All posts tagged quinoa

1st contact work & some Wayward

Published October 18, 2013 by Vegan Derby Cat Party


WOO! I had derby practice last night, and I got to do my 1st contact work! We were practicing pack work like pushing each other to block a jammer coming up on the outside edge of the track, as well as steering them off the track with leverage. (Sorry, I’m still not sure of the actual names of these maneuvers!) SO MUCH FUN! And I’m so glad too, because I’ll be expected to participate in the next scrimmage on November 3rd, and I need some skills! I had to sit out the one this month, even though I had just joined the team, because I had only attended two practices: one was a fit skate, and one was on jam skating (basically dance skating), but they’re considered mandatory unless you’re sick, injured or out of town. Hope we get a lot more of these type of practices in the next two weeks!

Thomas rode his bike up to the Rat’s Nest (where we practice) after work and met me, so we were both pretty hungry and decided to hit Wayward Vegan Cafe on the way home. He got his usual, the Wizard, and I got a nice healthy Bikini Bowl, which I’d had once before and was totally craving. It’s on their gluten-free menu and is comprised of quinoa, steamed kale, mandarin oranges, diced tomatoes, citrus marinated grilled tempeh, and served with a side of chipotle tahini. So good. Totally hit the spot. I’m trying to do clean, protein packed meals after workouts lately so I can reap the benefits of all this exercise more fully. A little more challenging since I have less time to cook with all the skating, but I thought this was an excellent restaurant meal. Hopefully once we’re settled into the new apartment, I can start doing some smarter meal planning to compensate.

Speaking of the new apartment… we’re officially moving Tuesday. So if I’m a little quiet for the next few days, that’s why. We haven’t packed a thing, but since we have 2 weeks to move, our attitude may be a little too casual. Tuesday we’re taking the big stuff over with a moving truck. Hopefully this weekend we can get most of the kitchen/bathroom/etc. stuff over there in little trips without having to make too big a deal about it. I hate moving. Not that you would know by how much I do it, but I’m hoping that we’ll be able to stay in the new place for a couple years or so, until we can get into a house.

Have a great weekend!


Vegan MoFo 2013:5 Love for the Veganomicon & Chickpea Quinoa Pilaf

Published September 5, 2013 by Vegan Derby Cat Party


Now here’s a SUPER FAVE in keeping with my theme… Veganomicon’s Chickpea Quinoa Pilaf! I had totally forgotten about this one for a while. So glad mofo gave me an excuse to whip it up last night. This recipe is super simple to make, and I always double the recipe. Doubling usually means that I have to extend the cooking time 10-15 minutes for it to get fully absorbed, but of course it’s worth it so you have leftovers! The only knife work is cutting up the onion & garlic, and I do all my fine chopping in the food processor so it only takes a minute! The rest of the time is pretty much just inactive as it simmers away and makes the house smell delicious.

I blogged about it once before, and am still happily using my substitution of ground coriander for the seeds. It’s an easy, tasty recipe that even a novice cook can nail, as demonstrated by Thomas on one occasion!

And speaking of the Veganomicon, its name is not only based on a mythical relic [the Necronomicon] from one of the most legendary cult film classic series ever, Evil Dead…

it has a cult like following of its very own. Often referred to as the “Vegan Joy of Cooking” or the “Vegan Bible”, this tome has more hits in it than I’ll probably ever even get to cook. I was flipping through it trying to find this forgotten favorite, and started dog earring and folding pages like it was the first time I had ever seen it! I think I could’ve happily done a MoFo, just out of this book. Seriously. 2014? Maybe.

Oh, and since I never got around to writing a proper post about VVC 2013, (In fact that seems to be the sub-theme going on) I might as well take this moment to post my fan girl pictures of me with both of the amazing ladies who authored this monster…

Isa Chandra Moskowitz

Isa Chandra Moskowitz

and yes, in our matching purple vegan docs…

Terry Hope Romero!

Terry Hope Romero!

Besides the horror movie connection, and our endless array of Halloween towels, this post has an extra Halloween kick due to the fact that Thomas was playing the Halloween Pandora station the entire time I was cooking this. We’re extra excited that October is just around the corner, and we’re keeping our fridge stocked with all kinds of seasonal beers & cider these days.

