Tag Archives: quinoa

Teacher Friendly Meal Prep

Teacher Friendly Meals via the sister! My sister is a teacher and stays on top of her goals by prepping healthy lunches for the week on Sunday…here’s a vegetarian southwestern quinoa bowl 🍚
Prefer more variety?! Make extras for dinner and pack leftovers for lunch the next day 🍽


Here’s the recipe she used!

Spicy Black Bean Quinoa


Quinoa is one of my all time favorite foods. Here is a super simple, prep ahead recipe you can make for the week. It’s vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free! The best part? You can make it all in one pan!


  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • 1 can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 bell peppers, chopped
  • Chili powder, paprika, and red pepper flakes to taste.


  1. Bring the quinoa and 2 cups of water to boil in a saucepan, cover and cook on medium heat 10-15 minutes.
  2. Add in the bell peppers, and continue to cover and cook 5-10 minutes longer.
  3. Mix in the beans, tomatoes, and spices to taste.
  4. Let simmer over low heat.

Makes 4 Servings 

Spicy Southwestern Quinoa

I’ve mentioned on my blog before about my love of Applegate Farms Southwestern Chicken. Well in an effort to recreate it for all my vegetarian friends I thought I would come up with a Southwestern inspired dish, still packed with protein. I’ve been loving quinoa lately as an extra protein boost to my meals. Little fun fact: It is the only grain that is actually a complete protein. Also it is 100% gluten free. Winner in my book! Here’s what you’ll need…



  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • 2 cups gluten free low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 15 oz can organic black beans
  • 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 orange bell pepper
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • Red pepper flakes to taste


  1. In a saucepan bring the dry quinoa and vegetable broth to a boil. 
  2. Once it begins to boil, set your heat to low, cover and cook about 20 minutes until all of the liquid is absorbed.
  3. While the quinoa is cooking, dice your bell peppers and saute them in a skillet over medium-low heat until tender.
  4. Once the quinoa has cooked fluff with a fork and return to the low heat.
  5. Add in the diced tomatoes, cooked peppers, and rinsed black beans, mix together and simmer over low heat.
  6. Add in your seasonings and let simmer until warm and ready to serve.

Makes 4 servings


What’s your favorite vegetarian recipe?

P.S. Check out my latest article on Mind, Body, Green! 4 (More) Tips for Effortless Weight Loss!

What is Quinoa Anyway?

If you’re anything like me, you’ve likely heard of quinoa before and all it’s powerful health benefits, but aren’t really sure if you want to try it. I’m not adventurous when it comes to food, I never have been. So when I hear about all the latest “super foods”, I’m always a little skeptical. Sure, they have great health benefits, but what if they taste like dirt?

When I first heard about quinoa, I couldn’t even pronounce it, let alone know what it was or what to do with it. Back in the day, I would have loved a manual for dummies on how to cook all the healthiest of foods, and what was just so great about them.

Since I never found one, I figured I might as well create one for you and that is what I intend to do. Over the next few months, I’m going to be covering some “health-nut” foods that you may be skeptical about eating. I’m going to teach why they’re so good for us, how to cook them, and how to make them taste great.

First up: Quinoa 

Quinoa is actually a seed and not a whole grain. When planning meals though, I typically consider it more of a grain and less of a seed, simply because it is higher in carbohydrates than it is in fats. Quinoa is naturally gluten free making it an awesome replacement for pasta-based dishes. You can even use quinoa flour for baking.

One of my favorite things about quinoa though is that it is the only vegetarian source of a complete protein. This means it contains all the essential amino acids our bodies need. It also has a low glycemic load, meaning it won’t spike your blood sugar, plus it is high in fiber, meaning it will be slow to digest and will hold you over for a long time.

In terms of vitamins and minerals, quinoa contains both antioxidants and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients. It naturally contains a good source of folate and magnesium, two things crucial to a healthy diet.

Now for my favorite part…

What do you do with it?

Cook quinoa, as you would rice. Combine the quinoa and a liquid of your choice in a 2:1 (water to quinoa) ratio in a saucepan. For example, if you have ½ cup dry quinoa, you would combine it with 1 cup of water. Bring your liquid and quinoa to a boil in a saucepan. Once it begins to boil, cover and cook over medium heat, 15-20 minutes, or until the liquid is fully absorbed. Fluff with a fork and enjoy.

Quinoa is pretty bland in flavor so I like to cook mine in something with a little flavor. Some of my favorites are vegetable broth for a savory dish, and apple juice diluted with water for a sweet dish.

Quinoa is a great way to switch up your breakfast options and get a protein boost early in the day. One of my favorites is quinoa cooked in a little apple juice diluted with water and tossed with fresh sliced strawberries and a drizzle of peanut butter.


Add quinoa to your salads for added texture, flavor, and protein. This is a spinach salad with oranges, strawberries, sliced almonds, and quinoa. 


Mix in beans and vegetables for a protein packed vegetarian or vegan meal. Here I have black beans, quinoa, tomato paste, bell peppers, chili powder, and paprika. 


Or add in ground meat for a filling and savory meal. Here I have mixed ground turkey with quinoa, baby spinach, and diced tomatoes. 


What’s your favorite dish with quinoa? Any mystery health foods you’d like me to uncover?

P.S. Don’t forget, my 21-Day Clean Up Your Diet Program is running again starting Monday November 4th! Registration opens on October 23rd but get on the waitlist now to be sure you get all the details!  

Dinner Tonight: Tomato Basil Quinoa with Turkey

Updated to add: This post was prescheduled and I just wanted to mention that everything going on Boston this morning is crazy. I hope everyone is staying safe and I’m so very grateful for everyone working so hard to keep us safe and protect us!

Whenever I prep my meals for the week I like to make things simple enough that I can heat them and eat them during the week and they will still taste great. This recipe is no exception. I actually liked it reheated the next day even better than the first day. Cooking for one? I made a half portion one night for dinner and then saved the rest for leftovers the next day. It worked perfectly and saved me prep time. I hope it helps you do the same!


  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • 1 lb lean ground turkey
  • 7 oz fresh baby spinach
  • 1 15 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • crushed red pepper flakes
  • fresh basil


  1. In a saucepan bring 1 cup dry quinoa mixed with 2 cups water to a boil. 
  2. Once the water begins to boil turn heat to low, cover and cook for 15 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile in a saucepan sprayed with olive oil begin to cook your turkey.
  4. Once the turkey has cooked, add in the crushed tomatoes and spinach and simmer over low until the spinach has wilted.
  5. Mix the quinoa into the turkey mixture, adding fresh basil and crushed red pepper flake to your liking.
  6. Saute over low heat 1-2 minutes longer and serve.

Makes 4-6 servings. 


What’s your favorite meal to eat as leftovers??? 

P.S. My girl Sarah Jenks, who is doing that great free training is throwing an epic virtual launch party next week for her program Live More Weigh Less. She’s raffling off killer prizes like Birch Box Subscriptions, a MAC gift bag, a free spot in Live More Weigh Less and tons of other awesome things.  I’ve got my eye on the MAC gift bag.  You gotta be signed up for her free training series to get the invite.  To get on the list click here.

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