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Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is a gluten-free grain that comes from the Andes Mountains of South America. The Inca civilization considered this one of their staple foods, besides corn and potatoes. It is considered an ancient super-grain delivering many nutritional benefits.

Quinoa is the one and only high protein grain, averaging 16.2% compared to rice which contains 7.5%, millet 9.9%, and wheat 14%. There are other varieties of quinoa that contain 20% or more of protein. The super-grain’s protein is of high quality, delivering a complete protein because it is rich in 9 essential amino acids, containing lysine, methinonin and cystine which are typically low in other grains. It also provides oils high in essential linoleic acid, fiber, minerals (calcium and iron), starch, sugars, and vitamins (E and B’s) and is low in sodium.

Quinoa is quick and easy to prepare, resembling tiny sprouted seeds. Once rinsed to remove a bitter tasting powdery residue , it cooks in 15 minutes. It tastes light and fluffy and is easy to digest. You can substitute it for other grains in any recipe or you can mix it with other grains to bring in the healthy benefits of this super-grain. You can enjoy eating quinoa for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Consider getting your protein intake with quinoa, a vegetarian meat (vegan) substitute that any vegetarian kid or adult would enjoy. Use it in any of your healthy vegetarian recipes to boost protein and other nutritional benefits. This grain can be eaten hot, warm or cold, as an oatmeal alternative, a base for a grain salad, or in place of a side of rice for dinner. The white variety is most common, but it also comes in red and black. 

This relative of the beet, spinach and Swiss chard family is gluten-free and easy to digest. It is also a nutritious superfood  high in magnesium, iron, copper, phosphorous, vitamin B2 and other essential minerals.

Quinoa can be found in most grocery and natural food stores.

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1 TBL vegetable oil (I like olive oil)
1 cup packed fresh spinach leaves
1 red bell pepper diced
1/2 brown onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, pressed through garlic press
1 lb firm tofu, rinsed, pressed between paper towels, and crumbled
1 tsp turmeric or curry powder (I like Spice Islands with turmeric blend)
1/2 tsp garlic salt
2 green onions (scallions) or chives, minced

Heat oil in skillet. Add the bell pepper, onion, and garlic and saute a few minutes until softened and browned. Add in crumbled tofu, spinach, turmeric, and garlic salt and saute for 5 minutes. Add green onions and cook for 1 minute longer. Serves 2-4 depending on how large a breakfast you eat. I like to garnish mine with a small side of freshly prepared guacamole, a sprinkle of soy mozzarella by Daiya, and one slice of toast.

Sub out any ingredient you do not like and sub in things you do. Try:
Diced mushrooms or Lightlife breakfast veggie sausage links (dice a few and add to pan with the bell pepper).

Costume and Party SuperCenter

3/4 cup brown rice
1/4 cup wild rice
2 tsp sea salt
1 bunch of asparagus, rinsed and bottom ends cut off and discarded
1 TBL olive oil
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
1/2 brown onion, finely chopped
1/3 cup carrot, finely chopped
1/2 tsp dried thyme
6 cups vegetable stock
2 TBL scallions, finely chopped
1 TBL fresh italian parsley, finely chopped
1 TBL soy sauce (use tamari)
1/2 tsp hot pepper sauce (such as Tabasco)
fresh ground pepper, to taste

In a medium saucepan, add water, brown and wild rice, and salt. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to simmer for 45 minutes, until water is absorbed.

Steam asparagus for 2 minutes until tender but still crisp. Drain and rinse with cold water. Once cooled, cut into 1 inch pieces, keeping a few tips for garnish.

In a large saucepan, add olive oil, celery, onion, carrots, and thyme. Cook for 4-6 minutes on low heat until tender, stirring occasionally. Add in vegetable stock and cooked rice. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce to simmer for 10 minutes.  Remove from heat and cool a few minutes.

Pour small batches of mixture into a blender (fill only half way). Be sure to leave half of the room since heated ingredients pressurize. Place blender cap on and cover with a towel while holding down cover. Use blend and puree cycles until smooth. Pour into pan and repeat process until all is blended.

Add cut asparagus, scallions, parsley, soy sauce, hot pepper sauce, and freshly ground pepper to blended soup and stir to combine. Simmer to re-heat and serve in bowls with asparagus tip garnish and a dollop of Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream.

Serves 6

This recipe is hearty yet on the bland side. I like to spice up my individual bowl by adding in 1-2 shakes of additional hot pepper sauce. If you are one who prefers a completely smooth soup, then add in the asparagus, scallions, and parsley to the blender and puree with the broth/rice mixture. Serve with a side of crusty bread.

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1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup light brown sugar
2 TBL ground flaxseed
1/2 cup chopped nuts *Optional (walnuts and pecans work well)
2 TBL Bob’s Red Mill Egg Replacer whisked with 6 TBL water
3 ripe bananas, mash with a fork
1/2 cup olive oil (or a vegetable oil of your choice)
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a loaf pan and set aside.

In a medium size bowl, add in flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, brown sugar, and flaxseed. Mix well to combine. Add in nuts, if using, prepared egg replacer, mashed bananas, oil, and vanilla. Mix well until all of the ingredients are combined.

Pour batter into the greased loaf pan and bake for 60 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes before removing from the pan. Flip pan over to remove loaf and continue to cool on a piece of parchment paper or wire rack covered with parchment.

*Tip: you can add in nuts once you pour the batter into the pan. I like to make half without nuts, 1/4 with pecans and 1/4 with walnuts. I use a knife to work the nuts into the batter and lay a few of the same nuts on top of the batter.