BTW, the Halloween Oreos are out! Thomas spotted them last night. We refrained. It is too soon to go down that sugary path of seasonal Oreos, we must stay strong… at least until October…


Apricot Quinoa Stuffed Roasted Acorn Squash w/ Marinated Tofu

Published January 3, 2012 by Vegan Derby Cat Party

So this meal was inspired by the lovely little acorn squashes I picked up on my shopping trip this week… and a couple of other recipes as well. When I made the Veganomicon Chickpea Pilaf the other day, another recipe caught my eye, the Israeli Couscous with pistachios and apricots. The quinoa here incorporates that pairing of apricot and grain, and also makes use of the yummy acorn squash seeds. The marinated tofu is just a slight adaptation of the one from the Angelica Home Kitchen cookbook.

The tofu and squash cook together for the same time to keep it simple. I put them both on the middle rack of the oven and switched them halfway. The quinoa comes together quickly and easily on the stove top. If you’re making the quinoa without the squash, you can substitute slivered almonds for the seeds, or some other seed or nut of your liking. Some steamed or sauteed greens would make a really nice addition.

Apricot Quinoa Stuffed Roasted Acorn Squash w/ Marinated Tofu
Serves 4

2 acorn squash (preferably organic), scrubbed, halved, and seeds removed & reserved

Marinated Tofu

1 block of firm or extra firm tofu, pressed and cut into desired shapes (I used the pre-pressed kind and cut into 9 blocks)

Juice of one lemon
2 tbsp. Bragg’s (or shoyu or tamari or reduced-sodium soy sauce)
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp. olive oil
few grinds of pepper
pinch of poultry seasoning, optional
pinch of rosemary, optional


1. Preheat oven to 350*F. Prepare a cookie sheet for roasting acorn squash and place all 4 halves cut side down onto sheet.

2. Whisk all tofu marinade ingredients. Place tofu pieces into a 9×13″ baking pan in a single layer, and drizzle marinade evenly over all the pieces.

3. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until squash is easily pierced with a fork.

Apricot Quinoa

olive oil for misting pot, or use a little water
1 medium shallot, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced

2 c. of rinsed quinoa
a little less than 2 c. of water or broth
1 tsp. cumin
pinch of salt
pinch of cinnamon
pinch of garam masala
pinch of cayenne pepper
a few grinds of pepper

1/2 c. of finely chopped dried apricot
juice of one lemon, strained

1/2 c. of toasted seeds or nuts (or toasted, salted seeds of 2 acorn squash)

nutritionaly yeast, for topping, optional


1. To toast the raw squash seeds, heat in a small non-stick skillet with a pinch of salt over low-medium heat until they are dry and golden. Set aside.

2. Mist a medium pot with olive oil and heat to low-medium. Add shallot and cook until translucent. Add garlic and cook one minute more. Add rinsed quinoa and keep stirring until it dries a bit, a couple of minutes. Add water and spices, and bring up to a boil. Cover and cook for 10 minutes. Stir in apricots, lemon juice, and toasted seeds*. Cover and cook for an additional 5 minutes, or until all water is absorbed. Fluff with fork. (*If you want crunchier seeds, don’t stir them in until the end.)

3. To serve, spoon the quinoa into the acorn squash half and plate with tofu. Enjoy!








Thomas makes Veganomicon Chickpea Quinoa Pilaf

Published December 31, 2011 by Vegan Derby Cat Party


After all the holiday stuff settled down, I realized we were pretty low on ingredients. I was trying to think of what we could make that was delicious and based around quinoa and chickpeas when I remembered this tasty Veganomicon recipe that I made a while back. Thomas offered to make this easy recipe for us, and made a killer dinner. My edits to the recipe are to cut the oil way down or just mist the pot, used ground coriander instead of crushed coriander seeds and water + a bouillon cube for the broth. Easy, quick, satisfying. OH! If you want to serve this as a dinner (it’s actually a side dish) make sure to double the recipe. Otherwise it’s really only two dinner servings, and the next day when you’re craving it, you will be completely out of luck!

Every time I open this book I always wonder why I don’t cook from it more. It’s HUGE and has SO many amazing recipes. I always see something new that I want to try.

Curried Lentil & Quinoa Stew

Published December 22, 2011 by Vegan Derby Cat Party

Here’s another variation of things I find easy and comforting to cook… bread & lentils! This is an even easier version of this recipe. The only knife you’ll need is for slicing the bread into chunks to serve with the stew.

