Chopped quinoa salad with cranberries -- perfect lunch for spring! #vegan #cleaneats #salad @danielleomar

Chopped Quinoa Salad with Cranberries

Chopped quinoa salad with cranberries -- perfect lunch for spring! #vegan #cleaneats #salad @danielleomar

Yes, another quinoa salad. Once I start making them I just can’t stop. This one is so tasty. I followed my simple formula for quinoa salad making and it worked like a charm. This time I used dried cranberries for an antioxidant boost and instead of a nut or seed, I added my freshly sprouted mung beans for the crunch. It’s so light and refreshing, this batch did not last long!

chopped quinoa salad with cranberries

If you’re thinking right now, I wish I liked quinoa it might be how you’re cooking it. I wasn’t a huge fan of quinoa until I started cooking it correctly and eating it cold as a salad. The trick is to use less water and add some lemon zest while it’s simmering. Many recipes will call for 1 cup of quinoa to 2 cups of water. In my opinion, this gives you a mushy result. If you use 1 1/2 cups of water to 1 cup quinoa you get a nice firm texture to your quinoa and no mush. And the lemon zest adds a great fresh flavor.  My other trick for making a mouthwatering quinoa salad is to chop up all the vegetable add-ins very small. This allows you to get all the different flavors in every bite.

chopped quinoa salad with cranberries

This hearty, nutrient-dense quinoa salad is the perfect way to enjoy spring veggies. The recipe can be found over on my Inspired Vegetarian column at Healthy Aperture. So click here if you want to see how I made it plus get a few ideas for swapping out ingredients!

Kung Pao Tempeh -- awesome veggie dinner when you're craving Chinese food!

Kung Pao Tempeh

Kung Pao Tempeh -- awesome veggie dinner when you're craving Chinese food!

Eating a primarily plant-based diet can leave you wanting more when it comes to some cuisines. Chinese food is one of them. Except for Eggplant with Garlic Sauce, Chinese veggie dishes are a bit of a drag. It’s either a ton of greasy noodles with broccoli or a soggy tofu dish. I don’t mind a good Vegetable Chow Mein, but it’s hard to come by. That being the case, I rarely enjoy Chinese food. Instead, I tend to experiment at home re-creating the great flavor of Chinese food using tempeh.

Kung Pao Tempeh #vegan #glutenfree #dinner #chinesefood

This Kung Pao Tempeh was inspired by this recipe using chickpeas. I subbed the chickpeas for tempeh and gave it my own twist. It was delicious. I find that many people think it’s the meat that makes a dish taste good. This is a prime example of how that is not always the case. It’s not the meat that makes this dish delicious, it’s the Kung Pao sauce. Master the sauce and you can have Kung Pao anything.

Kung Pao sauce with tempeh #vegan

Tempeh is a great way to experiment with Asian-inspired flavors because it soaks up the sauce so well. If you’re looking for more recipes, try one of these. Tempeh is much more meat-like in texture than tofu and a lot healthier. It also soaks up the delicious flavor that makes Chinese food so good!

Kung Pao Tempeh #vegan #dinnerFor the recipe, head on over to my Inspired Vegetarian column on Healthy Aperture. You can find it here. And don’t forget, you can eat tons more clean food just like this on my Nourish:21 Days of Clean Eating program that starts April 13th. Learn more about it below.

Nourish: 21 Days of Clean Eating spring program starts April 13th

 

vegetarian flavor bible review

Book Review: The Vegetarian Flavor Bible

The Vegetarian Flavor Bible is an essential reference for flavor pairings, nutrition information, and how-to tips for creating a plant-based diet. 

vegetarian flavor bible review

As National Nutrition Month comes to a close, I have the chance to introduce a book that will hopefully leave you inspired to get into the kitchen and create veggie-based meals. If you’ve ever asked yourself “What can I make with this?” The Vegetarian Flavor Bible, authored by award-winning Karen Page, has the answer. It’s a valuable reference to have on the kitchen counter for anyone, not just those of us who cook mainly with vegetables. More of a reference manual than a cookbook, it combines the basics of plant-based nutrition and how to maximize vegetarian flavors with in-depth lists of creative food pairings and tips.

One of the most valuable aspects of the Vegetarian Flavor Bible is its generous section on flavor matchmaking. As you know, I am big on creating simple meals with what I have on hand. I love to turn leftover black beans, some sprouts, sliced avocado, and crumbled tempeh into a week-day lunch. Since I’m pretty familiar with all of those ingredients, it comes easily to me. But what if I had never used tempeh before? The Flavor Bible’s matchmaking section describes tempeh’s flavor, its nutritional profile, tips on how to steam and marinate it, what flavors tempeh goes with, and it lists menu ideas on food pairings. Want to use tempeh in a sandwich? The flavor matchmaking guide suggests it pairs well with Russian dressing, sauerkraut, and Swiss. Tempeh Reuben, anyone? For a quick dinner idea the Flavor Bible suggests tempeh with coconut milk, collard greens, curry, and sweet potatoes and also lists the spices and complementary vegetables to go along with it.

If you’re in a vegetable rut and want to learn a few surefire ways to make them more of a focus on your plate, the Vegetarian Food Bible is worth scoping out. It will help give you the confidence to try new foods and help you make simple steps towards incorporating more real, whole foods into your lifestyle. Click here to learn more or buy the book!

 


 

Nourish: 21 Days of Clean Eating spring program starts April 13th