Posts tagged quinoa
High protein pizza base... in minutes!

I never really worry much about getting protein on a vegan diet as my focus on real whole foods of maximum variety typically does that by default, but it is nice to know that it's easy to put together a high-protein meal when needed- particularly something like this pizza when the base itself gives a great protein boost and you can top it up with anything you like knowing that I've got a well balanced meal in the bag!

vegan High Protein Pizza Base

In addition it's always nice to have an answer to the question 'where do you get your protein?' and also offer a simple option for those who are looking for high-protein veggie-based meals.

oh and did I say... Pizza?

Yay, pizza :-)

The pizza base contains just three ingredients- quinoa, almonds and flax (plus any herbs if you wish to add them). Each ingredient is in itself a great source of protein, amongst other nutrients, Plus it couldn't be easier to make in minutes. Such a winner!

You can top the base with anything you like, I'm not a fan of fake vegan cheeses so I used home-made hummus mixed with tomato purée and then just any veggies I had to hand. This base also freezes beautifully as I have now done on multiple occasions since I first created the recipe. It makes for an amazingly speedy last minute dinner!

vegan High Protein Pizza Base

Recipe: High protein pizza base

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa

  • ½ cup ground almonds

  • 2 tbs flax

  • 1-2 tsp mixed herbs (optional)

  • ½ tsp salt

Pizza topping:

  • 1 tbs tomato puree

  • 2 tbs hummus

  • 1 cup worth finely chopped veggies of choice- tomato, onion, bell pepper, courgette and sweeetcorn work well.

Method:

Process all ingredients together until you have a well blended slightly sticky dough. It should still be easy enough to handle and roll. I found it didn’t stick to my rolling pin at all but if this is a problem for you that’s the running pin with a little dry ‘flour’ of some kind- such as fine almond flour or protein powder. Attentively press out into pizza bases with your hands.

Once you have rolled the dough to approximately 3-4mm thick, bake at 180C for 10-15 minutes until sealed then flip over and bake for a further 10 minutes until just beginning to turn golden.

You can remove from the oven and allowed to cool and then freeze at this point or simply add all your pizza toppings and bake for 10 minutes until cooked and golden.

vegan High Protein Pizza Base
vegan High Protein Pizza Base

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Creamy chocolate quinoa shake

It's National chocolate week in the UK… That's got to be the best week, right?

The perfect week to indulge BUT let this also be a week of mindfulness and creativity in making healthier sweet treats and also an opportunity to raise awareness of the benefits of the good old cocoa bean and in particular 'raw' cacao and healthy unrefined forms of sweetness.

I promised you a recipe and I won't disappoint but first I want to give you a quick round up of the heath benefits of cocoa... pin it to your wall as a little reminder! :-)

 
 

The real food source have a wide range of raw cacao products as fantastic prices... including this new 'raw' cacao powder and a blog post here to discuss the debate around whether cacao can truly be raw?  

What do you think?

What healthy chocolate treats do you like to make... feel free to link up and share in the comments?

 

Now.. here's your recipe. It's a spin off from my classic plain quinoa milk

This ones a keeper I promise!

... served with a few of my Wholeplus Squares in the side for a double choc delight!

... served with a few of my Wholeplus Squares in the side for a double choc delight!

Recipe: Chocolate quinoa shake

Makes approx. 1 ltr

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa*
  • 2 cups water
  • ½ tsp vanilla bean paste or powder
  • 8 drops stevia (to taste) or another unrefined sweetener of choice
  • 8 deglet noor or 3-4 medjool dates
  • 3 tbs cocoa powder
  • 2 tbs fine oatmeal or 1 tbs nut butter (optional- to give extra thickness)

Method

Blend all together well until thick and creamy. Chill before serving for best flavour and to thicken up a little more. Use within 2 days.

*ideally soak overnight and rinse well before cooking to minimise any bitterness.

Options: add the flesh and juice of an orange in stead of part of the water for an choc-orange version! Yum!!

 

choc quioa milk 3a.jpg

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Day to day you can always find me hanging out in these places:

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Hot quinoa salad

I'm making the best of the last few weeks of summer, it seems to have got decidedly cooler and more autumnal recently, but today the sun has come back out which makes me happy!

There is less than one week left enter my Steenberg's Organic giveaway bundle, check out the original post here but I have also included the entry box at the bottom below for quick reference.

I thought it would be great to do a post about some of the ingredients they are offering in the bundle, lots of beautiful organic spices in cute glass jars. I just loooove these glass jars and would love them even more lined on a shelf in my kitchen! Alas, my kitchen is not so neat and tidy and so mine are stacked up in a box in the pantry cupboard :-)

 

First up.... Hot quinoa salad.

