Parmesan Quinoa Cakes and Roasted Turmeric Cabbage

Hello from Seattle! We’ve had quite the bit of weather the last few days. Temperatures have dropped below freezing, we got a bit of snow on Sunday and this afternoon, but most importantly, the sun was out this weekend! Despite the 30˚ weather, the sun drew lots of people out this weekend, and I got to enjoy walking around outside with a couple friends who were visiting for the weekend. It was quite glorious. There’s nothing like the Pacific Northwest to really make you appreciate the sun.

Anyway, now for the food. I made these cheesy quinoa cakes last week for dinner and roasted some cabbage as a side dish, and they turned out much better than I had anticipated. I made a few tweaks to this recipe by Let’s Dish, and was very satisfied with the results. My recipe was bigger than this one, mostly since 1 cup of uncooked quinoa made more like 3 cups cooked, so I adjusted up all the other ingredients accordingly. These are quite flavorful and stuck together quite well. I flavored my roasted cabbage with turmeric, but you could also just use simple salt and pepper or any other spices of your choice. Here’s my recipe!

Parmesan Quinoa Cakes with Roasted Turmeric Cabbage

Adapted from Let’s Dish

Makes about 18 patties

Ingredients

1 cup uncooked quinoa

2-2/12 cups water or vegetable broth to cook quinoa

4 green onions, sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs

1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

3 eggs

Salt and pepper to taste (I used about 1/2 tsp of each)

A few tsp extra virgin olive oil, for frying

1 head green cabbage

1/2 tsp turmeric

Salt and pepper to taste

1 tbsp olive oil

Directions

Quinoa cakes:

Cook the quinoa according to package directions and allow to cool. Quinoa can be made a couple days in advance and refrigerated until ready to assemble the patties.

Combine the quinoa, green onions, garlic, flour, Panko, parmesan, eggs, and spices. Mix until well incorporated. Add an extra egg if the mixture does not hold together.

Heat a skillet to medium heat, then coat the pan with about a teaspoon of olive oil. Drop 1/4 cup of the quinoa mixture into a pan and flatten and shape into round patties with a spatula. Allow to cook a few minutes, or until golden brown, then flip and allow a few minutes on the other side. Continue until all the quinoa mixture has been used.

Cabbage:

Preheat the oven to 400˚F and line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.

Slice the cabbage into 8 wedges. Brush with olive oil, and sprinkle the turmeric, salt, and pepper over the slices. Bake until soft and easily pierced with a fork, about 35-40 minutes. Serve with quinoa cakes. Enjoy!

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Coconut Curry Quinoa with Roasted Chickpeas and Vegetables

Happy Valentine’s Day! Some people think it’s an overrated holiday, and I tend to be one of those people. But it’s also a nice day to show the people you love how much you care about them. We have a tournament this weekend, so I’ll be spending my day with some of the people I love the most: my teammates! Before I leave, I’d like to kick off the weekend with a great dish I made last week, inspired by this recipe from Cookie and Kate. I’d never thought of adding the curry flavor to the quinoa before, but it sounded like a great idea, and it was delicious! The quinoa turned out creamy and delicious, with just the right amount of spiciness from the curry powder and a touch of sweetness from the raisins. Yum!

As always, I loved the roasted vegetables. I also wanted to add some protein to make this a complete meal, so I decided to try roasted chickpeas (or garbanzo beans, they’re the same thing). They were pleasantly crispy and delicious! Although if you save leftovers, store the chickpeas separately, since otherwise they lose their crisp.

Overall, this dish was full of delicious flavor, and the textures came together beautifully. The creamy quinoa, the soft vegetables, and the crispy chickpeas were a great combination. So here you go, a healthy, vegetarian dish. It would be great to try out over the long weekend!

