Monday, October 20, 2014

Breakfast Quinoa

It's that time of year when all that I want when I get out of bed in the morning is something warm to fill my belly. The only problem is that oatmeal gets old. That processed instant crap that is full of sugar is just no good for you and sometimes there's no level of flavor change up that gets me passed the boredom with that steel cut oat texture day after day. Luckily I attended a fantastic nutrition workshop at Yoga District Tea Lodge this past spring that had a fantastic idea for changing it up, breakfast quinoa! It's hearty and comforting the same way that oatmeal is, but can be a nice switch up to the texture routine. You can add a lot of different flavor combinations to it, but below is my favorite maple almond blueberry combo. If you're generally weirded out at the idea of a sweet flavored quinoa, just try it once and I have a feeling you will be sold.

Almond Blueberry Breakfast Quinoa
(serves 2)
1 cup quinoa
1.75 cups water
15 dried blueberries
1 tablespoon maple syrup (make sure it's really maple syrup and not corn syrup in disguise!)
1/2 cup sliced almonds
Boil water and then add quinoa and dried blueberries to the pot. Note that the sweetness of blueberry is going to permeate all of the grains, so if you are choosing a tarter berry you might want to hold off on adding it until the quinoa is cooked. Let it simmer until quinoa is soft (about 12 minutes). The quinoa doesn't need a lot of attention, so feel free to spend this time making your lunch or other morning routine activities. After the quinoa is cooked, scoop it into a bowl and drizzle with a teaspoon of maple syrup and quarter cup of almonds in each bowl. Enjoy!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Garbanzo Bean "tuna" Salad

I'm back to my whatever I can smear on a cracker phase. For years I was a huge tuna salad eater. It was one of the first things my mom taught me to make and it was a quick and easy meal on my shoe string college budget. Then I learned about mercury poisoning, over fishing, dolphins in nets, you know the list and sought to drastically reduce my seafood consumption (or at least save it for really special sushi restaurant occasions, see Sushi Taro). While learning more about vegan and vegetarian alternatives, I stumbled across the approach of using macerated garbanzo beans (or chick peas as I've learned to call them on the East Coast) in lieu of tuna for a great "tuna" salad. The inspiration for this particular recipe came from Sticky Fingers former menu item the "tuna" melt. I don't know that I've fully recreated their amazing dish, but it's pretty close. As you can see above I usually pile the salad on a cracker along with some sliced up cherry tomatoes for a really delicious and filling lunch.

Garbanzo Bean "tuna" Salad
1 can garbanzo beans
1 carrot, sliced
1 celery stalk, diced
2 tablespoons onion, diced
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1/2 teaspoon salt
pinch of pepper
2 tablespoons mayonaise or veganaise

Combine garbanzo beans and carrots into a food processor and mash on high until it's a nice thoroughly mashed substance. Scoop mixture into a bowl and add diced celery and onion, mayo/vego, garlic powder, paprika, celery seed, salt and pepper. Mix with a fork until all the mayo/vego chunks have been thoroughly spread out. Serve with crackers, tortilla, chips, or make into a sandwich. Essentially do anything you'd do with tuna salad, enjoy!