove, crushed 50g almonds or walnuts 1 tablespoon cumin lemon 1 tablespoon olive oil sea salt and ground pepper IMG_2372 Method Beetroots can be cooked in the oven at 200ºC/400ºF for about 45 minutes, but I prefer to sautée them on the cooktop on medium heat with olive oil until tender. Either way, the beetroot should be soft not shrunk. Once cooked, leave on the side to cool. In a food processor, blend the nuts into chunky crumbs. Add the beetroot, chickpeas, and 1/2 of the garlic, cumin, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Blend in the processor until the ingredients form a thick pasty texture. Taste and adjust the flavors to your liking. I take more of everything and add the remaining 1/2 of the ingredients; garlic, cumin, lemon juice, salt and pepper and even a little parsley. If you find that the dip is too thick, continue by adding 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil at a time and pulsating in the food processor until your desired consistency. IMG_2143 Notes We enjoyed this hummus with organic gluten-free oatcakes. It could also be  served with warm pitta bread, spread on chunky seeded toast or scooped on top of a fresh spring salad. If you are not dairy-free or vegan, try topping with crumbled goat cheese for an extra flare of flavor.

overnight coconut chia oats

breakfast, recipes, snacks

Scotland has a long and fascinating history with oats.

I am not ashamed. This is precisely the kind of thing that I geek out about. I am currently trying to convince Ryan that we need to go and tour an 800-year old oat mill in Alford, Scotland. Yes, they have been milling oats for a very long time and they host the World Porridge Making Championship – I must go and experience this. Oats are a serious food staple here and I love how versatile and easy they are.

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If you have perused Instagram or Pinterest lately you know that overnight oats and chia pudding are all the rage. This recipe combines both recipes and will give you an easy way to get the nutrients and energy you need to start your day. Or if you are like me, it makes the perfect afternoon snack.

This is a quick morning meal because it is prepared the night before and includes only four baseline ingredients; oats, yogurt, chia seeds and almond milk. The toppings are endless and totally up to you. Your body will reap the benefits of fiber (thank you, oats), healthy omega fats (thank you, chia seeds) and satisfying plant-based protein (thank you, yogurt and almond milk). The oats and seeds are soaked into the yogurt and almond milk, which means that the oats become deliciously soft, creamy and easy to digest. The chia seeds expand and create a pudding type texture that will  have you wanting it every day of the week.

Ingredients 

1/2 cup gluten free oats

1/4 cup almond milk

1/4 cup dairy-free yogurt (I really like this coconut yogurt, but soy yogurt is also delicious and slightly easier to find)

2 tablespoons of chia seeds

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Method 

Place all of the base ingredients in a jar and stir them all together. Secure the lid and pop in the fridge to store overnight or for at least a few hours.

When you are ready to eat, get creative with your toppings. They are endless, experiment with what you like and what you have on hand: sliced bananas, blueberries, strawberries, almond butter, sliced almonds, unsweetened coconut chips, pumpkin seeds, cinnamon, honey or drizzle some agave.

Notes

If you are not dairy-free use your favorite yogurt and milk

If plain yogurt is not your favorite, try adding a teaspoon of vanilla extract or fresh fruit to add more flavor.

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Enjoy and I hope you have a delicious start to your week!