I use quinoa so often in all manor of recipes both sweet and savoury. It's my go to choice since it's both gluten free and protein rich, but also has great texture and a mild flavour. My favourite options are quinoa cookies and quinoa porridge but sometimes it's nice to keep it simple and let the natural slightly nutty flavour do the talking. I created this recipe for The Real Food Source too since they have added organic tricolour quinoa to their range (cue much excitement from me!) The colour and the subtleties of favours are beautiful.

This was a simple meal and I whipped it up one lunchtime a few weeks back in the peak of summer. A quinoa salad is a perfect light meal, great for lunches. I have provided a quick recipe below using Steenbergs Organic Panch Porah (once of the spices in the bundle), This is a blend of organic brown mustard , organic nigella , organic cumin seeds , organic fenugreek and organic fennel coming together in a unique mix of diverse flavours. I loved the varieties of seeds and the fact that it wasn't simple a ground up spice mix.

You could really you can use any blend of your favourite herbs or spices, dressing, salad leaves and other veggies as you see fit...it's a very versatile salad! For example roasted cherry tomatoes, white beans and lightly steamed chopped broccoli florets would have worked equally well. This is simply one of many quinoa salad combos i've made. 

I've used their ingredients in many of my recipes in the past... 

recovery burgers

recovery burgers

choc orange goji bites

choc orange goji bites

There is also a jar or organic turmeric in the bundle. Perfect for these 'recovery burgers' so called due to turmeric poweful anti-inflammatory properties. 

Or if you want something a little sweeter... try using the Organic orange extract (with oil instead of alcohol) to make one of my favourite sweet treats- choc orange goji bites!


Recipe: Hot quinoa summer salad

Serves 2

Ingredients: 

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa (1/2 cup uncooked)
  • 1 small courgette- sliced into half moons
  • 1 small leek- sliced finely
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 2 large handfuls watercress (spinach or a rocket mix would also be great)
  • 2 tsp tahini or other nut butter
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp mixed herbs

Method:

Cook the quinoa. 

Meanwhile saute the leek and courgette for 5 minutes then add the nut paste, lemon juice and herbs with a splash of water to create a very light sauce for the veggies. Continue to cook for a further few minutes whilst also cooking the peas in a separate pan. 

Enter the giveaway here!

 I'd love you to join me in other places too!  

Why not sign up for my newsletter in my sidebar where I feature roundups and special offers  plus me FREE ebook. If you are new round here check out my 'About' and 'Getting Started' tabs up top. To buy nibbles you can also find me over at Wholeplus.  Day to day you can always find me in these places:

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Choc quinoa cookie cake​- in one minute!

Something ridiculously exciting might just be about to go down...waiting on a final email. Will have to leave you in suspense there- but i'll be sure to update you in the next few days once things are confirmed!

quinoa cake 4a.jpg

Anyway, I'm all a bit excitable and so was browsing my photos of recipes not yet posted and found this one I'd forgotten about- the photos were taken back in August but I've made this little snack a few more times since as its so quick… Seriously I can't believe I had not come up with this a long time before!

I love my single serve microwave breakfast cookies and hadn't made one a while, but since I was going through such a quinoa phase it suddenly occurred to me to switch it around and make a super speedy quinoa microwave cooking. It was fantabulous! 

Not the pickup in your fingers kind of cookie, but more of a soft and fancy dessert cookie designed to be eaten off the plate it's served from...maybe added a dollop of coconut or cashew cream!  Feel free to add extra mixing as you fancy.

quinoa cake 3a.jpg

Recipe: 1-minute choc quinoa cookie cake

Makes: one single serve

Ingredients:

  • 1tbs peanut butter
  • 1tbs cocoa
  • 1tbs ground flax seed
  • 1 tbs agave syrup (or a few drops stevia)
  • 2 tbs water
  • 1/4 cup cooked quinoa
  • sprinkle of chia seeds- optional (or other toppings)

Method:

Mix all ingredients (other than quinoa) together to form a thick smooth paste. Add the quinoa last and coat evenly. Spoon into a flattened cookie shape onto the serving plate (make sure it's microwaveable) Smooth the top with the back of a wet spoon if necessary.

Cook for 60-80 seconds in the microwave until firm to touch. The cookie with be soft and fudgey and eaten from the plate. It's not a pick up in your hands type!

o there you have it, a little plateful of power food that literally took one minute to mix and one minute to cook in the microwave- simply can't go wrong there. Obviously this could also be made in the oven if microwaving is not your thing and you had a little extra time on your hands... But for my 'one-minute' mind this was the perfect satisfying answer.