Coconut Curry Quinoa with Roasted Chickpeas and Vegetables

Adapted from Cookie and Kate and Steamy Kitchen

Ingredients

1 cup quinoa

1 14oz can lite coconut milk

1/2 cup water

2 green onions, chopped

1 tsp curry powder

1 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp turmeric

1/4 cup raisins

1 15oz can garbanzo beans

1 head broccoli, cut into florets

1 head cauliflower, cut into florets

Mixed greens, optional

Olive oil

Seasoning blend of your choice

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Rinse the garbanzo beans and pat dry with a paper towel. Toss in olive oil and season to taste. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until crispy. Toss the broccoli and cauliflower in olive oil and seasoning, and bake for 20-30 minutes, until tender.

While the vegetables are roasting, prepare the quinoa. Place the quinoa, coconut milk, and water in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and allow the liquid to absorb. When the liquid has almost completely absorbed, add the green onions, spices, and onions and stir to combine. To serve, lay down a bed of mixed green, place a scoop of quinoa over that, then top with roasted veggies and chickpeas. Enjoy!

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Shared on Wake Up Wednesdays at Kitchen Meets Girl

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Honey Mustard Salmon and Roasted Vegetables over Quinoa and a Swim Workout

We’re moved into our apartment! I’m SO stoked to be living with my three amazing roommates, and I can’t for the fun to begin! The first thing I did when we moved all our stuff in the apartment was organize the kitchen, since I couldn’t deal with the explosion of stuff in my room. I also made this delicious meal for lunch yesterday, the first meal I cooked in our apartment! I saw a recipe in passing about quinoa salad with honey mustard vinaigrette, and I liked the honey mustard idea. Since we won’t have internet in our apartment till tomorrow, however, I made up this recipe based on taste-testing. It was the perfect meal to start off what I know is going to be a wonderful year.

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The best part of the apartment: our kitchen!
Happy coincidence: the apartment directly across from our kitchen belongs to three of my ultimate frisbee teammates! You can see one of them outlined in the light through the kitchen window. Yay friends!

I am mostly vegetarian, but I do eat salmon occasionally. Moving into our new apartment seemed like a special occasion so I decided to treat myself. I love roasted salmon, since when it is perfectly done, the flesh is nice and juicy and tender. I also love roasted vegetables, so I roasted some corn and peppers, and drizzled a nice honey mustard sauce over the top. Lay all that over a bed of quinoa, spinach, and avocado, and you have an easy meal that looks incredibly fancy!

Honey Mustard Salmon and Roasted Vegetables over Quinoa

Makes 5 servings

1 cup quinoa

2 cups spinach

2 green onions, chopped

2 ears sweet corn, cut off the cob

2 red bell peppers, diced

2 tbsp olive oil

Salt and pepper, to taste

1 avocado, diced

2/3 lb (approx.) salmon filet

2 tbsp mustard (I used Dijon)

2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp dill

2 tbsp honey

Directions

Cook the quinoa according to package instructions. At the very end, add the spinach to the pot and allow to cook until wilted. Remove and allow to cool.

Preheat the oven to 400˚F.

Toss together the green onions, peppers, corn, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Bake for 15 minutes.

While the vegetables are baking, prepare the sauce. Combine the mustard, honey, olive oil, vinegar, and dill. Once the vegetables have baked for 15 minutes, remove the pan from the oven and place the salmon filet over the vegetables. Drizzle with the honey mustard sauce. Bake for another 9-10 minutes, until the salmon is cooked through. I cut my salmon into 5 equal pieces, so they cooked fairly quickly. If you keep your salmon in one large filet, it may take closer to 12 minutes, but make sure to check the salmon so it doesn’t overbake! Serve by placing down a bed of quinoa and spinach, place a few cubes of avocado and a few scoops of veggies over that, then place a cut of salmon on top. Enjoy!

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We’re off to a great start in the apartment, food-wise!

Now for the swim set I did today! Today I swam 6000 yards, which is the longest swim I have done in the past couple years. It felt great! It’s hot still here in LA, even though it’s now officially fall, so the water felt wonderful. I didn’t make it to the pool yesterday because of all the unpacking and organizing we were doing in the apartment, so today I did a little bit of everything, in Energy System Monday fashion.

