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quinoa breakfast parfait

I made a new, fun and delicious breakfast this morning!  I cooked more quinoa than I needed for our dinner dish last night, so I made sure to save the plain leftovers for another meal.  I have seen numerous quinoa granola recipes floating around the food blog world, and I thought I should try it out.  I decided to create a quick version of a Quinoa Granola Yogurt Parfait that I could make within the 10 minutes I had for breakfast this morning.

Since my quinoa had a tropical kick from being cooked in pineapple juice, I decided to pair it with yogurt.  Here is what I did to create this quick breakfast treat!

I spread out my leftover quinoa onto my toaster oven baking sheet (you could definitely make this in the oven as well!), and baked it at 400°F for 5 minutes.

After 5 minutes, I took the quinoa out and moved it around to make sure everything was crisping up.  At this point, I added chopped walnuts and raisins and put it back into the toaster, decreasing the heat the 350°F for 5 minutes.  I was afraid that the walnuts were going to burn if I kept the heat up!

After 10 minutes is was hot and definitely had a little more bite to it than it did last night.  I was running out of time, so I took it out and let cool for a few minutes.  You could definitely leave this in longer for a more granola-like texture, but this was perfect for a quick breakfast.

Then, made a parfait!  I layered my glass with wildberry Chobani greek yogurt, then quinoa granola, then bananas and repeated.

I sprinkled a little Galaxy Vanilla Granola on top with a drizzle of pure maple syrup.

Mmmm…this was tasty!

Lunch consisted of more quinoa and leftovers.  The Pineapple Cashew Quinoa is delicious the next day as well.  The flavors all blend together more, and the cashews were not as crunchy, but still obviously great!

And, my favorite Larabar as an afternoon snack – Coconut Cream Pie!

Dinner was also quick!  I had to get started on some baking projects (recipes to come over the weekend).

We had leftover Spinach Salad from last night as well, so I had a big plate of that.  Grape tomatoes, mozzarella, chickpeas, diced turkish figs, pear, a few pecans and pear infused vinegar.

Surprisingly, very good!

Along with the salad we cooked some low & slow sweet potatoes, which I saw recently on Kath’s Blog.  These are so easy to make, and they are the most delicious sweet potatoes that I have ever tasted!  Wash off your potato and cut it up like this:

Then, place the slices on a cookie sheet sprayed with a little olive oil.  I brushed the potatoes with a little coconut oil and sprinkled them with salt and pepper.

Bake them at 350°F for 30 minutes, then turn the heat up to 400°F and bake for another 20 minutes.  This was the perfect amount of time for ours!  They came out of the oven steaming hot, browned and oozing with sap.

They were a little crispy on the outside, and so so soft and creamy on the inside.  The best sweet potatoes ever!

Paired great with a salad.

fruit not fat

About a month ago, I found out that Galaxy Granola was starting a “Fruit not Fat” movement to jump start healthy eating.  I love the movement that they are starting, because so many people these days need to and/or want to cut that un-needed fat out of their diets.  But, they don’t want to give up their favorite foods.  From their blog: Fruit Not Fat is about cutting out fat when you can by limiting the amount of it in any given recipe.  We don’t want you to eliminate all the healthy fats in your diet; we just want to encourage you to choose the right fats and make informed and healthy eating choices each and every day.

You can read their blog to find out new recipe ideas and other fun facts!  Or, just click the blue and green apple symbol on the left of my page (under my picture) to get there.

I received an awesome sample package to try out their granola.

Well, I needed to tell you guys about their granola, because it is delicious!!  They bake their granola in applesauce (how cool is that?!) instead of oils.  Many people shy away from granola because of it’s calorie and fat content.  It is usually baked in oils, and contains grains, nuts, and fruits.  But, no oils in the granola means a lot less fat! 

They have great, simple flavors which I love.  It has just the right amount of sweetness, sweetened by either agave, cane juice or honey.  They do use white rice, which I am not a huge fan of.  I would prefer brown anyday, and it is healthier for us.  However, if you are looking for a healthier granola alternative, I think this is it!

So far, the Not Sweet Vanilla is my favorite!  There are only 1.4 grams of fat per serving.  Other granolas can have upwards of 15-20 grams of fat per serving.  And check out the ingredients: whole rolled oats, apples, organic agave nectar, barley flakes, spelt flakes, crisp rice, oat flour, vanilla extract, oat bran, vitamin E.

The idea behind this granola is excellent!  Even though I do try to limit my white flour/rice intake, I do feel okay eating this granola knowing the other things that they put into it.

pineapple cashew quinoa

On my goodness – this was amazing!

I recently purchased the cookbook, Veganomicon due to all of the rave reviews it has received.  I was looking for a vegan cookbook to try out some stuff, so I figured, why not?!

We had girls night tonight, so I thought it was the perfect time to make a fun springy recipe.

Enter: Pineapple-Cashew-Quinoa

You can find the recipe here!

It was sweet and spicy at the same time, and the flavors all worked really well together.

I decided to use both white and red quinoa to make it prettier.  Red and white quinoa have the same health properties.  The only difference is the color!  Quinoa is most commonly referred to as a grain, but it is actually the seed of a leafy plant, related to spinach, beets and Swiss chard.  It has a very delicate taste, and therefore, takes on the taste of the foods that you mix it with or cook it with (like pineapple juice!).  It is considered a complete protein and is very rich in iron, potassium and dietary fiber.  It is very easily digested!

The recipe recommends that you cook the quinoa in 1/2 water and 1/2 pineapple juice, so I did just that.  I cut up a pineapple and reserved 4 cups of pineapple chunks, then juiced the rest for cooking.

While the quinoa was cooking, I got to work chopping up the remaining ingredients, including red peppers, chili peppers, scallions, basil and mint.  It is important to have everything chopped up ahead of time, because once you start cooking everything gets added to the pot quite quickly.

I started by toasted the cashews over medium-low heat until toasted.

Once the cashews are toasted (it took about 7 minutes), place them in a separate bowl and turn the heat in your pan up to medium heat.  Then add sesame oil, scallions and garlic and saute for about 5 minutes, until garlic sizzles.

At this point, we were chatting, so I forgot to snap photos of each step :).  But, after the garlic sizzles, you add the chile peppers (above), and then the peppers, peas and quinoa.  Once heated through, add the basil and mint for 2 minutes, then the pineapple and cashews.

Continue to stir-fry for about 10 minutes until everything is heated through, then serve warm.

I served this along with a spinach, tomato and mozzarella salad.

This was delicious!  I think everyone else loved it as well.