Tag Archives: spinach

Thai-Style Quinoa Salad

This savory and sweet salad is perfect as a main dish or served with greens and fruit or vegetables.  I served it with a mix of greens and some fresh mango that I’d just gotten from the local farmer’s market.  There’s a variety of fresh vegetables you could use in this salad besides carrot, cucumber, and onion.  I would just use the freshest vegetables you have from the farmer’s market.  If you use tomatoes, they should be deseeded, just as the cucumber was.  And I would stick with cherry or grape tomatoes for this recipe, if you decide on using them.  The dressing is really what makes this salad super delicious, and tweaking that to suit your own tastebuds is what’s important.


2 cups cooled and cooked quinoa

3 grated carrots

4 large pickling cucumbers (my favorite, but you could use English), peeled and deseeded

6 green onions, finely chopped

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1 tsp Kosher salt

1/2 tsp coarse-grind pepper

4 limes, squeezed

3 tsp tamari or soy sauce

1 tbsp EVOO

1 tbsp sesame oil

1 tbsp rice vinegar

about 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (less or more, to taste)


Mix the quinoa with all the ingredients up to an including the salt and pepper.  If you want to add other fresh, crunchy chopped vegetables, I would choose bell peppers, corn, fresh peas, or snap peas.   It’s a matter of choice, but the ones I listed are the ones I used.  For the dressing, mix the squeezed lime juice (should yield about 1/4 cup), and add the remaining ingredients.  Taste it to see if you need to add more acid (rice vinegar or lime), or more sesame oil.  If you want it more sweet and sour, adjust the tamari or soy sauce to suit your taste.  I absolutely loved the dressing by the time I was done tweaking it to my taste. Add it to your quinoa mixture, a little at a time as you mix.  You may not want to use it all, and instead serve some on the side to pour over the quinoa salad and whatever else you are serving it with.  I garnished it with a little mint from my garden.ThaiQuinoaSalad


Quinoa Tabbouleh with Baby Spinach, Avocado, and Blueberries


Here, I made my Quinoa Tabbouleh recipe, posted on May 13, 2014. The only change I made to that recipe was the addition of 8 oz. of drained and rinsed sliced black olives, and only one bunch of finely diced green onions.

I served it with baby spinach, sliced avocado (what else is new?), and a handful of fresh organic blueberries.

I still have tons of fresh organic blueberries to use, so I made a batch of overnight, quick-cook, organic steel-cut oats. Simply mix 1 1/2 cups oats with 2 tsp. chia seeds, and 2 cups of organic almond milk. Pour into a sealed container, and refrigerate overnight.

I heated a little of it (about a cup) in the microwave this morning, and added a bunch of the blueberries. It was really delicious, and there is enough leftover for several more breakfasts (or snacks). You can add whatever you fancy each morning to this overnight oat mixture. It’s healthy, nutritious, and quite delicious.

Organic Veggie Patty with Spinach, Tomatoes and Avocado

Organic Veggie Patty with Spinach, Tomatoes and Avocado

This veggie patty recipe is a variation of the one posted earlier. I’m trying different ingredients and spices in these patties; there are so many different vegetables I can use each time, and depending on those, I’ll change the seasonings and spices, too. There will be more veggie patty postings using all seasonal vegetables!


3 yams, peeled and chopped into cubes
2 cups fresh chopped kale
Enough water to cook yams until they’re soft (about 2 cups)
4 large green onions, chopped finely
1 16-oz can of drained, rinsed black beans
1 yellow zucchini, grated
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/4 cup flour
1 cup steel cut oats
1/4 cup chia seeds
1 heaping tsp cumin
2 tsp Himalayan pink salt
1 tbsp Garlic Lover’s Seasoning (Flavorgod.com)
1 tsp coarse-grind pepper
Sliced fresh tomatoes and avocado
Fresh baby spinach or arugula


Bring the water to a boil in a pot before adding the cubed yams. Cook them (adding water if necessary) until they become soft, and stirring frequently. Add the kale and mix into the yam. Cook for another 5 minutes, or so. Remove from stove, mash together and set aside.

Mix the remaining ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Add the yam and kale mixture. Form into large patties. They will be quite sticky. Bake on a parchment paper-lined pan in a 400F oven for about 30 minutes. Turn the patties over for another five minutes. Remove from the oven and cover for about 10 minutes to allow a little steam to moisten them.

Serve with any vegetable, fruit, mixed salad, or make veggie burgers out of them. Store in an airtight, covered container in the fridge. Heat in a moistened paper towel in the microwave when you’re ready to use them again.

Three-day Meal Prep for my son

Three-day Meal Prep for my son

I’m trying to get him to eat more vegetarian/vegan meals and meal prepping for him is the perfect tactic to exact my plan! If these meals fully satiate him, he may just decide to alter his diet a bit.

I posted the yam and kale biscuit recipe a few days ago. I’d made the biscuits first, and then with the leftover that I hadn’t baked, I added mashed garbanzo beans, some more seasoning and garlic. For the broccoli and yellow bell pepper salad here, I really quickly steamed the broccoli and then dropped in an ice bath so they’d not continue cooking. I wanted them almost raw. I made a batch of guacamole (not pictured) for dipping (recipe posted here on the last meal prep post from a few months ago). The lentil and rice pilaf recipe is really REALLY tasty, and I decided to poach an egg and plop it on top of some fresh baby spinach, along with a little grated cheese. If this was a meal prep for me, I’d omit the eggs since I’m vegan. I’d probably add some chopped fresh veggies on top of mine.

