Sunday, September 22, 2013

Vegan, Quinoa Vegetable Salad

Though I am not a vegetarian or vegan myself, I do appreciate a clean, wholesome, meatless dish but I am so bored of the same old green salad: lettuce, bell pepper, cucumber, and dressing. While going through my pantry today I discovered two unopened bags of quinoa, one red and one white, and thought...why the heck not try cooking something new? And with that, I was off.

This recipe is inspired by my friend Tressa, and all other vegetarians (and vegans) out there. It truly is delicious, if I do say so myself. This is the perfect recipe to make at the beginning of the week and keep in your fridge for an easy grab-in-go lunch. I especially love this recipe because it can go many hours without being refrigerated because it doesn't have any meat or dairy products....BONUS!

I am incredibly pleased with this new recipe, it is super healthy and is sure to keep you full!

Veggies mixed with dressing

Add cooked quinoa to veggies

Stir, stir, stir

Package and store for the week

Veggie-packed quinoa:
yields 4-6 servings

- 1 cup quinoa

- 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth

- 3 stalks celery

- 1 medium carrot

- 1/2 bell pepper

- 1 cup red cabbage

- 1 can diced tomatoes


- 1/3 cup olive oil

- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

- 2 tbls. dijon mustard

- ground pepper

- juice of 1/2 lemon

- 1-2 tabls. honey or packet of stevia (optional but encouraged) 


1. In a medium saucepan, bring to a boil 1 1/2 cups broth (or water, I just used broth for added flavor), 1/2 cup red quinoa, and 1/2 cup white quinoa. Once at boiling, reduce to simmer and cover for 15 minutes, or until quinoa has absorbed liquid and expanded. 

2. While quinoa is cooking chop bell pepper, cabbage, carrots, and celery. 

3. Combine dressing ingredients. Add the vegetables above and drained diced tomatoes to dressing and mix together. 

4. Once quinoa has cooled to room temperature, add to the vegetable mixture and combine until dressing evenly coats all ingredients. 

5. Finally, transport to a container and refridgerate until ready to eat.

6. Enjoy! 

Fun Facts: Quinoa

1. High in protein -- its protein balance is similar to milk and has more protein compared to rice, millet or wheat.

2. A good source of riboflavin -- riboflavin helps reduce the frequency attacks in migraine sufferers by improving the energy metabolism within the brain and muscle cells.

3. The saponins from quinoa are used to promote healing of skin injuries in South America, making it a good antiseptic.

4. It's alkaline-forming. Although it is not strongly alkaline-forming, it is comparable to wild rice, amaranth, and sprouted grains.

5. It only has 172 calories per ¼ cup dry quinoa.

6. Since it is not related to wheat or grain, it's gluten-free. Millions are discovering they feel better and lose weight when they reduce gluten grains or at least wheat products. 

7. It is a complex carbohydrate with low glycemic index. This is again good for weight management. 

Wishing you a healthy day, the Tori May way!
Until next time, 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Comfort Food: Round two!

Time for a hearty meal that will make the transition from summer to fall a breeze! As you will quickly discover, I love healthy food that tastes like comfort food! And that is exactly what this recipe and the one in my last post are all about!!! 

On today's menu: Stuffed Zucchini boats accompanied by a blue cheese, wedge salad. YUM! Healthy, easy, and delicious! The zucchini boat recipe was featured on my last blog and was a big hit, so I thought why not share the recipe with all of you! 

To start:
Fresh, crisp, and delicious ice-burg wedge

Main Course:

Chopped onion, green bell pepper, and minced garlic

Sauce: onions, bell pepper, garlic, ground turkey, spices, tomato sauce

Assembled in (beautifully) scooped out zucchini boats, topped with parmesan cheese

Final result, hot out of the oven...mmm

Recipe: Iceberg, blue cheese wedge:  
serves 4

- one iceberg lettuce head, quartered

- 3/4 pint cherry tomatoes, halved

- 1 avocado, chopped

- 4-6 strips of bacon, cooked and crumbled

- chunky blue cheese dressing

- ground pepper (optional)

Place one-quarter of iceberg head on each plate, then simply assemble the other condiments around the lettuce. Finish it off by drizzling the blue cheese dressing, and ground some fresh pepper over the top.

Stuffed Zucchini:  
serves 6

- 6 zucchini

- 1 green bell pepper, chopped

- 1 yellow onion, chopped

- 3-5 cloves of garlic

- 1- 24 oz jar of your favorite tomato sauce

- 25-35 oz of ground turkey

- 1 tbsp. Italian seasonings

- 1 bay leaf

- salt and pepper (to taste)

- red pepper flakes (to taste)

- 1/2- 3/4 cup grated parmesan

1. Pre-heat oven 425 degrees

2. Saute bell pepper and onions in 2 tbsp. of olive oil for 3-5 minutes over medium-high heat, until vegetables begin to soften. Next add the minced garlic until it becomes aromatic, 30 sec- 1 min.

3. After that stir in the ground turkey, and saute unitl it is cooked through. When this is done, it is time to add the tomato sauce, italian seasonings, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and lastly the bayleaf.

4. Stir until everything is well combined, then cover and reduce to a simmer for (ideally) 1/2 hour to an hour, but if you're in a time crunch aim for at least 15 minutes.

5. Next scoop generous amounts of sauce into zucchini boats that have already been placed into a 9 by 13 inch baking dish. Finally, top the whole dish off with parmesan cheese and bake 25 minutes, or longer if softer zucchini is desired.

There it is! One very satisfying, delicious meal!

Wishing you a healthy day, the Tori May way!
Until next time,