A Warm and Savory White Bean & Carrot Quinoa Salad

Where has the summer gone? Do you feel that, too? Just yesterday I saw this quote by John Burroughs: “I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read, and all the friends I want to see.” Yep – I couldn’t put it any better than that.

Not only have I been feeling the days are too short, I’ve been feeling my days are way too filled with the ‘tedious things’. The laundry. The organizing. The grocery shopping. The laundry. The cooking. The cleaning. The laundry. (Do you do that much laundry, too?) On more than one occasion I’ve looked at the floor waiting to be swept and the dishes needing washing, and, for a split second, it’s crossed my mind to run out the door with The Kitchen House and hide in the shade of a tree instead of doing my chores. Ha! Maybe after the kids go back to school that will be my ‘free day’: shade, a good book, no chores for mommy.

Anyway, because of all the business of these last days before school starts, there’s been no real ‘plan’ for our days… which is why we ended up eating this last night:

I was staring at my pantry, my overabundance of carrots, and a nice selection of my staples: white beans, lemons, spinach, and arugula. As I started to cook, it didn’t even occur to me I was throwing together a recipe I’d be sharing with you – hence, my lack of ‘how to’ photos in this post. But you know what? It was so yummy… so fast… and so perfect for a quick meal on a summer night – I have to share it.

Here’s what I used:

1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, diced and smashed with the back of a fork
1 1/2 cups of carrots, peeled and grated (I chopped mine with my mini food processor)
1/4 cup fresh diced parsley
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp sea salt
2 cans of white beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup of water
2 handfuls raw baby spinach
1 cup cooked Andean Naturals quinoa
1 handful of arugula
Juice and zest of 1/2 lemon

In a large fry pan, sauté your onions and garlic in a little olive oil on medium high. Once onions are translucent, add in your shredded carrots, parsley, dried seasonings; stir and continue to sauté for another couple minutes. Add in your white beans and water; stir again, and allow beans to warm through for a couple minutes. Add in baby spinach, stir to incorporate, cover, and turn off heat while spinach wilts.

Place your quinoa in a large bowl. Add in one cup of your hot bean/carrot sauté, a handful of fresh arugula, and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Stir to incorporate. Serve the salad and, before eating, freshly zest lemon zest over the top for garnish.

Now, here’s the truth: After I pulled out the cup of sauté for this salad – my salad, I actually mixed the remainder together with some noodles for my man and kids. So, if you have family that wants pasta – serve them pasta! But, if you want quinoa like me, do it up; and, if you have leftover saute, just mix it with more quinoa and save it for lunch tomorrow.

Before I go, please know I intend to spend more time here once our house is back on a school / work schedule. Thank you for sticking it out with me, encouraging me, and being here! I appreciate you… I hope you know that.

(Want to learn more about quinoa? Check out my brand partner, Andean Naturals. They’re raising the power of goodness and sharing quinoa with the world.)

YOU CAN DO IT: Spicy Quinoa Chickpea Patties (aka Quinoa Falafel)

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I don’t know where my love of chickpeas comes from – but it runs deep.

I love them rinsed and raw and tossed in a salad…

I love them sautéed in some olive oil, fresh garlic, herbs, and seasonings for a warm power snack…

I love them baked…

I love them in soups…

I love to mash them up and make homemade hummus.

Chickpeas and all their buttery goodness make this mama happy.

Now, I have to admit something to you: while I’ve eaten more than my share of falafel, I never knew chickpeas were the main ingredient. Seriously. But when I discovered that’s what a falafel is – a chickpea patty – what do you think occurred to me? Yep, you guessed it: I must blend my two loves – quinoa and chickpeas – and whip up my own version of falafel.

You ready to try it? I hope so, because they are little cakes of savory protein goodness.

Here’s what you need:

Special tool: food processor

Gather your ingredients (you’ll end up with 10 3″ diameter patties):

  • 1.5 cups precooked quinoa
  • 1 can organic chickpeas (garbanzo beans) – drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup diced white onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 2 TBSP gluten-free flour (or any regular flour will do if you’re not gluten free)
  • 2 TBSP fresh lemon juice
  • 1 TBSP  olive oil
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder

Get to work:

In the bowl of your food processor, add everything EXCEPT the quinoa and flour…

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Process until mixture is smooth like a paste…

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Add in your precooked quinoa and the 2 TBSP flour (the flour didn’t make it into this picture, sorry)…

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Then, with the best tool around – your hands – mash together all the ingredients until well incorporated…

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(NOTE: I made these without the flour first and they didn’t hold together at all. So, the flour is KEY to getting these to bind properly into patties.)

Heat a flat fry pan and coat the bottom with a little olive oil…

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Form your patties, and then gently lay them into the hot pan…

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Cook them on medium high heat for about 3-4 minutes on each side, or until golden brown like this…

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When they’re all done, you can eat them like I did:

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Quinoa falafel on a bed of chopped organic greens tossed in olive oil and lemon juice, served with a handful of cherry tomatoes and topped with a dollop of greek yogurt

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Or, you can just make up a bunch to pop in the fridge and eat them like a finger food when you’re craving a little something.