 

quinoa cake 5a.jpg
quinoa cake 2a.jpg
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Banana quinoa slice

Served hot or cold this sheet cake slice seriously hits the spot. I've made this cake a few times...and I seriously can't believe I haven't got it up on here before now...crazy!

quinoa banana 6.jpg

It's moist, dense, protein packed with a sweet banana kick… If you're an activity centred junkie in need of a healthy pick me up or simply love something satisfying for a mid-afternoon snack… Come on over and serve it hot with a slather of melty peanut butter.

This freezes superbly too and because it's pretty dense it also travels well... Whether that be to the office or backpacking up a mountain. 

Stir in some extra dried fruit, spices, seeds or nuts, just whatever you fancy to get that texture just as you like it. The quinoa gives it a great texture as it is, this is no 'airy fairy barely touched the sides cake' it's a subtly sweet snack to get your teeth into. This is one slice that will handle whatever you decide to throw at it!

You could also warm it through and serve with a little maple syrup and vegan cream (that's a thick cashew vanilla cream pictured) if you fancy getting more indulgent since this is fairly lightly sweetened cake by itself. 

Yes I have gone a bit quinoa crazy of late. It's just that it's a high protein 'seed' (not a grain- don't get confused) that seems to sit really well with my digestion and give me lots if sustenance to power me on. Plus it's so versatile I can't help but have a play in all manor of sweet and savouries... just type 'quinoa' into my search bar and you'll see :-) 

quinoa banana 3.jpg

Recipe: Banana Quinoa Slice

Makes approx. 12 slices

Ingredients:

  • 3 ripe bananas
  • ¼ cup oil (I use coconut)
  • ½ cup date paste (or ¼ cup syrup of choice)
  • ¼ tsp stevia (or add another ¼ cup dry sweetener of choice)
  • 2 cups coarse ground rolled oats
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • pinch salt
  • 2 tbs flax/ground chia
  • ½ cup non-dairy milk of choice
  • 1 ½ cup cooked quinoa (1/2 cup uncooked)
  • ½ cup flaked coconut or nuts of choice (I used walnut chunks)

Method:

Prepare the quinoa (I have pre-cooked freezer portions at the ready!)

Mix all wet ingredients (except quinoa), add the dry (except nuts) and stir through lightly to mix until smooth. Add the quinoa and nuts in the last few strokes.

Use a lined medium square baking pan (the mixture should end up approx 2cm deep) spread the mixture evenly and drag a fork across the top for texture. Bake at 180C for approx 30 mins until the top is golden and banana lightly browned at the edges.

 

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Chewy Chocolate Quinoa Cookies

I’m loving all the healthy high protein ‘flour’ swaps i’m trying out at the moment. First it was with whole buckwheat groats (still plenty of those recipes to come) and now it’s also with quinoa.

I mentioned before that I was having a big quinoa kick this month, incorporating it in all sorts of recipes both sweet and savoury. It’d such a versatile ingredient and it’s nutritional profile is hard to beat.

I cook big batches of quinoa to freeze in cup sized portions, so it’s so easy to add to any recipe or salad at a moments notice.

This cookie experiment, therefore, took me literally minutes to throw together and was such a success I’ll definitely be trying it out again very soon. I used cacao nibs to make sure I kept to my sugar-free  Lent Challengeyou could also use regular dairy free dark chocolate chips if you prefer and for a little extra indulgence, I may well give this a go next time, although to be honest I quite liked the bitter crunchy contrast of the nibs.

The coconut flakes combined with the quinoa make for a really soft and chewy cookie but I have also since tried without the coconut. The peanut butter helps bind and gives a mildly peanutty taste but you could sub for cashew or almond butter if you want the chocolate to dominate.

Recipe: Chewy chocolate quinoa cookies

Makes 8 small cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • ¼ cup peanut butter (add a pinch of salt if not salted)
  • ¼ cup homemade date syrup and a pinch of pure stevia (you could use 3 tbs maple syrup, coconut syrup or agave if you prefer)
  • ¼ cup unsweeteneed dessicated coconut flakes
  • ¼ cup cocoa nibs or dark choc chips
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder

Method

Mix the peanut butter and date syrup, add a tiny touch of hot water if not already 'drippy'. Stir in the remaining ingredients until fully coated and sticky.

Scoop into fat cookie dollops and place on a lined baking sheet. Bake at a fairly low temperature (I opted for 160C so as not to risk burning the date syrup) for 10-15 minutes until slightly golden. The cookies will be soft when they come out of the oven and will firm up to touch as they cool but remain soft in the centre.

Note: I have since also made these adding one mashed banana which helps to sweeten and bind the mix even more. Reduce syrup/stevia accordingly to taste.


