Meatless Monday: Quinoa stirfry with broccoli, mango, cashews and spicy ginger sauce

Meatless Monday!

Let’s talk quinoa, a great addition to any meatless diet. Pronounced KEEN-wah, in case you were wondering. But what is it? It’s actually a seed, but is considered a whole grain. Most importantly, quinoa is the only plant-based source of complete protein. Whoa, what’s that? Yes – there is a plant that contains all 9 essential amino acids: quinoa! And it packs 7g of protein per serving compared to brown rice’s 4g. So it’s got more of a better quality protein. I love it. I will admit it took me a little while to come around to it. I’m much more of a fan of a hot quinoa dish than a cold quinoa salad, though. (Quinoa can replace other grains in soups, stirfries, or Mexican dishes, OR try it in place of oatmeal for breakfast.)

One particular amino acid that quinoa is high in is lysine, which is missing from wheat and rice. Lysine aids in tissue growth and repair, aiding the immune system. (Lysine is often used as a supplement to quickly banish cold sores.) Quinoa also is packed with fiber and minerals. It’s gluten-free, and considered an easily digested grain. Win-win-win.

This dish is vegan, gluten-free*,with no added salt, no added refined sugars, no extracted oils. It’s packed with fiber and healthy fats.

*contains no added gluten ingredients, but make sure you double check all brands of products like vegetable broth or soy sauce that you are using, as many will contain gluten or wheat ingredients.

Ingredients:

  • 1cup quinoa, uncooked
  • 2 cups water or reduced-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 cups frozen mango chunks (this would work well with pineapple too)
  • 6 cups frozen broccoli florets
  • 2 cups frozen diced pepper/onion mix
  • 1 cup raw cashews

Sauce:

  • ½ cup rice vinegar
  • ½ cup raw agave nectar
  • ¾ cup water
  • 2 ½ Tbsp Bragg’s (or reduced sodium tamari or soy sauce)
  • 1 ½ Tbsp fresh minced garlic
  • ½ Tbsp fresh minced ginger
  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper
  • 2 Tbsp corn starch

Method:

  1. Prepare quinoa according to package. (Typically, add 2 cups water or reduced-sodium vegetable broth and 1 cup quinoa. Bring to boil. Cover, and lower for a simmer for 15-20 minutes. Quinoa will be done when grain is translucent and has little spirals coming out of it.)
  2. While quinoa is simmering, steam broccoli in covered pot for approx 10 minutes.
  3. Add mango and pepper/onion mix to broccoli and steam for approx 5-7 minutes until heated thoroughly.
  4. Stir in cashews and remove from heat.
  5. To prepare sauce, add all ingredients except corn starch to a small sauce pan and bring to low boil.
  6. Whisk in corn starch until thickened and thoroughly dissolved.
  7. Once quinoa is finished, add quinoa to broccoli/mango/cashew mixture and stir in sauce.
  8. Simmer all ingredients together above medium heat, stirring constantly, for about 3-4 minutes to reduce sauce slightly and meld flavors.

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Other quinoa recipe posts you might like:

Sopa de Quinua or Quinoa Soup (vegetarianirvana.wordpress.com)

Quinoa: breakfast of champions (mostlyfood.org)

Thai Fried Quinoa (feastyoureyesonmyveg.wordpress.com)

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Vegan low-fat, low-sodium apple pecan oatmeal cookies (YUM!)

So, I don’t cook sweets that often, especially not cookies, but every now and again it strikes my fancy. I checked out my pantry to see what I had and decided that I’d Google pecan cookies and see what kinds of combinations came up. I came across this Low Fat Apple-Pecan Oatmeal Cookie recipe on yummly.com. I decided to adapt it to be vegan.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats (not quick oats!)
  • 1/2 cup milk of your choice (I used almond)
  • 1 chopped apple (I used organic Fuji)
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp ground flax seed + 3 Tbsp luke warm water
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsps apple pie spice –OR– 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, 1/2 tsp cloves, 1 tsp ginger

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Mix together oats, milk, chopped apple, and pecans in a bowl and set aside.

3. Whisk together flax seed and water until slightly frothy (similar to what an egg would be like.)

4. Mix together brown sugar, flax seed mixture, apple sauce, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl.

5. Add flour, baking soda, salt, and spices. Stir well to combine.

6. Drop batter by Tbsp full onto cookie sheets lined with parchment paper. Flatten each cookie slightly with fork.

7. Bake for 12 minutes. You will know cookies are done when they can be lifted from parchment without gushing apart in your hands or sticking to the paper. They will be soft, almost spongy. Cookies do not really firm after cooling, this is definitely a soft vs. crisp oatmeal cookie recipe – which I like better anyway!

This recipe yielded 39 cookies for me, and a bunch got eaten by my roommates and I before I could take a photo. 🙂 They tasted GREAT. Not too sweet, these would make an awesome, wholesome breakfast. No dairy, no eggs, no added fat, minimal sugar. Brown sugar may sub out easily for maple syrup to reduce the recipe to no refined sugars. Oh yea, and trust me on this – you’re gonna wanna scoop up a couple while they’re still warm.

A little bit on the nutrition….

For 4 cookies (That’s right – you get to eat FOUR of these bad boys for probably what one traditional chocolate chip cookie might be….)

 

Calories: 232

Calories from fat: 53

Fat: 6 g

Sodium: 132 mg

Potassium: 62 mg

Carbohydrates: 41 g

Fiber: 5 g

Sugar: 15 g

Protein: 5 g

 

So these cookies are not only cholesterol free (vegan!), low fat, low in sodium, but they also offer a nutritional punch of fiber and protein! 5 grams each per serving!

In conclusion, I guess I impressed myself tonight…