So, here’s the lentil and rice pilaf recipe:


2 cups dried brown lentils, rinsed and picked over
1 large onion, minced finely
1 small bunch Kale, rinsed and chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 bay leaf
4 cups vegetable broth
4 cups water
1 cup extra long grain rice
3 tbsp tomato paste
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


Add the lentils to a soup pot with enough water to cover them by about 2 inches. Bring the water to a boil and boil uncovered for approximately 20 minutes.

Drain and rinse the lentils and discard water. Be sure to rinse the soup pot of any residue that may have remained.

In the same soup pot, over medium heat, add the onions and kale. Season with a bit of salt and saute the vegetables for about 5 minutes, stirring to prevent sticking. You don’t want the vegetables to brown, just get tender.

Add the garlic, cumin, and oregano to the pot and stir for about a minute.

Add the lentils back to the pot with the vegetable broth, water, and the bay leaf. Bring the liquid to a boil and simmer uncovered for approximately 20 minutes. Add the rice and the tomato paste and continue to cook for another 20 minutes or until the rice is cooked through.

Re-season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Green Energy Smoothie

Green Energy Smoothie

A lot of us are making smoothies using our Vitamix (I’ve owned mine since 2004, and it was the best investment I could’ve made). I try to make a healthy smoothie almost every day; it’s a great way to get all your fruits and veggies into your daily food intake, and it’s easy to just drink on the go.

Instead of adding ice to my smoothies, I use frozen fruits that I buy fresh and organic then wash/core/slice immediately and place in a single layer on a parchment paper-lined tray in the freezer. Once they’re frozen, I divide them up in baggies and keep in the freezer. I don’t like over-ripe bananas (those that have brown on the peel), but that’s when they’re the most nutritious, so now I wait until they’re quite ripe before slicing and freezing. The other fruit that I always have on hand in the freezer (I usually buy about once a week) are strawberries. There’s an organic fruit stand nearby where I’ll buy a whole flat of them, and none go to waste by freezing this way and using for smoothies.

The other ingredient that I’ve begun to use regularly in my smoothies is organic unsweetened almond milk. One cup of almond milk contains only 60 calories (as opposed to 146 calories in whole milk, 122 calories in 2 percent, 102 calories in 1 percent, and 86 calories in skim milk). There’s no cholesterol or saturated fat in almond milk and it’s low in sodium and high in healthy fats, such as omega fatty acids. It also contains from 25-50 percent of the recommended daily amount of vitamins E, B, D, iron, and calcium. So, lots of good reasons to use it in your smoothies instead of water, yogurt, cow’s milk, etc. Drink plenty of water during the day, and use the almond milk for your smoothies.

Here’s what I put in this all-organic smoothie:

2 large handfuls of baby spinach (pre-washed)
1 cup frozen fresh sliced strawberries
1 cup frozen slices of bananas
1 fresh sliced apple (I used Gala in this one)
2 oranges (I use tangelos)
1 1/2 cups almond milk

Blend in your Vitamix or other blender. It’s surprisingly sweet considering it looks like it might taste kind of bitter since it’s so green! It’s a definite energy booster, and a great breakfast or snack during the day. Reserve the leftover in a sealed Mason jar in the refrigerator.

Avocado, Spinach, Tomato, Arugula, Basil, Chive—Garden Harvest

Avocado, Spinach, Tomato, Arugula, Basil, Chive---Garden Harvest

I harvested everything on this plate (except the avocado) from my garden today, and I enjoyed every single bite of it for lunch. It’s SO rewarding to grow your own organic veggies and fruit. I’m limited in that I have only a patio for planting (vs. planting in the ground), but one becomes creative, and every year my “crops” improve. It’s just trial and error, and a little research on the side!

It’s a fun, challenging hobby for those of us who prefer to eat organic and vegan-based foods. And it’s a lot less expensive than buying organic veggies and fruits at the farmers’ markets and/or grocery stores.

Penne Pasta with Portabella Mushrooms and Spinach

Penne Pasta with Portabella Mushrooms and Spinach

I used about five portabella mushrooms. They’re very large and rich in flavor which makes them ideal for a vegan dish like this where you’re not adding any cheese. It would be too bland with just spinach, onion and garlic, in my opinion. So, I just sautéed some garlic and chopped onion in olive oil until it was soft and fragrant. I’d precooked and drained the penne pasta, saving about a cup of the liquid to add to the mixture at the end if the pasta was too dry. After sautéing the onion and garlic, I added the chopped portabella mushrooms and continued to cook until they were soft and the juices had reduced. I seasoned with Flavor God Everything seasoning, and some pepper to taste. I then added about 5 cups of pre-washed and dried baby spinach and stirred until it was wilted. Last, I mixed the pasta into the pan and stirred it well. I added about a half cup of the saved liquid and let it all reduce and covered the pan for a minute or two. I served it with some chopped green onion on top just for a little garnish. (Basil would have made a nice garnish, too.) The mushrooms give this dish a really great flavor and richness.