Energy System Monday

200 SKIP

4×75 @1:10, 50 free build, 25 sprint kick

12×50 3x(fly/free, back/free, breast/free, free/free), Round 1 @:55, Round 2 @:50, Round 3 @:45)

100 easy

8x(100 IM @ 5 sec rest, 50 fast free @ 10 sec rest)

100 easy

6 rounds of 400

1) 100 pull @1:20, 6×50 kick @1:00

2) 200 pull @2:40, 4×50 kick @1:00

3) 300 pull @4:00, 2×50 kick @1:00

4) 300 pull @4:00, 2×50 fly/free @1:00

5) 200 pull @2:40, 4×50 fly/free @1:00

6) 100 pull @1:20, 6×50 fly/free @1:00

100 easy

4×75 @1:30, odds free increasing underwater dolphin kick off each wall, evens breast increasing number of pulldowns off each wall

100 easy

Total: 6000 yards

Time: 1 hr, 50 min

Corn, Cucumber, and Avocado Quinoa Salad with Tzatziki Dressing and a Swim Workout

Today was another very long day. I didn’t even get to check my email until after 10 pm. Sigh. However, the end of my day involved dinner and dessert with three of my lovely ultimate frisbee teammates! It was a great pick-me-up after three very long days at work, and it put me in a much better mood. Great food and even better company tends to do that. 🙂 Also, I discovered that my favorite pool has extended summer hours, so I even got a swim in before work!

Today I’m sharing a recipe which I made Tuesday night after work, and it is the perfect summer meal, as it is served chilled. It has been EXTREMELY hot here in LA, especially in our apartment, and even after taking a cold shower, I still sweat until the late hours of the night. I’ve always said I prefer being hot to being cold, but I’m currently rethinking that statement. Anyway, this quinoasalad is a breeze to pull together and keeps well for several days in the fridge! The tzatziki sauce is simple and delicious, and the flavors meld together after a day in the fridge, so it’s even better after a day or two! When I was making this salad the first night, my brain was so fried from work that I forgot to add the garbanzo beans. However, it was still great as a side dish. They do provide protein, however, so I added them the next day and ate this dish as my meal. It was fantastic both ways! If you’re sensitive to raw onion taste, I suggest cooking the green onions with the corn, but if you like lots of green onion flavor, leave them raw. Sorry again for the dark pictures, but I do what I can with the lighting I have.

Corn, Cucumber, and Avocado Quinoa Salad with Tzatziki Dressing

Adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod

and Food.com

Ingredients

For the salad:

2 cups water

1 cup quinoa

Pinch of salt

1 tsp olive oil

2 ears sweet corn, kernels removed

3 green onions, chopped

2 avocados, diced

1 cucumber, diced

1 15oz can of garbanzo beans, drained

For the dressing:

1 cucumber, peeled and grated

½ tsp salt

½ tsp pepper

1 cups non-fat plain Greek yogurt

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp minced garlic

1 tsp dill weed

Directions

First, make the dressing so the flavors have a chance to mingle. In a colander, sprinkle the grated zucchini with salt and pepper, toss with your fingers, then press to drain as much water as possible. Mix together the yogurt, lemon juice, olive oil, minced garlic, and dill. Add the drained cucumber and stir well to distribute the cucumber throughout the sauce. Allow to sit in the refrigerator while you make the rest of the salad.

Cook the quinoa according to package instructions. Set aside to cool.

Heat the olive oil in a saucepan and add the corn kernels. Cook for 6-10 minutes, stirring the kernels often, until the kernels are lightly browned. Cook the onions in this step too, if you wish. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Combine the quinoa, corn, green onions, avocado, cucumber, and garbanzo beans in a large bowl. Drizzle the dressing over the top. Serve room temperature or chilled. Enjoy!

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Now onto the swim for today! Today I decided to do a challenging threshold set, to keep up with my string of Threshold Thursday. Today I did the classic threshold set, just 10 100s on threshold interval. This is not easy. I started at one interval, then missed it and had to increase it by five seconds, and that’s ok. Just put your head down and keep going and this set is over before you know it. Here it is!

