Pad Cashew Nut

20130514-070944.jpg For some reason I thought I would have all the free time in the world when I finished my spring semester classes last week. I had pictured myself lounging around on the couch, reading magazines, catching up on movies and TV shows I’ve missed, and cooking non-stop. What the heck was I thinking?! Instead, I’ve been so busy that I’ve hardly had time to make up snacks to grab on the go. My kitchen and my hubby are beginning to feel very neglected.

With a hectic schedule, I find that smoothies and quick meals that can be made in massive quantities and eaten as leftovers have suddenly become my best friends. This Pad Cashew Nut is the perfect example of the latter. In fact, the most difficult part of this dish is waiting for the rice to cook and chopping up the veggies. Aren’t fresh veggies beautiful?:
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Vegetarian Lentil Soup

20130119-233511.jpg My hubby buys vegetarian lentil soup nearly every time we go to the grocery store. I was shocked the first time he brought home a big tub of the soup–my hubby, the meat-eater, enjoying a vegetarian dish?!? (I can’t tell you how much it thrills me that he loves a food we can both eat!!) Unfortunately, there is a down-side: what doesn’t thrill me about this scenario is how quickly those gigantic tubs can add up. One tub = 1, maybe 2, servings for him, and each tub costs around $8. That’s a pretty hefty price tag for something that often constitutes just a snack or only a portion of his lunch or dinner.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve tried to recreate his favorite soup a couple of times. Both times, however, no matter how much I seasoned, the soups turned out bland and tasted merely “OK.” Despite my past failures, my hubby has continued to ask me to try again. I’ve wanted to, but my ego has kept me from agreeing with him–what if I fail yet again?? Finally, after months of badgering, I caved. Fortunately for me, the third time really is a charm :)
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Broccoli Quinoa Stir Fry and Quinoa Sushi Wraps

For today’s post I thought I would give you two amazingly easy and delicious Asian-inspired quinoa recipes for the price of one :)

When I shared my Quinoa Tabbouleh recipe last week, I realized that I haven’t shared many quinoa recipes on this site. I eat quinoa all the time, but I’ve just neglected to share the love. So today I thought I would do just that and put the spotlight on quinoa by sharing not one, but two more simple quinoa dishes that are in constant rotation at my house.

Between school and work, I’ve hardly had any time lately to devote to my beloved kitchen experiments. One of my all-time favorite pastimes is to go into the kitchen and just play with ingredients or recipes to come up with something that knocks my socks off. But, at the end of the long days, my brain is completely fried and I find that I don’t have the time or energy to play around or put together a big, elaborate meal. That’s when my gigantic batches of pre-prepared quinoa come in handy. Both of the dishes below were made using quinoa that had been cooked over the weekend (when I’m able to devote extra time to preparing food for the week). Quinoa is just a sure-fire, go-to ingredient for me because I know that I can do almost anything with it and it will be delicious. And for these recipes, aside from the little bit of chopping that’s involved, there’s practically no effort required, and I know that my meals will be ready within 20 minutes–awesome.

Lately it seems that these have been my requirements: yummy, fast, and easy. If a recipe doesn’t fit all three requirements, then I don’t even bother. Fortunately, both of these recipes meet my standards!

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Broccoli Quinoa Stir-Fry (serves 2)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 Tbs. coconut oil or sesame oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. fresh ginger, minced
  • 1/3 cup red onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 cups broccoli, cut into small florets
  • 1 cup carrots, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup red bell pepper, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onion
  • 2 Tbs. Tamari soy sauce or Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
  • 1-2 Tbs. sesame seeds (optional)
Directions:
  1. Heat the oil in a sauté pan over Medium heat. Sauté the garlic, ginger, and red onion until fragrant and the onion begins to turn translucent (approximately 5 minutes).
  2. Add the broccoli, carrots, and red bell pepper and stir frequently. Sauté until the veggies have turned a more vibrant color and have softened a bit (approx. 5 minutes), then add the quinoa and stir well.
  3. Sauté just until the quinoa has heated through and then remove the pan from the heat. Add the green onion, soy sauce, and optional sesame seeds to the pan and stir well.
  4. Serve and enjoy!
This dish made for a nice, warm dinner and I used the leftovers the next day by making veggie wraps for lunch: I spooned some of the mixture into large leaves of Romaine lettuce (collard greens, butter lettuce leaves, and nori wraps will work, too).
 

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Quinoa Sushi Wraps (Serves 2)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 Tbs. brown rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp. filtered water
  • 2 drops liquid stevia
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 avocado, sliced into thin strips
  • 1/2 seedless cucumber, sliced into thin strips
  • 1 carrot, peeled and sliced into thin strips
  • a couple large lettuce leaves
  • 2 nori sheets
  • optional add-ins: sprouts, sesame seeds, and any other veggies you may have lying around
  • Tamari soy sauce for dipping

Directions:

  1. Prepare all of your ingredients so that they’ll be handy when you need them.
  2. In a bowl, combine the brown rice vinegar, water, and sea salt. Add the quinoa and stir until the quinoa is completely coated with the liquid.
  3. Lay a nori sheet shiny-side down on a flat surface (or, better yet, on a rolling sheet). Spread the quinoa in a thin layer across 2/3 of the nori sheet closest to you (leaving a strip of nori on the end furthest from you).
  4. Lay the lettuce flat on top of the quinoa and top with a horizontal strip of veggies down the center of the lettuce. Feel free to add whatever ingredients you like at this point, but be sure not to overfill the wrap or you won’t be able to seal it!
  5. This is when a rolling sheet comes in handy: Gently lift the edge of the wrap closest to you and begin to turn inward and tightly roll toward the opposite end. To seal the wrap, moisten the opposite end and press tightly.
  6. Using a very sharp knife, slice the roll in half (to make larger wraps like in the picture above) or into smaller, individual pieces (like traditional sushi).
  7. Repeat with the second nori wrap and veggies. Serve with dipping sauce (Tamari is my favorite) and enjoy!