Quinoa Salad with Cilantro, Tomato, & Cucumber

Quinoa Salad Cilantro, Tomato, Cucumber

I’m always in the search for healthy and super quick weekday meals. This quinoa salad with cilantro, tomato, & cucumber makes the cut with flying colours!

My body loves cooked food though I would like to eat more raw food. I have friends who are on the raw food thang and swear by it! According to WebMD, “You’ll also get nutritional perks (from the raw food diet). Most of what you eat are plant based foods that are high in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytochemicals. And it’s true that cooking can zap some water soluble vitamins like vitamins B and C. Eating lots of veggies and fruits is good for you.”

Anywho, quinoa salad with cilantro, tomato, & cucumber is my regular raw-food-ish kind of meal. Though I cook the quinoa, I leave all the other veggies fresh. It’s the perfect balanced of cooked and raw which makes is so delicious.

This meal probably takes a total of 20 minutes to make and start eating, including cooking the quinoa! Feel free to adjust the vegetables to whatever you have available. Basically the combination of garlic and lemon can make anything taste zesty and yummy 🙂

This recipe makes enough for 2 hungry people or 4 if you’re using as a side. For the two of us, it usually makes enough for leftovers for lunch the next day as well 😉

Serves:  2-4

Ingredients for Quinoa Salad with Cilantro, Tomato, & Cucumber

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 can chickpeas or black beans, or any other bean you fancy! (or one cup beans soaked and cooked)
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1/2 cup baby tomatoes, halved (optional if avoiding nightshades)
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 cup diced cucumber
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 avocado diced
  • 1/4 cup feta crumbled, optional
  • 3 hard boiled eggs, optional
  • 1-2 lemons juiced (to taste)
  • salt & pepper to taste

Directions for Quinoa Salad with Cilantro, Tomato, & Cucumber

  • Throw all ingredients in a bowl and enjoy! It’s that easy (and super delicious)!
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Ginger Miso Tofu Recipe

Ginger Miso Tofu Recipe

This Ginger Miso Tofu Recipe is a great quick week day meal. Add a side of greens and roasted veggies and it turns out to be incredibly satisfying!

I should warn you though that this is very gingery and not for the faint of heart. It’s a great recipe for when your sick though. Growing up in a South Asian household, ginger was given for a remedy for basically anything. But it works!

According to Home Remedies, “Research has shown that ginger has numerous health benefits including antioxidant, anti-viral, anti-inflammation, and anti-tumor effects. Therefore, it can help treat many everyday problems such as digestive ailments, nausea, motion sickness, stomach cramps, fevers, and colds as well as major illnesses such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and possibly even cancerous tumors.”

I always use ginger when my tummy is touchy (and it’s touchy often friends). Ginger is my go-to for nausea, diarrhea (that’s right, I just said diarrhea in a food blog post!) and everything cold and flu related.

I love me some ginger!

Serves 1-2

Ingredients for Ginger Miso Tofu Recipe

  • 1 (14-ounce) block extra firm tofu
  • 1 tablespoon white miso
  • 6 tablespoons warm water
  • 3 tablespoons finely grated ginger
  • Oil for frying
  • Braggs or soya sauce (optional)
  • Scallions and sesame seeds for garnish (optional)
  • Salt and pepper (optional) to taste

Directions  for Ginger Miso Tofu Recipe

  1. Drain tofu (I usually do this by placing it between 2 plates and letting it sit for about 10-20 minutes)
  2. Cut tofu into pieces.
  3. In a bowl, mix together miso, water, and ginger.
  4. Heat one tablespoon in skillet or frying pan. Fry tofu until brown/golden on all sides. Reduce heat to low.
  5. Pour miso mixture over and between tofu slices and cook until sizzling.
  6. Just before serving, garnish with scallions and sesame seeds.

Enjoy 🙂

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Vegan Lentil Loaf With Mushroom Gravy

Vegan Lentil Loaf With Mushroom Gravy

This vegan lentil loaf with mushroom gravy, definitely a keeper! This recipe is so quick and delicious, I want to make it again and again. 🙂

I originally made this for my friend Fatima who came over for dinner (who also happens to be on the anti-inflammatory diet, yay for anti-inflammatory friends!).