Curried Lentil & Quinoa Stew

3 c. lentils, picked through & rinsed (I used half and half french green lentils and regular lentils)
12 c. of filtered water
2 – 3″ pieces of kombu (seaweed)
1 veggie bouillon cube

1 bag of frozen, mixed vegetables
3 tbsp. good curry powder
2.5 tsp. sea salt, plus more to taste
fresh ground pepper
cinnamon, ginger, & cayenne, optional

1 1/4 c. quinoa, rinsed (or not, I didn’t here)

~1 c. frozen, chopped spinach


1. In a large pot, bring 12 c. of water, seaweed, bouillon cube, and lentils up to a boil over high heat. Cover, and lower heat to simmer for 1 hour.

2. With 20 minutes left of the simmer, add frozen vegetable mix, quinoa, and spices.

3. Remove from heat. Stir in frozen spinach until heated through and serve.


Mixed Flour Beer Batter Bread

3 c. flour (1 cup each of unbleached all-purpose, white whole wheat, and whole wheat pastry flour)
2 tbsp. of vital wheat gluten
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 bottle of beer at room temperature (leave it out, or pour it into a cup & microwave!)
olive oil for misting top


Preheat oven to 375*F and grease a loaf pan.

1. In a large mixing bowl combine flours, wheat gluten, brown sugar, baking powder and salt well. Pour beer into dry mix, and stir until combined. The batter will look lumpy.

2. Turn dough into prepared loaf pan and spray lightly with olive oil. Bake for 40 minutes, or until cake tester inserted into center comes out clean.

3. Let it rest in the pan for about 5 minutes, and then place on cooling rack. Eat it as soon as it’s cool enough to handle : )


Quinoa Edamame Salad

Published October 10, 2011 by Vegan Derby Cat Party

You have no idea how I craved something like this! It must have been a full week of me pining for these flavors together, that led me to finally take a stab at it. I knew I needed quinoa, edamame, red bell pepper and onion in a vinaigrette of some kind. I had a container of leftover chopped yellow onions that I had pickled in red wine vinegar that provided the real base for the flavor, but you can add the two separately. This is certainly a base recipe that you can adjust based on your preferences and what’s in your fridge. I really loved it with the kelp powder!

Quinoa Edamame Salad

1.5 c. well rinsed quinoa (sometimes i don’t rinse it, but you definitely should here!)
3 c. filtered water

1.5 c. cooked, shelled edamame
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped finely
2 carrots, chopped finely
1/2 c. onion, chopped finely
1/4 c. red wine vinegar, plus more by the tablespoon full, to taste
extra virgin olive oil, to taste (i misted everything a few times)
sea salt & pepper
1 tbsp. kelp powder, optional
cayenne pepper, optional


1. Bring the water up to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add quinoa and let it boil for about two minutes. Cover and drop to low to simmer for 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

2. Meanwhile, cook frozen edamame according to package directions. Usually, add to boiling water, wait for it to come back up to a boil and drain after 5 minutes.

3. At this point I combined the two and put it in the fridge to chill before adding the rest of the ingredients. You certainly don’t have to, and can just go ahead and add everything in, and then chill. Adjust seasonings if necessary and serve.



Mexicali Stuffed Avocados over Quinoa

Published July 18, 2011 by Vegan Derby Cat Party

I thought I lost this photo in the phone freezing incident last week, but just discovered it on my computer! This was a super fast meal that was thrown together in 20 minutes. I had a ripe avocado and two big appetites, and came up with this super easy & tasty recipe on the fly.

Mexicali Stuffed Avocados over Quinoa

1.5 c. quinoa
3 c. filtered water
vegan bouillon cube, optional

1 ripe Florida avocado (the bright green ones, not the haas!), cut in half, seeded, and removed from skin

1 15 oz. can of well rinsed black beans

1 c. TVP
2 tsp. liquid smoke
2 tsp. vegan worcestershire
2 tbsp. taco seasoning


1. Add quinoa and water to a small pot. Bring up to a boil, and boil for about 2 minutes. Drop to simmer for 15 minutes. All of the water should have absorbed and left you with perfect quinoa. Fluff with a fork.

2. Meanwhile, heat water and seasonings in a saucepan for TVP. Once boiling, remove from heat, and stir in TVP. Cover and let sit for about 5 minutes.

