Easy Cheesy Baked Quinoa
I’m a pasta gal. Not because I love it above all things but it’s just so much more convenient to throw things together, chuck it in the oven and just wait for the timer to sound off. Especially for a busy mom like myself, this is a go-to dish for me. Eating pasta 3 to 4 times on a weekly basis isn’t the healthiest and let’s face it, it can be quite heavy. An indulgent kind of food only fit for real Italian cooking with with all hand-made fresh ingredients. Ah, I have no time for that. Plus, for supper, I usually prefer lighter meals and pasta just does me in. I usually get food coma from all the starch, cream and dairy al combined. Quinoa is not a grain so it is gluten-free. It is a complete protein meaning it has all 9 of the essential amino acids. and is high in magnesium which is responsible for proper muscle and nerve function. It also provides 15% of recommended daily iron which is great for someone anemic like me. With quinoa being a way healthier alternative to a carbo-loaded casserole, I won’t have to sit with guilt how I just opted for an easy short cut rather than feeding my 15th month old son healthy food so YES, quinoa is a favorite. I even made cookies with them for a past Christmas but that’s a story for another post.
So here’s an awesome alternative! Are you ready?
I swear this is the fastest, easiest meal ever and I love that it uses quinoa!
So let’s get started…
You’ll need:
2 cups cooked organic quinoa (I just used our rice cooker. it’s easier. just fluff when done. tip for cooking quinoa: 1 cup uncooked quinoa equals to 2 cups cooked quinoa.)
1 cup organic roasted garlic pasta sauce or any pasta sauce you like. I prefer a tomato base with a bold distinct flavor.
2 tbsps organic tomato paste
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk or any thick nut milk you prefer. I like Silk (new batches have no carragean in them) but you can use dairy milk if you like.
1/4 cup of parmesan cheese or a vegan cheese version
1 cup of cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in halves 
1 big ball of mozzarella chopped or just get the shredded mozzarella  about 1 cup (they also have vegan versions of this if you want to go all out vegan on this dish).
1 handful of basil leaves,  (I picked mine from our aquaponics), julliened
additionally you can add some julienne spinach if you want more veggies.
1 tsp Italian herbs 
1 tsp paprika
pinch of salt and pepper
Process:
In a small pot, heat together your tomato sauce and tomato paste, add the milk. Once milk is incorporated, add the herbs and paprika. 
Dump the quinoa into the mix then season with salt and pepper. Add your parmesan (leave a little for topping) and some of the basil and tomatoes, both only using half of the amount, making sure to leave enough to top for later. 
Transfer the  quinoa mix into a 9x9 pyrex or non-stick baking dish. Top with mozzarella and the remaining parmesan. Decorate with halved tomatoes and dust a little of the herbs and paprika just to make it look pretty.
Bake at 350 for 15 mins and broil for 3-5mins or until nice and bubbly. We want to toast the cheese and dehydrate the tomatoes - they get sweeter that way.
Dress with basil and serve! :)

Easy Cheesy Baked Quinoa

I’m a pasta gal. Not because I love it above all things but it’s just so much more convenient to throw things together, chuck it in the oven and just wait for the timer to sound off. Especially for a busy mom like myself, this is a go-to dish for me. Eating pasta 3 to 4 times on a weekly basis isn’t the healthiest and let’s face it, it can be quite heavy. An indulgent kind of food only fit for real Italian cooking with with all hand-made fresh ingredients. Ah, I have no time for that. Plus, for supper, I usually prefer lighter meals and pasta just does me in. I usually get food coma from all the starch, cream and dairy al combined. Quinoa is not a grain so it is gluten-free. It is a complete protein meaning it has all 9 of the essential amino acids. and is high in magnesium which is responsible for proper muscle and nerve function. It also provides 15% of recommended daily iron which is great for someone anemic like me. With quinoa being a way healthier alternative to a carbo-loaded casserole, I won’t have to sit with guilt how I just opted for an easy short cut rather than feeding my 15th month old son healthy food so YES, quinoa is a favorite. I even made cookies with them for a past Christmas but that’s a story for another post.