Note: if you are using a pressure cooker to cook the dry lentils, be careful! (I have a pressure cooker which I use to cook most of my dry beans, along with anything else that can be made in a pressure cooker) Unlike a regular pot that you can keep an eye on as your stuff cooks, pressure cookers cook super fast. Err on the side of caution and keep checking the lentils frequently. Overcooking them by even a couple of minutes can make them too soft to work in a lentil loaf. I know this by many mistakes. 🙂

I served the this vegan lentil loaf with mushroom gravy with a side of steamed kale

Vegan Lentil Loaf With Mushroom Gravy
Vegan Lentil Loaf With Mushroom Gravy | happygut.ca
Serves 4-5

Ingredients for Vegan Lentil Loaf With Mushroom Gravy

Lentil Loaf
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sage
  • 3 cups cooked lentils
  • 3 cups cooked wild rice (or a brown rice and wild rice combination)
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup dry gluten free breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons lemon
  • 2 tablespoons ground chia + 6 tablespoons of water
  • 2 tablespoons gluten free flour
  • salt & pepper to taste
Mushroom Gravy
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup rice flour (or any other gluten free flour you have handy)
  • 4 tsp nutritional yeast
  • 4 tbsp braggs amino or soy sauce
  • 4 cups veggie broth
  • 6-8 mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 tsp pepper sage
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

Directions for Vegan Lentil Loaf With Mushroom Gravy

Lentil Loaf
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Chop onion and celery finely, and crush the garlic clove.
  3. Heat oil in frying pan over medium heat and saute the onion, garlic and celery until the onion is translucent
  4. Add the sage and cumin.
  5. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.
  6. Oil loaf pan and fill the with the mixture.
  7. Press down and cover with foil paper.
  8. Bake 30 minutes covered, 10 minutes uncovered. Let stand for another 30-40 minutes before cutting and serving (I found that it took a while for loaf to settle and get hard enough).
Mushroom Gravy
  • Heat oil in a pan.
  • Add garlic and onions and saute until the onions get translucent.
  • Add all the ingredients except for the spices and stir continuously until you a thick sauce is formed (you’ll have to stir very quickly to ensure there are no lumps)
  • Add spices and continue to stir
  • Add more gluten free flour to adjust the thickness
  • Adjust the spices to taste
  • Serve and enjoy

 

 

 

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Warm Quinoa Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash

Warm Quinoa Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash

Warm quinoa salad with roasted butternut squash…sigh…it’s recipes like these that make fall even sweeter. 🙂

I love walking down the street on a beautiful fall day, picking up my fruits and veggies and bringing them home to cook. This was one of those wonderful days.

I had a friend come over and wanted to try something new. I bought butternut squash and had no idea what to do with it. I was thinking about making squash spaghetti but go lazy. 😛 I still wanted to use the squash but wanted an easy, warm and yummy dish. Quinoa is always a good and quick option. It takes me about 10 minutes to make (I have a pressure cooker) and is so versatile that it goes with just about anything.

In the end, I decided to make a warm quinoa salad with roasted butternut squash.

The result: amazing!

Ingredients for Warm Quinoa Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash

  • 1 squash (I used acorn, but you can choose your fancy)
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1.5 cups veggie broth
  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas (or any other bean)
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 3 tbsp each olive oil
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice and freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1/4 cup roasted almonds (or any other nut), chopped (optional)
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese (optional)
  • fresh chopped mint for garnish
  • salt & pepper to taste

Directions for Warm Quinoa Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash

  1.  Preheat oven to 400F.
  2.  Cut squash in half, remove seeds and bake for about 25 minutes.
  3. Wash and cook quinoa in veggie broth
  4. Add all ingredients to the cooked quinoa and toss together
  5. Place quinoa mixture into the squash “bowl”
  6.  Enjoy with your favourite side of greens

For a video of another acorn squash recipe (which is also pretty entertaining), this out.

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Green Thai Curry

 

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This was my first time making green curry AND serving it – I was pretty nervous! I rarely serve meals to dinner guests that I haven’t made for myself before. I lucked out with this one though! This was pretty delicious if you ask me (or any of my dinner guests :P)!

Ingredients
GREEN CURRY PASTE
1 stalk fresh lemongrass, sliced finely and minced OR 3 Tbsp. frozen or bottled lemongrass
2 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
3 Tbsp. Braggs (to taste)
1-2 tsp. brown sugar (to taste)
1-3 green chilies, minced (to taste)
1 small onion
3 cloves garlic
1 thumb-size piece ginger, sliced
2 kaffir lime leaves (fresh or frozen), snipped into thin strips with scissors, OR substitute 1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
1 loose cup chopped fresh coriander leaves and stems
1/4 cup fresh basil
OTHER:
2 kaffir lime leaves, OR substitute 1 bay leaf
1 can good-quality coconut milk
1.5 to 2 cups firm tofu sliced into cubes
1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms, stems trimmed, halved if large
1/2 pound green beans, trimmed and cut in half crosswise
4 heads baby bok choy (6 ounces), halved lengthwise
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped
2-3 Tbsp. oil for frying