Just know this: they are super satisfying, have fabulous texture, and are just the thing to keep on hand for your busy mama days.

(SIDE NOTE: These would be fabulous for little eaters! If you’re going to feed them to your little ones that aren’t used to fully seasoned foods yet (5 and under, for example), cut the onion and lemon juice portions in half, and leave out all the dried seasonings except for a dash of the cumin and a little salt. Even a little bland the quinoa and chickpeas together have excellent flavor for training little palates.)

Thanks for being with me… and hey! Please SHARE this post and tell your friends:

MONDAY IS MY FIRST GIVEAWAY DAY!!!

I have a great gathering of goodies featured in my World Market TV segment from earlier this week – and someone has to win!

So, take a moment and “INVITE ME TO YOUR INBOX” on the right so you won’t miss a beat. And, if you have time, connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram for ALL my news.

Much love to you today – and remember: YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL, YOU ARE STRONG, YOU ARE LOVED.

 

Um, More Cauliflower Quinoa Soup, Please

We eat a ton of cauliflower in our house.

Raw. Roasted. Sautéed. Stir fried.

I was just telling a girlfriend yesterday that when I roast it and put it on the counter to cool, I often return to find little fingers have nibbled the entire pan away.

Our favorite way hands down, however, is this:

Cauliflower Quinoa Soup

Cauliflower Quinoa Soup

… the most savory bowl of yumminess ever.

The inspiration for this recipe came a couple years ago from The Pioneer Woman. Of course (because I need to be in control, lol) I made some tweaks that work better for the way we eat in our home (nixed the butter and flour, added garlic, upgraded from milk to cream, and added quinoa).

Don’t worry, though – this recipe is SO SIMPLE. Truly.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1/4 cup EVOO
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, diced and smashed
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and diced
  • 3 celery sticks, chopped
  • 1 head of cauliflower, broken into small florettes and roughly chopped (trim off the stalks from florets as best you can)
  • 4 cups of chicken broth
  • 1 cup of heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley
  • 2 cups precooked quinoa
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Warm a big soup pot and add the EVOO. Once EVOO is hot and loose in the pan, add onions, garlic, celery, and carrots. Sauté for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly so garlic doesn’t burn.
  2. Add chopped cauliflower to the pan and continue to sauté for another minute or two. Then, cover pot, reduce heat to just under medium, and allow veggies to soften for about five minutes. (Yes, you’ll want to give them an occasional turn with your spoon during that time.)
  3. Uncover the pot and add the chicken stock, heavy cream (optional), fresh parsley, and precooked quinoa. Bring soup to a gentle boil; then, reduce heat to just under medium again, cover and allow to simmer for about 10 minutes. (Also, if you need more soupiness (we like it a little thick in our house), just add more broth until it reaches the consistency you want).
  4. When it’s done simmering, grab a spoon and give it a taste! This is how you’ll determine how much salt you’ll need. Once you’ve tasted it, add in a little salt and pepper to taste.
  5. To serve, ladle into a beautiful bowl and sprinkle on some crushed chili pepper for those that love a little heat. (You can also add a little extra parsley for presentation.)

NOTE: If you are DIARY FREE, you can make this without the addition of the cream. As I sit here and think about it, I wonder if coconut milk as a substitute would add a little something special to this soup!

Enjoy… and, as always, Rebel On.
Elisha

POWER-FULL: Fried Quinoa and Veggies

My role as mama – as “Chief Nutrition Officer” of my home – is to make sure my kids are equipped to think clearly, perform with strength, and feel good as they walk through their day. What they eat for breakfast has a HUGE impact on their performance (just as it has a huge impact on my own performance!)… so I make sure we ALL eat powerful before we head out the door.

Here’s a great recipe for Fried Quinoa and Veggies. It’s just like fried rice – but, with the superfood quinoa as it’s base, it’s the SUPER HEALTHY version. Now, maybe you’ve never thought of fried rice for breakfast… let alone “fried quinoa”. But for me rice is as basic as toast in America… so I LOVE any opportunity to offer this super dish to my family.

Ingredients:

  • Cooked quinoa
  • Corn
  • Peas
  • Carrots
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Eggs
  • Soy Sauce
  • Black pepper
  • Olive oil for sautéing and frying the eggs
Here’s the “how-to”:

FOR VARIATION: Sometimes I throw chorizo sausage or kielbasa sausage into it because the kids LOVE sausage. If you’re making this more for dinner, you can also add chicken chunks, shrimp, or tofu – whatever floats your boat. You can also use whatever veggies you have on hand – like asparagus, bell peppers, cauliflower; any veggies work fabulous!

I’d love to hear how you cook it up in your house – so please come back and share!!

Rebel on,

Elisha