I love vegetables. I have no problem eating enough vegetables. In fact, the majority of my calories each day are accounted for by a variety of vegetables – which is not as easy as it would seem when considering how low in calories a serving of nearly any given vegetable is. But what this does is allow me to not only ingest a large amount of micronutrients while still hitting my macro and caloric goals, but also helps me remain full off of large plates of foods, as apposed to maxing out on calorically-dense filler foods that leave me feeling empty and exhausted.
Seeds and grains are another story. I rarely eat traditionally “carb” food sources, and I can’t remember the last time I consumed anything involving pasta. However, I am a fan of unprocessed, nutrient-dense seeds and grains like wild and brown rice and quinoa, and occasionally I go through phases of incorporating these into recipes and daily staples. Since quinoa is, after all, a vegan source of complete protein (meaning it contains all essential amino acids), I decided to break open the box of tri-color quinoa I’ve had sitting in my cupboard for a few weeks.
I have to admit I’m much better at following a recipe when it comes to making actual dishes, but I am a master at combining foods I like to eat to make piles or plates of a tasty mess! My current favorite flavors lately have included butternut squash and liquid amino acids… So, here is the result of today’s “just add quinoa” experiment:
- 1/4 C. uncooked quinoa, cooked according to directions
- 1 C. cubed butternut squash
- 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1/4 sweet yellow onion, chopped
- 1/2 C chopped kale
- 1 T liquid amino acids
- 1 T white wine vinegar
- 1 t garlic powder
- salt, pepper, and kelp granules (optional) to taste
- preheat oven to 430
- start cooking the quinoa
- while quinoa cooks, chop the squash, onions, and peppers
- place chopped veggies on a sprayed baking pan and douse with liquid aminos, vinegar, and spices
- bake until desired tenderness (~10-15 minutes)
- chop kale, and combine all ingredients in a medium size bowl
*One of the best things about cooking with squash is the seeds! Spray (with cooking spray), season, and bake the butternut squash seeds alongside the other vegetables, removing them after just a few (5ish) minutes for a crunchy, salty appetizer.