Directions
1. Drain tofu (I usually put the tofu between two plates and put something heavy likes books on top to drain the tofu).
2. To make the green curry paste, place all paste ingredients in a food processor or blender. Add a few Tbsp. of the coconut milk, enough to blend ingredients. Process well.
3. Place oil in wok or deep frying pan. Turn heat on medium-high and add paste. Stir-fry until fragrant (about 1 minute), then add the coconut milk. Add tofu and stir to combine.
4. Add lime leaves and reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes.
5. Add all veggies and stir and continue cooking for 2-3 minutes, or until veggies are cooked but still retain some of their crispness.
6. Do a taste test for salt and spice. If not salty enough, add up to 2 Tbsp. more Braggs, or sea salt. If too salty, add a little fresh lime or lemon juice. If too spicy, add more coconut milk until desired taste is reached.
7. To serve, transfer to a large serving bowl or plate up individual portions. Sprinkle generously with fresh basil.
8. Accompany your curry with brown/jasmine/coconut rice or your choice of noodles. 

Adapted from About.com

Enjoy!

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Miso tahini tempeh

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So there is so much conflicting information on soy products. Most of them are not so positive. This is what I think, anything processed is (mostly) bad. Hence, any processed soy is (mostly) bad.

Fermented and sprouted is better than not. When I do eat soy, we try to have it sprouted (most of the tofu I buy is sprouted) and fermented (fermented tofu is called tempeh).

So tempeh seems to be a better “regular soy”. The problem is though that tempeh has such a strong taste! And not incredibly pleasant if you ask me 😛

BUT, no need to fear happygut warriors, I have discovered a secret! You basically need to eat tempeh with a super awesome flavourful sauce.

This sauce makes the cut times a billion! So tasty!

Here she is!

Ingredients
4 T red miso paste
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup tahini
*1 t herbes de Provence (you can also make your own – see below)
1 green chilli
2 cloves garlic
2 tbsp lemon or apple cider vinegar

Directions
1. Crush green chilli and garlic gloves together
2. Whisk all ingredients together, adding water a little bit at a time if you feel like it’s too thick.

You can add the sauce you your grilled or baked tempeh! I like to whatever veggies I have handy (carrots, beets, leeks, chard) and bake it with the tempeh for about 20 minutes and then add the sauce on top (I even add avos sometimes!).     DE-LIC-IOUS!!

Herbes de Provence recipe
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 teaspoons dried savory
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
1 teaspoon dried lavender
½ teaspoon dried rosemary
½ teaspoon fennel seeds
1 crushed bay leaf

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Tahini tofu

 

This is my official go to tofu recipe. So quick, so easy an SO DELICIOUS! Takes 10 mins to prep and about 20 to bake (which you can bypass if you don’t care about the baking, tofu doesn’t have to be cooked!).

Ingredients

1 lb extra firm tofu
2 Tbsp Braggs liquid aminos (or less salt if you don’t have)
2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 cup tahini
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
Fresh ground pepper to taste (optional)

Directions

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F
2. Drain tofu (I usually put tofu between 2 plates and place something heavy on top)
3. Oil a flat baking pan or dish
4. Cut tofu into blocks
5. Place tofu in pan
6. Mix the sauce ingredients in a bowl until it is a cream like consistency
7. Add a little water to thin if needed
8. Pour mixture over tofu and bake until lightly golden – about 20 minutes

Enjoy! 🙂

 

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Refried Beans

I love refried beans! I have a number of recipes for it but this ones definitely takes the can (haha, get it, like canned beans?!) 🙂

I made these with my pressure cooker but I realized afterward that I could have totally done it with the slow cooker.

Ingredients

1 onion, peeled and halved (if using slow cooker) or chopped (if using stove top)
3 cups dry pinto beans, rinsed
1/2 fresh jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
2 tablespoons minced garlic
5 teaspoons braggs
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, optional
9 cups water
1/4 teaspoon of paprika
1 tbsp olive oil
freshly squeezed lemon, to taste

Slow Cooker Directions

1. Place the onion, rinsed beans, jalapeno, garlic, salt, pepper, and cumin into a slow cooker. Pour in the water and stir to combine. Cook on High for 8 hours, adding more water as needed. Note: if more than 1 cup of water has evaporated during cooking, then the temperature is too high.
2. Once the beans have cooked, strain them, and reserve the liquid. Mash the beans with a potato masher, adding the reserved water as needed to attain desired consistency.

Stovetop Directions

1. Soak beans overnight
2. Add beans, water and all ingredients except for olive oil and lemon juice into pot or pressure cooker and bring to a boil. Lower heat to low-medium and cook for 1-2 hours  or 20-25 minutes (if using pressure cooker), or until beans are soft
3. Drain beans but reserve liquid
4. Add lemon juice and olive oil and mash until chunky creamy consistency. Add reserved bean liquid as required.

I had enough left over to freeze that I will use to make some burritos 🙂

I made these with a side of spanish rice which turned out OK. I’m going to continue to search for a better spanish rice recipe but will post the current one I have soon.

 

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