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Quinoa flake breakfast bake

I have never really baked with quinoa flakes before, mainly because I struggle to get hold of them around here. But a few a weeks ago when I visited Wholefoods on Kensington High Street in London for the very first time (much, much excitement) I picked up a bag.

So on Sunday morning when I was debating breakfast, I figured a little experimentation with my new purchase was in order! As it turned out, this little experiment became a rather yummy breakfast experience. This single serve breakfast bake will see you right through to lunch…and it’s so pretty too, the perfect start to your day. This could easily be served as dessert as well, maybe add a little more sweetness if serving as dessert as I was going for more of a ‘breakfast level’ sweetness with this bake and let the banana provide all the sweetness, other than a light drizzle of brown rice syrup on the top. You can use any summer berries you wish, I happened to have a few stranwberries to hand at the time. You could mix berries through the batter, but I would be careful not to make the batter too wet.

I mixed in a few oats with my quinoa flakes, but feel free to use all quinoa if you like (it may work with all oats as well but I haven’t tested this yet). The quinoa provides a lovely light texture in an otherwise moist and dense and bananary bread. Be sure to use a dish that allows the batter to be no more than 15mm thick as you may find it does not cook all the way through if much thicker.

I used a mini fluted ceramic pie dish (a recent new purchase that I was desperate to use for something!) and the bake was quite difficult to remove neatly. You can either it eat straight from the dish or make sure you use a greased/lined tin with a removable base which should make things much easier.

Recipe: Quinoa flake breakfast bake

serves 1

Ingredients

  • 1 large ripe banana- very well mashed
  • Agave to taste if necessary (I didn’t use any extra)
  • ½ cup quinoa flakes
  • ¼ cup oats- GF if needed (or more quinoa flakes)
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp cinnamon (optional)
  • ¼ cup chopped nuts of choice
  • Soy yoghurt to mix (I used approx. 3 tbs)
  • Handful of berries to decorate
  • Brown rice syrup/agave/maple syrup to drizzle

Method

Mix all ingredients (other than berries and drizzle) together in a small bowl adding the soy yoghurt last to achieve a thick smooth consistency. Spoon the mixture into a greased/lined mini pie dish  and decorate the top with the berries. Make sure the mixture is no more than roughly 1.5cm thick as it may not cook through properly.

Bake in a preheated oven at 180 for approx. 15 minutes until the top is lightly golden.

Whilst still warm drizzle with a little syrup and serve immediately.

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Quinoa ‘meat’ balls

Remember these ‘meat’balls?

And these burgers?

Well, it was really just a matter of time before I combined the two to get a gluten free, high protein hit with a nice spicy smoky kick!  I typically eat a lot of nuts, seeds and beans to maintain a good protein intake, but what I love about these balls is that they focus more on pulses and grains, plus the fact they are perfect for a snack on the go, to toss on top of a salad, to wrap up in a tortilla or to slather in sauce….

I’ve now made these countless times and I pretty much keep to the same proportions and flavours each time, although I nearly always double or triple the batch so I have plenty to freeze.  The ones  in the photos were rolled in polenta prior to baking to give a little crispy coating for my wrap but I often just leave them plain and then they look more like the original

‘meat’ balls.  The only significant difference between these balls and the originals that used rice,  are that these balls tend to be slightly dryer, I think it was the rice that gave them more of a chew so feel free the substitute rice for the quinoa to get a GF version closer to the original if you prefer.

Right, I’m off…I’m on a huge baking mission today since yesterday was sabotaged by my broken down car which had to get to the garage at short notice, therefore my plans for the day had to be totally re-written. Oh well, I guess that’s life… you just have to roll with it sometimes.

On my list to do:  this month’s Daring Bakers Challenge, soupdips and these meat balls to stock up my freezer. Some more smoosh barsand also some chia pudding experiments planned…watch this space!

 P.S The tortilla sauce in the photo is a lentil and peanut dip (soon to come)....so good!

 P.S The tortilla sauce in the photo is a lentil and peanut dip (soon to come)....so good!

Recipe: Quinoa ‘meat’ balls

Ingredients

  • ½ cooked lentils
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup mixed wholegrain high protein flours  (gram, buckwheat, oatmeal)
  • 2 tbs ground flax
  • 2 tbs soy sauce
  • 2 tbs oilve oil
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ black pepper
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • ½ chilli powder
  • ½ parika/cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp molasses
  • 2 tsp mustard

Method

Mix everything together in a large bowl. Mixture should be sticky but manageable. From apricot sized balls and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.(

optional- rolls in polenta for a cripy coating prior to baking).

Bake at 180C for 25- 30 minutes turning over half way through. These freeze well.

(Adapted from my regular 'meat' ball recipe)

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