Mexican Quinoa Salad

I know I said a few posts back that I don’t make a lot of healthy things, and I love my comfort foods… but I may throw you off by throwing in a pretty healthy recipe every now and again – but it will definitely be a rare occasion.

I took this Mexican Quinoa Salad to an Easter get together a few weeks ago, and all of my husband’s omni family seemed to enjoy it just as much as anything else.

Here it goes…

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MEXICAN QUINOA SALAD

Serves 4

Salad

1 cup Dry Quinoa

1 Sweet Potato

1 can Black Beans (rinsed and drained)

1 Avocado

Dressing

1/4 cup Olive Oil

2-3 Tbsp. Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice

1/4 tsp. Chili Powder

Pinch of Cayenne Pepper

Salt (I use Pink Himilayan)

Black Pepper

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 425° Fahrenheit. Wash and peel your sweet potatoes. Cut into small cubes (1/2 in. x 1/2 in. or so). Spread on a baking sheet, drizzle with oil of your choice (I like olive oil). Place in the oven and cook for about 30 minutes. Toss them around a bit half way through the cooking time.

2. If you have never cooked quinoa before, it is similar to rice. You want to put double the amount of water than you have quinoa. This recipe calls for 1 cup quinoa, so you would use 2 cups water. Got it? So in a small pot bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add your quinoa, turn your heat to low, and cover. Cook for about 20 minutes. Watch closely to make sure the water doesn’t run out. If you check at 20 minutes and there is still water in the pot, gently stir, put the lid back on and watch for another couple minutes.

3. While your quinoa and sweet potatoes are cooking, mix your ingredients for the dressing, drain and rinse your black beans, and cut your avocado into small cubes.

4. One the quinoa and sweet potatoes are finished, add your black beans, avocado, dressing, sweet potatoes, and quinoa to a big mixing bowl. Gently mix everything together.

Serve warm.

Enjoy!


$$$

Approximately $.70 per serving.

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Easiest Cheesiest Vegan Mac & Cheese

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Okay… so it’s not always mac and cheese, it’s more like spirals, shells, penne, farfalle, bowtie, whatever you want – and cheese… but you get the idea right?

My husband actually created Vegan Machine’s original mac & cheese recipe several years ago, but we have since simplified and improved. Basically, we have the cheesy vegan sauce down to a science. We use this general recipe, or some form of the recipe, in so many different ways. We make nachos, alfredo, queso, cheesy cornflake potatoes (Utah folk call ’em Funeral Potatoes), cheese sauce for veggies, and much more.

So here it is… the best (not that healthy, but delicious) vegan mac & cheese out there! (OK, maybe that’s just my opinion, we’ll see)

VEGAN MAC & CHEESE

Serves 2 (generously)

2 cups (uncooked) pasta of your choice

1 cup Daiya Cheddar Shreds (1/2 a bag)

1/2 cup (prepared) Better Than Bouillon No-Chicken Broth

1/2 cup Tofutti Sour Cream (red and blue container)

Small Squirt of Sriracha (Huy Fong brand)

Black Pepper (a few shakes or grinds)

DIRECTIONS

1. Boil water, cook pasta to your liking. I do mine for exactly 10 minutes every time. Strain and set aside.

2. In same pot on medium heat, add your prepared broth, sour cream, sriracha, and pepper. Whisk together completely.

3. Add Daiya Cheddar Shreds. Turn your heat up a bit and continuously whisk until it is all melted. This may take a few minutes.

4. Once mixed, turn your heat back down to medium. Add you strained noodles and stir until even heated.

5. Serve and enjoy!

TIPS

1. I super strongly advise that you use the exact brands I have listed in the recipe, otherwise I make zero guarantees. The broth and cheese are the most important. You could get away with using Follow Your Heart sour cream or even Tofutti’s Sour Supreme, but I don’t recommend it.

2. Don’t overcook your pasta. Why? That’s just gross.

3. It’s not great warmed up. It kind of tastes like the cheap Kraft boxed mac & cheese used to when you used to warm it up before you gave up dairy. Remember those days? Not great right?

4. Daiya needs higher heat to melt. Watch it closely. Let it bubble up, but don’t scorch or burn.

5. The sriracha shouldn’t make it spicy (unless you like it that way, then add more). I give my little girl this recipe with the sriracha with no worries about it being too hot. My husband also hates spicy stuff and doesn’t think this is spicy. But, if you don’t have sriracha, you can leave it out. But really… just get some, it’s the best.

6. If you want a tiny bit healthier, lower in calories, and cheaper version – you can just leave the sour cream out. It won’t be super creamy, but I make it this way sometimes too, it’s still pretty good.

7. The broth is your salt. If you use a different kind you may need to add in some extra.


$$$

Approximately $1.85 per serving.