Veggie Nachos

It’s supposed to rain all week. And snow a little.

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I think March is mourning the end of our Spring Break. For real.

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We are going to pretend it’s NOT rainy and NOT cold and NOT gross and dreary and blegh outside. We are going to pretend it’s sunny and 75°F. Like that country song.

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For some reason, I have never made nachos. Until now. What is wrong with me? These are so delicious and super easy to make. Just lay down a bed of chips, toss whatever you want onto them, and then either microwave or broil for a bit. Winner.

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Veggie Nachos

Lime tortilla chips
Black beans
Avocado
Spinach
Black olives
Mexican cheese
Salsa
Sour cream or plain Greek yogurt

Lay down chips. Top with ingredients. Cook in microwave or broil just enough to melt the cheese. Top with salsa and sour cream or yogurt.

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Pumpkin Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

It’s begun.

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Pumpkin. Everything. Can we brainstorm about the endless possibilities? I have a whole bunch of pumpkin left that is screaming my name. And it’s not even October yet. Pie. Cocoa. Reese’s cups. Cookies. Muffins. Bread. Granola. Frosting. Frozen yogurt. Brownies. Smoothies. Soup..

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I’m also so pumped for fall. Hellooooo, big chunky sweaters and leggings and boots and tea and skinny jeans and dark nail polish and marshmallows and fires and blankets and so.many.great.things.

So, I keep my AC at 75°F – yes, as a vegetarian, I get cold at 74°F – but today my AC hasn’t turned on ONCE. It’s perfect. Hello, cheaper bills. Gotta love fall.

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And this? This fat, plump, stuffed pepper? Delicious. And quite filling. It pairs well with red wine. I’m doing another “make myself like red wine” project. This current bottle of red wine… not so good, though. Fish Eye’s Pinot Grigio? On point. Their Cabernet Sauvignon? Not a big fan. Probably a personal problem more than a company problem.

Pumpkin Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
Inspired by What Jew Wanna Eat

1/4 c uncooked quinoa
1 tsp olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 onion, finely chopped
1/4 c red wine
1/2 c spinach
1/4 c pureed pumpkin
2 tbsp milk
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/8 tsp cinnamon
Pinch nutmeg
1/4 c fiesta blend shredded cheese + more for sprinkling
1 large bell pepper
2 tbsp Italian breadcrumbs

1. Cook quinoa according to directions.
2. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a medium-sized skillet. Add garlic directly into oil to allow flavor to infuse into garlic. Cook for 1-2 minutes, then add onions. Stir to coat the onions and garlic with olive oil.
3. After 3-4 minutes, add the red wine vinegar and reduce the heat to medium-low. Allow to cook for another 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, then reduce to low.
4. Add the spinach, milk, pumpkin, oregano, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cheese to the skillet and stir until the cheese has melted and is well-combined. The wine will probably have completely soaked up, but the milk will allow for some creaminess and moisture.
5. Once the quinoa is done, add it into the skillet and stir to combine.
6. To prime the bell pepper, take a paring knife and run it around the top to take off the top and stem but still leaving the rest of the pepper intact. Stuff the pepper with the quinoa-pumpkin mixture.
7. Top the pepper with cheese and sprinkle the breadcrumbs on top.
8. Place the pepper, upright, in a small, oven-safe container (such as a Pyrex). Fill the bowl with water until about halfway full, careful not to get water inside the pepper. Bake for 30 minutes at 350°F.

Thai Quinoa Bowl

Now, I don’t meant to brag, but this is good.

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Seriously, Ambitious Kitchen. You really did it this time. My boyfriend was drooling and if we weren’t so full from the deliciousness the first time, we would have been going back for seconds.

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I guess I have been afraid of slaws. I don’t know why but they just seem… intimidating. But have no fear, people. I’m sure you don’t, but just in case… Just buy a bag of broccoli slaw! I couldn’t find cabbage, but I feel like broccoli is more nutritious than cabbage (I should probably actually know that since I’ll be a dietitian in a few years…), and it worked out perfectly.