Threshold Thursday

300 free, 300 pull

6×100 @1:30 odds sprint first 15m of odd laps, evens sprint first 15m of even laps

12×75 @1:10, 4x(fast stroke/free/free, free/fast stroke/free, free/free/fast stroke) change the stroke by round, IM order

Main set:

10×100 @threshold interval

12×100 free with paddles 3x(3 fast @1:20, 1 easy @1:40)

200 easy choice

200 breathe 3-5-7-9 by 50

Total: 4700 yards

Time: 1 hr, 20 min

Quinoa Salad with Summer Squash, Swiss Chard, and Sweet Potatoes

I love quinoa. It’s like pasta, except healthier. It also absorbs sauces, a bit like rice, so I can add an Asian flair to some quinoa recipes as well. I cooked dinner for my family again, and I decided to make another quinoa dish. This dish is adapted from one I made last summer, Quinoa Salad with Sweet Potatoes, Kale, Dried Cranberries, and Red Onion from Two Peas and Their Pod. My family doesn’t like kale, so I used swiss chard from one of our friend’s gardens instead. I also had a squash from their garden, and several huge zucchinis from our own garden, so I threw those in as well. We didn’t have a red onion, and white onion has a milder flavor anyway, so I used that instead. The dried cranberries in this salad give it a nice touch of sweetness and a bit of chewy texture with every bite. I also crumbled some goat cheese on top for an extra kick of flavor. To round out the meal, I still have buttermilk to use up, so I made whole-wheat buttermilk biscuits (trying to be a little healthier) to accompany this dish. Everything was delicious, and earned the approval of my sister, something that I strive for. Here’s the recipe with my adaptations!

Quinoa Salad with Summer Squash, Swiss Chard, and Sweet Potatoes

adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod

Ingredients

1 cup quinoa

1 ¾ cup water

2 medium sweet potatoes, chopped

½ medium white onion, sliced

1 medium yellow squash, chopped

1 medium zucchini, chopped

1 tbsp olive oil

salt and pepper, to taste

3 cups swiss chard leaves, chopped

5 tbsp balsamic vinegar, divided

½ cup dried cranberries

goat cheese, for serving

Directions

Rinse the quinoa and put in a pot with the water. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer until all the liquid is absorbed. Set aside to cool.

Preheat the oven to 400˚. Place the sweet potatoes and onion in a baking pan, season with salt and pepper and drizzle with half the olive oil and toss to coat. Bake for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, add the squash and zucchini, drizzle with the rest of the olive oil and toss to coat. Bake for 12 more minutes, or until all the vegetables are tender. Spread the swiss chard on a baking sheet and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar. Place in the oven for 7-10 minutes, until the swiss chard is wilted.

Let all vegetables come to room temperature, then combine with the quinoa. Add in the dried cranberries and the rest of the balsamic vinegar, toss to combine. Crumble goat cheese on top and serve. Enjoy!

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Shared on Totally Tasty Tuesdays at Mandy’s Recipe Box.

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One Pot Tomato Basil Quinoa with Spinach, Goat Cheese, and Toasted Walnuts

Tomato Basil Quinoa with Spinach, Goat Cheese, and Toasted Walnuts

Apartment life is coming soon! With it quickly approaching, I’m trying to learn how to make easy, quick meals. This dish came together in less than half an hour, and it only used one pot! Easy make, easy clean. Excellent. I saw a recipe for one-pan farro with tomatoes on Smitten Kitchen, and I decided to adapt it to my own tastes. The one-pan farro only has tomatoes as the veggie, and I wanted a more complete meal with some more colors in it, so I decided to add some spinach. The walnuts and goat cheese are optional, but make for a nice topping, and you don’t need much goat cheese to get the flavor. You could also use feta and olives for a more mediterranean style dish, but I prefer goat cheese and I don’t like olives so I opted not to use them. The beauty of inventing my own recipes is that I get to pick and choose what goes in! I made this dish and some buttermilk biscuits and dinner was served! The great thing about these biscuits is that they’re drop biscuits, so they don’t require any rolling and cutting or any of those time-consuming, mess-making steps. My sister really enjoyed this meal, and I was quite pleased with it myself. Without further ado, here’s the recipe.

