What’s more Healthy than: Quinoa Primavera

So as you know I love Meatless Mondays and an All Vegetarian meal whenever I can….??!!

I especially love Quinoa, for me it’s the best substitution to heavy carbs and it marries so well with vegetables (really anything, in this case I am focusing on vegetables 😉 ), I love the fact that it really will just blend with whatever flavors it is paired up with.

It’s been winters and although I love salads it’s been pretty hard to just have a salad when outside it’s snowing or just plain cold. So, what I resort to is basically roasted, steamed or lightly sauteed vegetables. On this particular day I hadn’t gone to the store in a while it was snowing outside and I just was going to use whatever I had in the fridge. I always have a large variety of veggies so I figured that I would make vegetables accompanied by……??? I opened the cupboard and there was the Quinoa, so I decided I would make something using both. I seldom will serve my Husband just vegetables, unless requested by him. Even if I just eat all vegetarian I always try to make him, chicken, beans or pasta or something (healthy) to go along with the veggies. So in this case it was Quinoa.

I do have a post I completely dedicated to the Nutrition facts and health benefits for Quinoa, you can see here: http://mythineats.com/2011/11/11/quinoa-nutrition-facts/

However this dish is simple, light, healthy, low carb, and low fat. So I hope that you like it. You can serve as a main dish or as a side dish to chicken, salmon, meat, eggs; whatever you like or prefer. Enjoy

Ingredients:

Serves 2 as main dish 4 as side dish

1 cup Quinoa

2 cups of Water

1/2 cup frozen Peas

2 Zucchini

1 Endive

A couple leaves of Radicchio

A handful of Arugola, washed

Salt and Pepper to taste

A few drizzles of Olive oil

Preheat your oven at 180° C (350° F).

Now put the quinoa and the water in a small pot, add a drizzle of olive oil and some salt and pepper to taste, mix, cover and place over medium heat. Bring to a boil and lower flame to minimum and allow to simmer for about 15 minutes (until all water is absorbed).

Get your slice in 1/4 in rounds and place on a baking paper over a big baking tray or cookie sheet tray, lay them out one by one. Do the same with the endive. You should be able to fit your leaves of radicchio also, drizzle some olive oil over the vegetables and add salt and pepper to taste. Put in oven and allow to bake for about 15 – 20 minutes.

Place about 1 cup of salted water to boil in a little sauce pan, once boiled throw in the peas and allow to cook for about 5-8 minutes. Drain immediately in cold water and set to the side

Fluff your Quinoa, join all ingredients in a salad bowl and mix lightly and if you like you can squeeze a little bit of lemon over it and serve.

I have included a photo with an fried egg on top, or you could also chop up some feta or any cheese you like and throw it in. There are so many endless variations. Enjoy!!!

 

 

Lasagna with: Spinach, Mushrooms and Artichoke

I sometimes prefer to have an all-Vegetarian meal, and that doesn’t mean that I have to give up on the things I love.  I actually made this recipe years back because my sister-in-law was vegetarian and I was making Lasagna but she couldn’t eat it, so I decided to go ahead and see what I could whip up for her and I looked in the fridge and these were the vegetables that I had and that is what I used, it turned out great and every now and then I like to make it again, even for myself.

It’s very nutritious and doesn’t leave you feeling too full or guilty. Lasagna is delicious done pretty much anyway as long as you put some love and good flavors in it. I think that these vegetables are very good for the lasagna because the Spinach and Mushrooms are very moist s it helps the lasagna to not turn out dry.

Please Enjoy!

 

Ingredients:

1 lb. Spinach*

½ lb. Mushrooms sliced

½ lb. Artichokes quartered*

1 Garlic clove

3 tbsp. olive oil

Salt to taste

For the Besciamella:

1/4 cup butter or margarine

1/2 cup white flour

1 cup of milk (I use non-fat)

1/2 cup of water

Salt and pepper to taste

Remaining ingredients:

1 lb. mozzarella shredded or diced

1/2 cup parmiggiano shredded

500 gr. spinach lasagna*

 

In a large pan heat up your olive oil, then add your chopped up garlic, allow getting golden; and then adding your mushrooms, spinach and artichokes. Once they have all sautéed add some salt to taste and turn off heat and start your besciamella.

In a 13 by 9-inch baking dish, spread some of the sautéed vegetables; arrange pasta sheets side by side until the bottom of the pan is fully covered. Evenly spread a layer of your besciamella sauce, and a layer of the mozzarella. Arrange another layer of pasta sheets and spread a layer of the sautéed vegetables. Arrange another layer of the pasta sheets and add another layer of besciamella sauce, and then a layer of the mozzarella. Arrange another layer of the pasta sheets and spread another layer of the sautéed vegetables, add all the rest of the beciamella and parmiggiano evenly over the sautéed vegetables. (You may add another layer depending on how deep your pan is, or you can leave it like this just remember the final layer has to be the vegetables, besciamella and Parmiggiano.)

Cover the lasagna with some aluminum and place in the middle rack of the oven and bake for about 30 minutes, until top is bubbling. Remove the aluminum and bake for another 15 minutes, you may now remove from oven and let sit for about 15 minutes. Then you may serve.

* Spinach: You may use fresh spinach or frozen, if frozen allow to drain and defrost.

* Artichokes: You may use canned (in water only) or frozen forllow same procedure as spinach of frozen.

* Lasagna sheets: I use spinach lasagna but you may use regular.