So here’s an awesome alternative! Are you ready?

I swear this is the fastest, easiest meal ever and I love that it uses quinoa!

So let’s get started…

You’ll need:

  • 2 cups cooked organic quinoa (I just used our rice cooker. it’s easier. just fluff when done. tip for cooking quinoa: 1 cup uncooked quinoa equals to 2 cups cooked quinoa.)
  • 1 cup organic roasted garlic pasta sauce or any pasta sauce you like. I prefer a tomato base with a bold distinct flavor.
  • 2 tbsps organic tomato paste
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk or any thick nut milk you prefer. I like Silk (new batches have no carragean in them) but you can use dairy milk if you like.
  • 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese or a vegan cheese version
  • 1 cup of cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in halves 
  • 1 big ball of mozzarella chopped or just get the shredded mozzarella  about 1 cup (they also have vegan versions of this if you want to go all out vegan on this dish).
  • 1 handful of basil leaves,  (I picked mine from our aquaponics), julliened
  • additionally you can add some julienne spinach if you want more veggies.
  • 1 tsp Italian herbs 
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • pinch of salt and pepper

Process:

  1. In a small pot, heat together your tomato sauce and tomato paste, add the milk. Once milk is incorporated, add the herbs and paprika. 
  2. Dump the quinoa into the mix then season with salt and pepper. Add your parmesan (leave a little for topping) and some of the basil and tomatoes, both only using half of the amount, making sure to leave enough to top for later. 
  3. Transfer the  quinoa mix into a 9x9 pyrex or non-stick baking dish. Top with mozzarella and the remaining parmesan. Decorate with halved tomatoes and dust a little of the herbs and paprika just to make it look pretty.
  4. Bake at 350 for 15 mins and broil for 3-5mins or until nice and bubbly. We want to toast the cheese and dehydrate the tomatoes - they get sweeter that way.
  5. Dress with basil and serve! :)
Cardamom Beet Brownies
Look at that gooey deliciousness! These are by far the best brownies I have ever eaten! I love bitter sweet flavors. Ever since I was a child I have always loved dark chocolate. Not milk chocolate. Dark chocolate. I also love Brownies! Who doesn’t? And I love the exotic, mildly orange zesty hint Cardamom brings! It’s like magic dust. It’s that secret ingredient taste that just makes everything taste so much better. Well, I’ve completely given it away. Now you all know what it is since I blatantly gave it away from the title of the recipe. 
I don’t particularly love beets but I do like them cooked in a salad with feta cheese. Yummm! Or raw in juice - I throw them in the juicer with other fruits and vegetables in the morning. And they are so good for me since I am on the anemic side. Yes folks, beets are very high in iron, so if you are deficient like me, you can find many different ways to consume them. Raw is best but this ones a treat! May it be savory or sweet, beets are handy. And they bring an awesome texture to this dessert. It has a delicious bitterness to them but once cooked, sweetness emerges as just another layer of flavor. I truly think that the beets are EVERYTHING that make this so scrumptious! It really does wonders to the texture of these brownies.
I based my recipe on cookitlean.com - one of my blog inspirations for some cleaner versions of certain recipes I crave for. I spun it to my own liking by adding some bittersweet chocolate chips, for decadence without having to make any icing (I’m not an icing person). And I used cardamon powder instead of almond essence because I am a cardamom addict which is probably why I love chai tea (but that’s a whole other topic. I just love how cardamom can transform anything plain into fabulous! Yummm!!!! Did I say that already? 
These are my absolute favorite! I would probably add some chopped walnuts next time for added protein and texture.
Oh and it is Paleo and vegan friendly. I mean, C’mon! What more can a gal ask for?
So here’s the recipe:
2 medium sized organic beets amounting to about a little over a cup - cooked, peeled and shredded. I’m a mom to a 15th month old rambunctious boy and I have no time to waste, so I used my juicer to shred and rehydrated the same beet bits with it’s juice. I reckon, that is why these brownies came out so fudgey. But that’s just my theory. You can hand shred them or use a food processor. The more fine the better. I did mine the night before to save time.
1/2 cup pitted dried prunes (or dates), soaked and rehydrated in the beet juice, I soaked them overnight but you don’t have to.
2 tbsps organic VCO or virgin coconut oil
1 tbsp organic honey
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup almond meal/finely ground almond. you can make your own by using a mill or really good blender.
3/4 raw organic raw cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp himalayan salt or any salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
Dry Ingredient bowl
In separate bowl, sift your cacao powder in a bowl and whisk with the almond meal., baking powder, cinnamon, cardamom and salt. Do not mix the baking soda with the rest. Save it for later.
Wet Ingredient Mix
I used my nutribullet to blend the shredded beets, the prunes, the VCO and honey until smooth. You can use a vitamin or any blender.
Mixing Bowl
I transferred the wet ingredients into my mixing bowl and slowIy I started adding half a cup at a time until the almond meal is completely immersed together with the beet mixture. Now add the baking soda to make it fluffy and quickly add your chocolate chips and optional walnuts. I set some chips aside for the top for decorative purposes. It makes it look yummier! see past posted photo.
Pour into a brownie tray. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes.
Cool and slice. Enjoy!