Tomato Basil Quinoa with Spinach, Goat Cheese, and Toasted Walnuts

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups water

1 cup quinoa

1 tsp salt

1/2 large white onion, thinly sliced

2 tsp minced garlic, or 2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 ½ cups tomatoes, diced (about 4 medium tomatoes)

A handful of basil leaves, sliced into ribbons (I used about 10 leaves, I could have used more)

Salt and pepper, to taste

1 tbsp olive oil

2 cups baby spinach

½ cup walnuts, toasted

Goat cheese, for serving

Directions

Rinse the quinoa. Place in a pot with the water, salt, onions, garlic, and tomatoes.

Bring the whole mixture to a boil at medium high heat, then cover the pot and lower the heat. Simmer until almost all the liquid has been absorbed. Stir in the basil ribbons, salt, and pepper, and simmer for a couple more minutes.

Add the spinach and olive oil, stir into mixture. Cover the pot and let simmer for 5 more minutes, or until the spinach has wilted.

Place in a serving bowl and top with toasted walnuts and goat cheese. Enjoy!

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Quinoa Salad with Sesame Soy Dressing

Quinoa Salad with Sesame Soy Dressing

I discovered quinoa last summer when I started cooking a lot, and I fell in love with it. It’s a wonderful, nutty, healthy grain which is a complete protein, meaning you can get all the essential amino acids from it. Here’s a random fun fact I learned in one of my Life Science classes at UCLA: you can get all the essential amino acids by eating chips and salsa.

Last summer my favorite recipe with quinoa was this one from Two Peas and Their Pod. This summer, I decided to try another of their quinoa recipes, which popped up on my Facebook feed. I modified some of the ingredients according to what I had on hand and what vegetables I did and didn’t like. The original recipe had cabbage and soybeans, which I switched for broccoli and corn, since I didn’t have cabbage and I don’t like soybeans. The original recipe calls for red bell pepper, but we only had green ones in the garden. However, I do prefer red bell pepper, since it is sweeter. I  added a bit of sugar to the dressing, since when I tasted it it was extremely salty. I also left the cilantro out, since no one in my family likes it. After my modifications, the result was a delicious, refreshing quinoa salad, perfect for a summer night meal. My entire family enjoyed this recipe, and my mom got a break from cooking!

Quinoa Salad with Sesame Soy Dressing

adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod

Ingredients

Salad

1 cup quinoa

1 1/2 cups water

1 tbsp olive oil

1/4 cup water

1 cup broccoli, chopped

2 ears of corn, cut off the cob

1 bell pepper, chopped

2 medium carrots, shredded

1 medium cucumber, diced

Dressing

1/4 cup soy sauce

1 tbsp sesame oil

1 tbsp rice wine vinegar

2 tbsp chopped green onions

2 tsp sugar (or agave, or honey)

1 tbsp sesame seeds

1/4 tsp grated ginger

1/8 tsp red pepper flakes

salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

Cook the quinoa according to the package instructions, adjusting the amount of water if necessary.

In another saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat, then add the broccoli. Add the water and cover to steam the broccoli for about 3-4 minutes, then add the corn and cover again until all the water has been absorbed, stirring occasionally.

While the quinoa, broccoli, and corn are cooking, combine all the ingredients for the dressing. Place the quinoa in a large bowl and add the broccoli, corn, bell pepper, carrots, and cucumber. Pour 2/3 of the dressing on top, mix it up, and taste. This may be all the dressing you need, depending on your preference. If you want more dressing, pour the rest on. Enjoy!

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These are the vegetables I used, but this would be great with several other variations!

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Mmmm, light and refreshing!

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For dinner, we had the quinoa salad as our main dish. I also baked sweet potatoes and made some zucchini fritters, recipe to come soon!