quinoa

Lately we’ve been hooked on easy, throw-together meals here at Casa de EBF and bowls of all sorts have been happening. So what’s a bowl? Well… I make big batches of things that keep well (grains, beans, cooked veggies, etc.), toss them in a bowl, top with a sauce and call it a meal. As you can imagine some are better, and prettier, than others. :)

One particular bowl I’m loving as of late is the quinoa bowl. Quinoa not only packs a hefty protein punch (with all the essential amino acids) but it also has a neutral flavor so you can pair it with most anything.

Quinoa & Black Bean Bowl with Blood Orange Sriracha Vinaigrette

What’s not to love about a healthy bowl of quinoa, beans and veggies? The bowl featured here has a base layer of delicate baby kale and is topped with fresh grape tomatoes, cooked sweet potato bites, red onion and creamy avocado.

Quinoa & Black Bean Bowl with Blood Orange Sriracha Vinaigrette

To round everything out, I whipped up a blood orange sriracha vinaigrette to be drizzled on immediately before serving. The vinaigrette is delicious and adds a nice pop of flavor along with a little spice.

Quinoa & Black Bean Bowl with Blood Orange Sriracha Vinaigrette

Another great thing is that you can serve the bowl cold (like a salad), room temperature or heat it up and have it warm. Whatever your craving! If you do want it warm and you’ve prepared the quinoa, black beans and sweet potato ahead of time, I would recommend heating these three items, but leaving the remaining ingredients (kale, tomatoes, onions, avocado and dressing) cold or at room temperature. Once you’ve heated the warm ingredients place them on a bed of baby kale (this will wilt the kale a bit), then top with the remaining raw ingredients, drizzle on the sauce and serve.

Quinoa & Black Bean Bowl with Blood Orange Sriracha Vinaigrette

This bowl is full of fresh, unseasoned ingredients that are plenty flavorful on their own and require little seasoning but I think the vinaigrette really ties the whole bowl together. Plus, I love sriracha! :)

Quinoa & Black Bean Bowl with Blood Orange Sriracha Vinaigrette

Quinoa & Black Bean Bowl with Blood Orange Sriracha Vinaigrette
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
You can prepare the quinoa, black beans and sweet potato in advance so that when meal time comes around prepping the bowl will be a breeze. I’ve found that this is a great lunch option, served salad style. You can have the ingredients in a container, similar to a salad and just top with the vinaigrette when you’re ready to eat.
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1½ cups cooked black beans, rinsed and drained if using canned
  • 1 medium-large sweet potato, chopped into bite-size chunks
  • 4 cups baby kale (baby spinach or arugula will work too)
  • 1 avocado, sliced or chopped
  • ¼ red onion, chopped
  • 12 grape tomatoes, halved
  • sea salt and pepper, to taste
Blood Orange Sriracha Vinaigrette
  • juice of 2 blood oranges (about ½ cup)
  • 2 Tablespoons sriracha
  • 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • ½ teaspoon maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon blood orange zest
  • 4 Tablespoons olive oil
  • sea salt and ground pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Prepare sauce by whisking together all ingredients except the oil, salt and pepper. Once combined, slowly whisk in the oil. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Be sure to adjust the vinaigrette to your tastes — add more oil or juice if it's too spicy. Add more maple syrup if you want it sweeter. Set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan, bring 2 cups of water and quinoa to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until water is absorbed, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Fluff with a fork and let cool.
  3. While quinoa is cooking, bring a small pot of water to a boil and add sweet potato chunks. Simmer until crisp-tender, about 3-4 minutes. Strain the sweet potatoes and transfer to a bowl.
  4. Grab serving dishes, add a base layer of baby kale on each dish, top with remaining ingredients, drizzle with vinaigrette. Season with salt and pepper and extra sriracha (if needed) and serve.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 bowl Calories: 526 Fat: 22 Carbohydrates: 70 Sugar: 13 Fiber: 13 Protein: 14

I should also mention that this bowl is gluten-free and vegan, just in case you’re serving anyone with special dietary restrictions.

RVA Vegan Dish Crawl

And speaking of vegan food. If you’re local to Richmond and vegetarian/vegan (or just interested in trying some plant-based food), there’s a cool Dish Crawl happening next week = Meatless in Richmond – A Vegan Crawl. Basically it’s a tour of Richmond’s vegan food scene with lots of samples — should be a fun time! I’ve been wanting to do a Dish Crawl since the Richmond group started so I’m excited to attend this one.

Edited to add — Giveaway/Discount! I just found out that Dish Crawl is willing to give away one ticket to an EBF reader for the Vegan Crawl in Richmond next Tuesday. Simply leave a comment letting me know you’d like to attend to be entered to win. I’ll pick one winner tomorrow evening and email you to let you know!

If you’d rather not wait to see if you win and just want to register, you can get $5 off by using the code vegan5 at checkout.

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This post brought to you by Love Beets. All opinions are 100% mine.

Not sure how it happened, but February is almost over! Before it comes to an end, I thought it would be appropriate to celebrate American Heart Month with a heart-healthy beet recipe.

Spinach, Beet and Quinoa Power Salad

Beet salad? Don’t mind if I do. Beets are amazing — not only are they rich in potassium, which is one of the main minerals responsible for muscle contraction (including the contraction of the heart), but a diet rich in beets and other potassium-rich foods can help decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke.

