Posts filed under ‘Vegan’

Quinoa with Pine Nuts & Kalamata Olives

Quinoa with Pine Nuts and Kalamata Olives

Quinoa (pronounced “keen-wah”) is one of my favorite foods. It’s so versatile and yummy…and it also has all of the essential amino acids our bodies need, which means it’s naturally a “complete protein”.ย  And let me tell you….this recipe I am about to share will knock your socks off. I LOVE IT. I can’t get enough. Oh my. It’s so easy and can be used as the main dish or as a side dish. It’s also makes great leftovers…warmed up, eaten cold, or you could even top your salad with it!

I love the flavor combination involved…the strength of the olives offset by the creamy goodness of the avocado. Mmmmmm mmmmmm. ๐Ÿ™‚ The pine nuts give it just the right amount of crunch and the fresh herbs and lemon juice keep it tasting light and delicious. I chose to add some organic goat cheese to ours and it was perfect! You could also add some big chunks of artichoke hearts, I think they would work nicely as well. A tip…get the highest quality kalamata olives you can find, it’s worth it.

I’m always amazed when people tell me they’ve never tried quinoa. And to that I say: “You’ve never felt the quinoa LOVE?? That’s nonsense”. So for those of you who are clueless when it comes to quinoa, this is a great dish to start with. Let me know what you think!

Quinoa with Pine Nuts & Kalamata Olives
Sunflower Market Recipes (I grabbed this one off of their recipe stand in Boulder, CO)

2 cups quinoa
1 cup pine nuts
1/2 cut pitted kalamata olives
1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups veggie broth
1/2 cup fresh chopped flat leaf parsley
1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro (double this if you’re my mom, the “International Ambassador of Cilantro)
2 avocados, diced
2 lemons
Sea salt & ground black pepper

Bring veggie broth to a boil and add quinoa. Cover with a tight lid and let it simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until it fluffs nicely with a fork. Remove from heat and set aside.

Heat 1 T olive oil in a skillet over medium-low heat. Add pine nuts, shallots, and garlic. Saute util golden brown, about 8 minutes. Transfer quinoa to a large mixing bowl. Add the sauteed pine nuts, shallots, parsley, cilantro, and avocados. Add the juice of the 2 lemons for dressing. Sea salt and pepper to taste (I didn’t add any more salt because it was already quite salty from the olives and veggie broth…but do what you want!).


July 31, 2009 at 2:11 pm 11 comments


This is my most recent love. The TLT. Tempeh Lettuce Tomato…but with a twist. The tomatoes are roasted, which gives it a deliciously sweet flavor, and the tempeh marinade is amazing. If you’ve been scared of using tempeh, this would be a great recipe to start with. You can find tempeh in the freezer or cooler at your natural foods store, or most large grocery stores. Don’t be worried when you open it and it looks “moldy”. Tempeh is fermented soybeans…hence the moldy look. It’s still good. Don’t throw it away! The best way to describe it is kind of nutty and chewy…with more of a “meat” texture for those of you who have family members who need that ๐Ÿ˜‰ It’s also high in protein

Here are a few tips:

  • I’ve tried marinating both for 4 hours and also overnight. The overnight marinade is MUCH tastier. Just cover it and throw it in the fridge.
  • The recipe calls for just avocado as the condiment, but I REALLY like veganaise, so I added some of that too. It totally changes the flavor. LOVE it.
  • You wouldn’t have to roast the tomatoes…it does add one more step, but they are super tasty.
  • Some seedy whole grain bread works best.
  • Although this seems like a really involved recipe just for a sandwich, it’s soooo worth it. And once you make it once, you get the hang of it and it goes super fast. I usually prepare everything the night before or the morning of and have it for lunch.

TLT Sandwich Recipe
From this amazing webiste. They update frequently…so check it out!

3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup shoyu sauce (or soy sauce)
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar (or maple syrup)
3 tablespoons adobo sauce from a can of chipotle peppers (optional)

8 ounces of tempeh, cut into 1/3-inch thick strips
(I use the tempeh that is made of soybeans, brown rice, and a mixture of other grains)

1 small basket of cherry tomatoes (2 cups)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil olive oil
1 tablespoon brown sugar (or maple syrup)
scant 1/2 teaspoon of salt

1 small head of romaine lettuce, cored, then cut into 1/4-inch ribbons
1-2 large avocados, mashed with a pinch of salt just before assembling
4 or 8 extra-thin slices of hearty whole grain bread, well toasted

Preheat oven to 350F degrees.

marinating-tempehWhisk together the 3 tablespoons of olive oil, shoyu, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar and adobo sauce. Pour 1/3 of the tempeh marinade into an 8×8 baking dish (or something comparable) – you want a dish that is just big enough to hold the tempeh in a single layer – this way it will be fully enveloped by the marinade. Pour the remaining marinade over the top of the tempeh, cover and keep in the refrigerator for a couple hours, overnight or until ready to use.

roasting-tomatoesWhile the tempeh is marinating, go ahead and roast the tomatoes. Cut each tomato in half and arrange them in a large oven-proof baking dish. Mix together the olive oil, sugar, and salt and pour this over the tomatoes. Gently toss them a bit, making sure they all get coated, finishing with each tomato facing cut-side up. Place in the oven and bake for 45 minutes or so, until the tomatoes are shrunken and sweet.

When the tempeh is done marinating heat a large pan over medium-high heat and cook the tempeh slices for a few minutes on each side. You may need to do this in batches if you don’t have a big enough pan. Set the tempeh slices aside until you are ready to assemble the sandwiches.

To assemble each sandwich take one slice of bread and slather a generous layer of mashed avocado. Place a small helping of the shredded lettuce on top of the avocado, a few tomatoes, then a few slices of the tempeh, and more tomatoes. Enjoy either open faced or topped with another avocado-slathered bread slice.

Makes four sandwiches.

November 23, 2008 at 12:09 am 11 comments


Words to Eat By

"It is easier to change a man's religion than to change his diet." -Margaret Mead

"I don't understand why asking people to eat a well-balanced vegetarian diet is considered drastic, while it is medically conservative to cut people open and put them on cholesterol lowering drugs for the rest of their lives." - Dean Ornish, MD

โ€œFinish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.โ€ โ€“ Ralph Waldo Emerson


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