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Gotta love Thai food. Spicy meets nutty meets delicious. I see lots of Asian food in my future. Spring rolls and lettuce wraps and who knows what else.

Thai Quinoa Bowl
Adapted from Ambitious Kitchen

3/4 c uncooked quinoa
2 c broccoli slaw
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/4 c red onion, diced
1/2 c carrots, shredded or diced (use more if broccoli slaw doesn’t include carrots)
1/4 c chopped cilantro
1/2 c cashew calves

Dressing:
1/4 c crunchy all natural peanut butter
1/4 tsp ginger
3 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp water
1 tsp sesame oil

1. Cook quinoa according to directions.
2. Combine dressing ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 1 minute, then stir to combine once peanut butter is melty.
3. Combine quinoa, dressing, and remaining ingredients. Sprinkle fresh cilantro on top for garnish.

Cheesy Zucchini Quinoa

So I’m reading Seventeen Magazine on the treadmill at the gym today. Casual.

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I’m reading all about Lucy Hale and how to depict a boy’s text and what hair products to use for my crazy curly hair, and then there’s an article about fun date ideas for the summer.

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Apparently there is a meteor shower August 12. HOW COOL IS THAT?! The problem is: it’s between 1 and 5am. And I get up at 8am to move into my apartment. So…… once in a lifetime (or maybe not? according to the boyfriend this is the third meteor shower this summer. fail.) opportunity to watch really cool stars shooting around or get sleep before the move?

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Enough about tough life decisions. Let’s talk about cheddar cheese uniting with quinoa and zucchini. A little bit of kick with red pepper flakes and a lot of gooey goodness with cheddar cheese.

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Cheesy Zucchini Quinoa
Inspired by Buns in My Oven

1/2 large zucchini, finely chopped
1/4 c cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 c quinoa, cooked
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
1/8 tsp garlic powder

1. In a saute pan, steam zucchini for a couple minutes in a tbsp of water over medium high heat. The zucchini should become slightly softened
2. Drain any excess water, then remove from heat and stir in cheese and quinoa. Add spices, and continue stirring until cheese has melted.
3. Serve warm.

Avocado and Pea Quinoa Salad

They have a new pumpkin line out at Bath & Body Works and I am in love.

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Things like pumpkin cupcake and pumpkin caramel latte candles are sweeping the store, and I need them.

I am on the fence about fall, though. I’m ready for school, for structure and learning and a challenge and the road to being a dietitian. I am ready to smell these candles for the rest of my life (if they go on sale and I buy them..). I am not ready, however, for jeans and falling leaves and nippy air and being cold at night. I still want to wear dresses and sip mojitos and eat watermelon on my back porch.

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I am also not prepared for being a real person. While I am not in the real world, I am having to figure out how this whole electricity, gas, renters insurance, and internet thing works. Apparently you’re supposed to allow a two weeks heads-up at the electricity company, but because there is someone still living in my apartment, I can’t set up my internet.

So I was all willy nilly, hanging out, relaxing until the 1st of August to deal with these things and then holy mackerel it’s August 2nd and I need electricity sooner than two weeks or they won’t let me in if I don’t have it and now I want to crawl in a hole and cry because WHY DOES EVERYTHING HAVE TO BE SO DANG STRESSFUL?

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Let’s just hope this is one of those moments that is stressful in the moment and we laugh about later. Sound good? I thought so. Who wants feta + avocado + peas + quinoa? Cheese heals stress. Duh.

Avocado and Pea Quinoa Salad
Inspired by Two Peas & Their Pod

1 c quinoa, cooked
1/2 c peas
1/2 avocado, chopped
1/4 c feta
1/4 c pine nuts

For dressing:
1 tbsp plain Greek yogurt
1 tbsp tangerine olive oil (or plain)
2 tbsp lime juice
3 tbsp fresh cilantro (about 5-6 small leaves or 3-4 big ones)

1. Combine quinoa, peas, avocado, and feta.
2. Combine dressing ingredients in a mini food processor, and drizzle over quinoa salad.