Cardamom Beet Brownies

Look at that gooey deliciousness! These are by far the best brownies I have ever eaten! I love bitter sweet flavors. Ever since I was a child I have always loved dark chocolate. Not milk chocolate. Dark chocolate. I also love Brownies! Who doesn’t? And I love the exotic, mildly orange zesty hint Cardamom brings! It’s like magic dust. It’s that secret ingredient taste that just makes everything taste so much better. Well, I’ve completely given it away. Now you all know what it is since I blatantly gave it away from the title of the recipe. 

I don’t particularly love beets but I do like them cooked in a salad with feta cheese. Yummm! Or raw in juice - I throw them in the juicer with other fruits and vegetables in the morning. And they are so good for me since I am on the anemic side. Yes folks, beets are very high in iron, so if you are deficient like me, you can find many different ways to consume them. Raw is best but this ones a treat! May it be savory or sweet, beets are handy. And they bring an awesome texture to this dessert. It has a delicious bitterness to them but once cooked, sweetness emerges as just another layer of flavor. I truly think that the beets are EVERYTHING that make this so scrumptious! It really does wonders to the texture of these brownies.

I based my recipe on cookitlean.com - one of my blog inspirations for some cleaner versions of certain recipes I crave for. I spun it to my own liking by adding some bittersweet chocolate chips, for decadence without having to make any icing (I’m not an icing person). And I used cardamon powder instead of almond essence because I am a cardamom addict which is probably why I love chai tea (but that’s a whole other topic. I just love how cardamom can transform anything plain into fabulous! Yummm!!!! Did I say that already? 

These are my absolute favorite! I would probably add some chopped walnuts next time for added protein and texture.

Oh and it is Paleo and vegan friendly. I mean, C’mon! What more can a gal ask for?

So here’s the recipe:

  • 2 medium sized organic beets amounting to about a little over a cup - cooked, peeled and shredded. I’m a mom to a 15th month old rambunctious boy and I have no time to waste, so I used my juicer to shred and rehydrated the same beet bits with it’s juice. I reckon, that is why these brownies came out so fudgey. But that’s just my theory. You can hand shred them or use a food processor. The more fine the better. I did mine the night before to save time.
  • 1/2 cup pitted dried prunes (or dates), soaked and rehydrated in the beet juice, I soaked them overnight but you don’t have to.
  • 2 tbsps organic VCO or virgin coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp organic honey
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup almond meal/finely ground almond. you can make your own by using a mill or really good blender.
  • 3/4 raw organic raw cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp himalayan salt or any salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Dry Ingredient bowl

In separate bowl, sift your cacao powder in a bowl and whisk with the almond meal., baking powder, cinnamon, cardamom and salt. Do not mix the baking soda with the rest. Save it for later.