3. Heat up beans in a large bowl (microwave) and stir in rehydrated TVP.

4. On each plate, make a large bed of quinoa, put one half of avocado on top, and fill generously with bean/TVP mixture.

I mixed the remaining quinoa in with the bean/TVP mixture, and we ate this too. Okay, we killed it. This could probably feed up to 3 people but then you’d have to divide up the avocado! Enjoy!

Veganomicon Pineapple Cashew Quinoa Stir-Fry

Published April 26, 2011 by Vegan Derby Cat Party

Flipping through the Veganomicon, this recipe caught my eye. It’s full of things I love… pineapple, cashews, garlic, ginger…mmm! It wasn’t until I read this post though, that I actually went out and bought what I needed. I thought the canned pineapple substitution worked great. It gives you just the right of juice needed to cook the quinoa, and the pineapple is already prepped for you! : )

I cooked the quinoa & edamame a couple days in advance, when I had the time. Per Isa’s recommendation, I prepped all the ingredients first. (Which is what I used to do when I first started cooking so I could focus on the cooking part & not burn things!) So everything was ready to go, and it goes pretty quickly.

Green onions & garlic, sliced chili pepper and ginger, red pepper and edamame

Mint and basil, toasted cashews, cooked and cooled quinoa, braggs, vegetable broth and mirin.

I used about 1.5 tbsp of peanut oil instead of the 3 called for.

I didn’t have to cook the last addition [of quinoa and pineaple] quite as long as the recipe called for before it was piping hot and ready, about 8 or 10 minutes.

I was a good girl and did what I was told for once, and even garnished it with lime wedges as she suggested!

This was a very satisfying dish. Lots of flavors and the squeeze of lime on top was nice too. Oh, and as is usual for most cookbooks, this 4 serving dish ended being about 3 big ones.

Veganomicon Chickpea Quinoa Pilaf

Published April 7, 2011 by Vegan Derby Cat Party

So I decided to start flipping through the Veganomicon again. There are SO many recipes in that book, and with only great successes so far, I’m happy to keep on trying them out!  I picked out 2 recipes starring chickpeas/garbanzos to make this week.

The only adjustment I really made was using a large red onion, and ground coriander instead of crushing the seeds myself. What’s weird is that if you google this recipe, some people list it as having a finely diced medium carrot too. I’m not sure if this is in another edition, but it’s not listed in mine. It would probably make a tasty addition though. Even though they have it under side dishes, I served it as dinner last night. Between the chickpeas and the quinoa, it’s pretty hearty. It came out to two dinner servings and a little leftover.

I’ve started using my food processor to chop onions and garlic lately.

Here it is right before the broth addition. Onions, garlic, tomato paste, spices and quinoa.

Turned out really flavorful and yummy. Definitely a keeper recipe!!

How to cook Black Quinoa

Published March 1, 2011 by Vegan Derby Cat Party

On a recent trip to WF, I found this black quinoa in the bin section. It looks a whole heck of a lot like red quinoa, but I thought I’d give it a try and see if the taste was much different. It was a little toastier tasting, where I think the red quinoa has a slightly savory flavor compared with the plain. It cooked in the same time as red quinoa, which was 20 minutes. (I find that regular quinoa cooks in 15).  Here is a link to an informative article on my friend’s blog about quinoa if you want to know more about this ancient grain [that is actually a seed]. Here I used 1 cup of wet, rinsed quinoa and 1 3/4 cups of filtered water. If you don’t rinse it, use 2 cups. For more flavor, feel free to use veggie broth instead of water or throw a vegan bouillon cube in with everything!

First you’ll need to rinse it off. I mean, commercially they rinse it for you, but it’ll still be a little more bitter if you don’t. Sometimes I don’t on purpose precisely for this flavor.

Bring quinoa, water and a pinch of sea salt up to a boil. I let it boil for a minute or two before dropping down to a simmer.

Cover and simmer on low for 20 minutes, or until water is absorbed and fluff with a fork.

I like to have grains and beans with nutritional yeast, salt & pepper for easy, filling lunches. This is with some kidney beans.

Today I had it with a little extra seasoning (garlic & onion powder and cayenne) and some homemade guacamole. SO good & so filling!

Black Quinoa

1 cup of black quinoa
1 3/4 cups filtered water (or 2 cups if not rinsing first)
pinch of sea salt


1.First you’ll need to rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh strainer to remove the saponin. (for more info see link above!)

2. Bring quinoa, water and salt up to a boil, and boil for about 2 minutes. Drop heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes, or until all water is absorbed.

3. Fluff with a fork and enjoy!

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