They’ve also been shown to increase exercise performance. The natural nitrates in beets increase nitric oxide, a molecule in that lowers blood pressure and widens blood vessels. This widening of the blood vessels increases blood flow and reduces the oxygen needed by muscles, allowing them to work more efficiently and perform the same amount of work with less oxygen. Many runners and cyclists often consume beet juice before races to improve their stamina! All that said, I was recently given the opportunity to test out and create a recipe using Love Beets — a line of all-natural, freshly cooked beets. I’ve seen them at Whole Foods several times so I was excited to give them a try.

Love Beets

Love Beets offers many different cooked beet products including really cool flavor infused beets. I knew I was going to be using the beets to make a salad with a homemade dressing so I picked up a pack of the organic freshly cooked beets, which aren’t flavored. These beets are cooked in their own juices and vacuum-packed for freshness with no added ingredients. They’re super flavorful and taste just as delicious as the beets I cook myself at home — maybe even a little juicer! I love beets but sometimes they are kind of a pain (and a mess) to roast and peel so having the option of buying already prepared beets is super convenient! I’ll definitely be buying the fresh cooked Love Beets again and perhaps next time I’ll try one of the flavor infused versions.

So what type of salad did I make with the Love Beets?

Spinach, Beet and Quinoa Power Salad

When brainstorming recipes, I began with the idea of making a simple, yet flavorful salad that could work as a starter for dinner or on it’s own for a light lunch. I ended up going with baby spinach as the base and adding quinoa, thinly sliced red onion, gorgonzola cheese, toasted walnuts and an apple cider vinegar shallot dressing. Easy, fresh, filling and absolutely delicious.

Spinach, Beet and Quinoa Power Salad

This was my first time making the apple cider vinegar shallot dressing, but it turned out to be fantastic. I think it’s likely to become a staple. No surprise there — you guys know how much I love my apple cider vinegar. :)

Spinach, Beet and Quinoa Power Salad

Spinach, Beet and Quinoa Power Salad
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 6 cups raw baby spinach
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa, cooled
  • 17.5 oz. cooked beets (2 packs Love Beets Cooked Beets), chopped into chunks
  • ½ large red onion, thinly sliced
  • ⅓ cup walnuts, toasted
  • ⅓ cup gorgonzola cheese

  • Dressing
  • 3 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon shallot, minced
  • ½ Tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon grainy mustard
  • 4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. To toast walnuts, place in an ungreased heavy skillet over medium-low heat for about 5 to 7 minutes, stirring frequently until browning begins, then stirring constantly until fragrant and golden brown. Remove walnuts from skillet and spread on plate to cool.
  2. Place all dressing ingredients except olive oil into a blender and blend. Slowly add the olive oil, one tablespoon at a time. Taste to check the seasoning. Add a little more oil if the vinegar is too strong. Set aside.
  3. To serve the salad, grab four plates and evenly distribute all of the salad ingredients. Use about 1.5 cups of spinach, ½ cup cooked quinoa, 2 beets, 2 Tablespoons red onion, 1 Tablespoon walnuts and 1 Tablespoon of gorgonzola cheese on each salad. Drizzle with apple cider vinegar dressing, serve and enjoy!
Nutrition Information
Calories: 370 Fat: 25 Carbohydrates: 28 Sugar: 6 Fiber: 6 Protein: 11

Wanna learn more about Love Beets?

Visit their website and also be sure to check out their Beet the Odds Facebook Sweepstakes: Love Beets has four beet recipes posted on their Facebook page (which look delicious, btw) — you simply enter your info and pick your favorite recipe and you’ll get a $1-off coupon and be entered in the sweeps for a chance to win a grand prize. The grand prize includes a year’s supply of Love Beets (26 free product vouchers) and a free nutrition/healthy living consultation with a noted nutritionist and cookbook author Ellie Krieger.

Visit Sponsor's Site

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Roasted Broccoli & Kale Quinoa Salad

January 2, 2014
Roasted-Broccoli-Kale-Quinoa-Salad3.jpg

Good morning and Happy 2014! I hope you had a lovely time ringing in the New Year. After spending New Year’s Eve in Vegas last year, I was ready for something a tad more low-key this year.  We ended up spending the evening with the same couple we went to Vegas with — made dinner […]

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Cinnamon Raisin Quinoa Breakfast

January 10, 2013
Cinnamon-Raisin-Quinoa2.jpg

If you’ve been reading EBF for a while, you already know that quinoa is one of my favorite grains (even though it’s actually a seed, I think of it as a grain). Not only is it high in protein, but the protein that it supplies is complete, meaning it includes all nine essential amino acids. […]

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Fall Harvest Spinach Salad

October 28, 2012
Fall spinach salad

Hi friends. How’s your Sunday going? We’ve spent most of the morning gearing up for Sandy… we went to Whole Foods for a few pantry staples, Lowes for a new flashlight and 711 for ice. I’m really hoping the storm creates less damage than what the meteorologists are predicting, but it’s always good to be […]

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White Bean Quinoa Salad

June 6, 2012
White Bean Quinoa Salad

Happy Wednesday! If you follow me on twitter you’ll know that I had some exciting news yesterday.. my sister had her baby!! She delivered him at Culpepper Regional Hospital so it was a little drive to go see them last night after work, but it was totally worth it. He came at around 5:30 PM […]

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