Quinoa with Lentils and Veggies

Quinoa with Lentils and Veggies

This dish is packed with protein and fiber, so you can feel full while loading up on some plant-based foods, like veggies, lentils and grains. Using zucchini, bell pepper, spinach, mushrooms, onions and garlic, this staple packs in flavor, along with a ton of vitamins and minerals. Also, this dish is amazing to have as leftovers – serve it hot the first time and then serve it cold days later with some crumbled feta cheese. Craving some extra protein? I’ve also made this dish using tofu in combination with the lentils, for a heartier meal.

shown with tofu

shown with tofu

Ingredients (serves 5):

1 C quinoa, uncooked

3/4 C lentils, cooked (I like to use lentils that are pre-cooked and vacuum packed. These usually just require 2 minutes in the microwave, or can even be eaten out of the package, cold – just watch out for the sodium content!)

1 medium zucchini squash

1 red bell pepper

2 C spinach, raw

1 small onion (about 1 C chopped)

2 C mushrooms, sliced

2 cloves garlic

1/8 tsp ground black pepper

dash salt (depending on how much salt you prefer)

dash cayenne pepper

1/8 tsp garlic powder

1 Tbsp butter (or Smart Balance or other butter alternative)

1.5 Tbsp olive oil

I added yellow squash this time!

I added yellow squash this time!

Directions:

1. Cook quinoa according to instructions on box (*note: you may choose to replace the water with low-sodium vegetable broth, which also tastes really good! If you do this, you do not need to add the 1 Tbsp butter – this is used to enhance the flavor when the quinoa is cooked with water)

2. Warm olive oil in large saucepan over medium heat.

3. Chop onion, bell pepper, mushrooms and mince garlic. Add onion to saucepan and cook for 2 minutes. Add bell pepper, mushrooms and spices (black pepper, salt, cayenne and garlic powder) and cook another 8-10 minutes. Add garlic.

4. Microwave lentils in microwave-safe bowl according to directions -usually about 2-4 minutes. (*note if you are soaking your own lentils you can omit this step).

5. Add spinach and sauté  until wilted, about 2-3 minutes. Add cooked quinoa and lentils to saucepan and cook another 2-3 minutes. Serve hot (or chill in the refrigerator and serve cold!)

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The Goods: What’s Inside?

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving

Calories 320, Fat 8 g, Saturated Fat 1 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Carbohydrates 51 g, Fiber 12 g, Protein 13 g, Calcium 42, Sodium 70 mg

me leftover lunch - served cold with feta!

my leftover lunch – served cold with feta!

A Muffin You’ll Be Nuts About: Whole Wheat Banana Walnut Muffins

Whole Wheat Banana Walnut Muffins

This chillier weather makes me want to bake and enjoy the scent of warm, freshly baked muffins filling my apartment with some hot tea. I slimmed down banana walnut muffins by swapping out some all purpose flour for whole wheat flour, replacing oil with fat free Greek yogurt and increasing the amount of bananas, so the muffins stay moist and sweet – naturally! These muffins are great as a snack to pack for work or school, or amazing with a cup of coffee or tea in the morning. A great bonus? walnuts are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which help to decrease inflammation. Who says you can’t have your muffin and eat it, too?

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Ingredients (yields 18 muffins):

1 C whole wheat flour

1 C all purpose flour

1.25 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

4  medium, overripe bananas (*note: it is important that the bananas are almost entirely brown on the outside, or else your muffins will not be sweet)

2/3 C honey

still chunky mashed bananas

still chunky mashed bananas

1/3 C light brown sugar

3/4 C 0% fat, plain Greek yogurt (I like Fage)

1 large egg

2 large egg whites

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 C walnuts, crushed or chopped

almost ready!

almost ready!

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

2. Combine flour, baking soda and salt in medium sized bowl. Set aside.

3. Mash 2 bananas with a fork until just mashed (bananas should remain slightly chunky)

4. Beat remaining 2 bananas with honey and brown sugar (about 2 minutes). Add yogurt, eggs, vanilla and beat well for another 30-45 seconds.

5. Mix in about half of the dry ingredients and stir with rubber spatula. Add remaining half of dry ingredients. Fold in nuts and mashed bananas to batter.

6. Line muffin tin with cupcake liners. Spoon batter into muffin tins so that each cup is about 3/4 full.

7. Bake for approximately 25 minutes (until the muffins pass the “toothpick test” – a toothpick should come out of each muffin mostly clean). Serve warm or at room temperature.

oven-ready!

oven-ready!

The Goods: What’s Inside?

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving (1 serving is 1 muffin from a batter that makes 18 muffins):

Calories 159, Fat 3 g, Saturated Fat 0 g, Cholesterol 10 mg, Carbohydrates 31 g, Fiber 2 g, Protein 4 g, Sodium 168 mg, Calcium 20 mg

warm, fresh baked banana walnut muffins!

warm, fresh baked banana walnut muffins!