Wet Ingredient Mix

I used my nutribullet to blend the shredded beets, the prunes, the VCO and honey until smooth. You can use a vitamin or any blender.

Mixing Bowl

I transferred the wet ingredients into my mixing bowl and slowIy I started adding half a cup at a time until the almond meal is completely immersed together with the beet mixture. Now add the baking soda to make it fluffy and quickly add your chocolate chips and optional walnuts. I set some chips aside for the top for decorative purposes. It makes it look yummier! see past posted photo.

Pour into a brownie tray. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes.

Cool and slice. Enjoy!

I have never been so excited to eat! This is, by far, the best mungo bean dish I have ever made and eaten. 

Easy Yummy Butternut Squash Mungo with Quinoa:

1lb butternut squash (prep ahead of time*)
quarter of large white onion
3 cloves garlic
1 cup organic baby kale (chopped)
1 cup mungo beans (soaked for about 5-7 hours or overnight)
3 cups of vegetable broth + additional cup water if mungo beans dry out
1/4 cup organic canned coconut milk
1 cup cooked quinoa
1 tsp of amino acids 
1/2 tsp apple cider
pinch of coconut sugar
coconut oil
salt & pepper to taste

*Cut butternut squash into small pieces. Drizzle with coconut oil, sprinkle salt and pepper and bake in oven 350 C for 20 min. Doing this gives that roasted flavor but you can skip all this and just sauté with onions if you prefer. 

In a small pot, sauté chopped quarter of a white onion and cloves of garlic. Add the pre-soaked mungo beans, broth and cook for 10-15 mins or until beans are tender. Add squash, kale, coconut milk, amino acids, cider, salt, pepper and sugar. Once stew is done, scoop on top of quinoa. Fast & easy! Enjoy!

I have never been so excited to eat! This is, by far, the best mungo bean dish I have ever made and eaten. Easy Yummy Butternut Squash Mungo with Quinoa: 1lb butternut squash (prep ahead of time*) quarter of large white onion 3 cloves garlic 1 cup organic baby kale (chopped) 1 cup mungo beans (soaked for about 5-7 hours or overnight) 3 cups of vegetable broth + additional cup water if mungo beans dry out 1/4 cup organic canned coconut milk 1 cup cooked quinoa 1 tsp of amino acids 1/2 tsp apple cider pinch of coconut sugar coconut oil salt & pepper to taste *Cut butternut squash into small pieces. Drizzle with coconut oil, sprinkle salt and pepper and bake in oven 350 C for 20 min. Doing this gives that roasted flavor but you can skip all this and just sauté with onions if you prefer. In a small pot, sauté chopped quarter of a white onion and cloves of garlic. Add the pre-soaked mungo beans, broth and cook for 10-15 mins or until beans are tender. Add squash, kale, coconut milk, amino acids, cider, salt, pepper and sugar. Once stew is done, scoop on top of quinoa. Fast & easy! Enjoy!

 These Vegan Paleo Beet Brownies are sooo delicious! I added cheat some bittersweet chocolate chips to make it more decadent but this is already a guilt-free dessert all-in-all. I used very little sweetener (honey). It has an amazing fudge-like texture with wonderful bitter undertones. Recipe to follow.

These Vegan Paleo Beet Brownies are sooo delicious! I added cheat some bittersweet chocolate chips to make it more decadent but this is already a guilt-free dessert all-in-all. I used very little sweetener (honey). It has an amazing fudge-like texture with wonderful bitter undertones. Recipe to follow.