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Olive oil
1 1/2 cups soy crumbles
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 6 oz package of Lightlife Smoky Tempeh Strips Fakin’ Bacon, chopped into bite-size pieces
1 can (14-15 oz) baked beans, with juice (I used Whole Foods 365 organic original)
1 can (14-15 oz) kidney beans, with juice
1 can (14-15 oz) butter beans, with juice
1/2 cup ketchup
3/4 cup brown sugar (light)
1 tsp salt
2 tsps vinegar
1 tsp prepared yellow mustard (French’s)

In a large kettle, add 1-2 TBL olive oil over high heat, then add in onion and soy crumbles. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. In a medium skillet, add in 1-2 TBL olive oil over high heat, then add cut tempeh bacon and fry, stirring on occasion, for 4-5 minutes to lightly crisp the pieces.

Add the beans with juice, and remaining ingredients to onion/soy crumble kettle.  Add in tempeh bacon to kettle mixture as well. Stir to combine. Pour mixture in a casserole or baking dish, about 9X13, and bake at 350 degrees F for 40 minutes.

Serve in bowls and garnish with Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream and sliced scallions. Serves 6

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1 14oz Silken Tofu
¾ cup chocolate chip morsels
½ cup Suzanne’s Ricemellow Crème

Remove tofu from container and discard liquid. Rinse tofu under cold water. Place tofu in between 2 paper towels and gently press to soak up any liquid. Place tofu in a blender and puree until smooth, scrapping down sides with spatula (approx 1 minute).

Melt chocolate chip morsels on paper plate in microwave (approx 60 seconds until soft).  Add ricemellow and melted chocolate to blender and blend until combined, scrapping down sides with spatula (approx 2 minutes).

Pour into 6 dessert cups and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before eating. Add shaved chocolate to top for garnish. This is a healthy dessert recipe. Tofu supplies calcium and is low in calories.

This dessert is still highly delicious without the ricemellow creme.

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3/4 cup frozen edamame beans, pre-shucked
2 cups fresh spinach, tightly packed
3 cloves of garlic, pressed
1/2 cup tahini paste
2 TBL olive oil
2 TBL flax oil
1 TBL lemon juice
1 TBL Braggs or tamari
1-2 tsp Asian chili-garlic sauce
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
sesame seeds for garnish (optional)

Steam edamame until thawed and bright green. In food processor, add in edamame remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Serve with pita wedges and fresh raw veggies. Use in wraps as a spread.  Great source of protein.

Makes about 2 cups

Flora2000

3/4 cup soft or silken tofu
2 TBL maple syrup
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup water 
1 TBL olive oil
4-6 large slices bread (dairy free) day-old or lightly toasted

In blender or fool processor, blend tofu, maple syrup, cinnamon, vanilla, salt, water and olive oil until smooth. Pour batter in a large shallow bowl. Dip bread into batter and coat both sides. Fry in lightly oiled pan on medium heat, covered, until golden brown. Flip and fry other side until golden brown. Serve with your favorite garnish (dusting of powdered sugar, drizzle of maple syrup or fresh berries).

Tip: measure out 1/4 cup water, remove 1 TBL of the water and add in 1 TBL of lemon juice.

Office Supply

4 medium to large russet potatoes, peeled and diced for boiling
2 TBL Earth Balance (dairy-free butter)
1/4 cup Silk Creamer Original
salt and pepper, to taste
2 packages Hains Vegetarian Brown Gravy Mix (dry)
3 medium sized mushrooms, sliced and diced
1 clove garlic, pressed through garlic press
12 oz of soy crumbles (use your favorite brand)
1 large carrot, peeled and sliced lengthwise and diced into small pieces
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup frozen corn
1 cup Daiya cheese (yellow) cheddar *optional

Boil the potatoes until soft. Drain and mash the potatoes with the Earth Balance and Silk. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

While potatoes are boiling, prepare mushroom gravy. Mix dry gravy packets with water according to package instructions, whisk and add in diced mushrooms. Bring to boil and whisk until gravy thickens, about 4 minutes. Turn off heat and add in garlic, whisking to combine, and cover until ready to use.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a 9×13″casserole dish mix in soy crumbles, carrots, peas, corn, and mushroom gravy. Mix to combine. If using Daiya cheese, sprinkle evenly over the top of the mix. You can even do half with cheese and half without. Finish off by covering the entire top with mashed potatoes, trying to keep the potatoes fluffed. Bake for 40 minutes, until the potato peaks are slightly browned.

Serves 4-6

Tip: For gravy, instead of using water, try using Imagine no-chicken broth or a vegetable broth to give this dish added flavor. If you like onion, add in 1/3 cup diced brown onion to the gravy when you add in the mushrooms.

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2 cans (14 oz each) artichoke hearts in water, rinsed, drained and coarsely chopped
½ cup Veganaise
¼ cup parmesan cheese (Soya Kaas), plus more for topping
1 TBL fresh lemon juice
1 clove garlic (press through garlic press)
2 scallions

Preheat over to 450 degrees. In food processor or kitchenaide stand mixer, place half the chopped artichokes, veganaise, ¼ cup parmy, lemon juice and garlic. Process until smooth.

Add scallions and remaining artichokes. Pulse or blend for 30 seconds to combine. Transfer to 1 quart baking dish or use individual ramekins. Top with a light sprinkling of parmy.

Place baking dish on cookie sheet to prevent spills. Bake 35 minutes until golden and bubbling. Serve with Stacy’s Pita chips or crudités
(bell pepper is my favorite). Any leftovers heat up well in the
microwave the next day (try 30 sec intervals).