Time & Figure Friendly Vegan Quinoa Salad

When it comes to eating healthy and eating vegan, you don’t have to resign yourself to a life of salad and tomatoes. Though for the record I should state that there is absolutely nothing at all wrong with lettuce or tomatoes. Or cucumber. Or radishes. Scallions. Or sprouts. I love it all and they are a regular part of my diet because…weight loss.

But that doesn’t mean that a girl doesn’t want a little bit of variety for her taste buds. Most days I eat some version of a salad for lunch because they are healthy, packed with vitamins and a great way to satisfy your appetite without going overboard on calories. I’m down plenty of kilos at this point which means my way is working and I’m sticking to it.

So…quinoa salad.

The best thing about this salad is that you can use whatever you have handy. I made up this recipe using what was in the fridge and we loved every single bite of it.

I started with my usual salad ingredients: Romaine lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, scallions. Then I decided to use some of this extra extra large carrot I had on hand and grated some of it, about 100 grams. Throw in half a diced red bell pepper, 100 grams of cannellini beans and you’re almost finished with this easy, healthy vegan salad.

Toss in the cooked quinoa. For this recipe I used organic red lentils because they were pretty and I think added the perfect splash of color to this dish.

Fluff the quinoa and you’re ready to mix the vegetables and grains.

For the creamy dressing on this vegan salad I used veggiegurt, about 80 grams and mixed it with a tablespoon of mustard, a pinch of gochugang (Korean chili past), salt, pepper and garlic powder. Mix it and toss with the veggies & quinoa and you’re good to go!

There is a bit of prep work with rinsing and chopping up all the vegetables but I managed to get it all done in less than 30 minutes. And you’ll love even more than this dish was less than 300 calories per bowl!

Calories aren’t everything. Taste does matter and if you give new foods a chance, often you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Simple Bulgur Salad

What do you do when you don’t have enough fresh veggies to make a salad but you’re not prepared to make anything more complicated than a salad? You hit up the grain section in your kitchen pantry, pull out the bulgur and make magic!

I don’t know how you guys go shopping but I am a list-a-holic. I create a menu for what I plan to make and all the ingredients I need, with a check mark besides ingredients we already have at home. I give my husband the list and he does the same, then I put it into my Shopping List app which I use inside the supermarket.

My point? Only that it often happens that I’ll have a quarter of a head of lettuce, one tomato and just a nub of cucumber the day before shopping day and let’s face it, there’s not a lot that can be done with that. Unless you’re feeling creative.

Enter, bulgur salad.

If I was feeling less than generous I might call this the kitchen sink salad or garbage salad, but let’s stick with bulgur salad because you still have to put this in your mouth.

As you can see, there’s a little bit of the following:

Romaine lettuce

Bell pepper

Tomatoes

Chickpeas

Scallions

Vegan yogurt

Dill

Corn

Mustard

The yogurt, mustard and dill made a nice creamy dressing that tied everything together nicely. It was healthy, satisfying and tasty, which makes it pretty much an ideal lunch in my opinion.

Add some fried tofu or a beer on the side if you think it’s too late, but I think you’ll love it as it is. My favorite thing about a simple dish like this is you can change it up based on what you have. Since there were chickpeas and bell peppers, I added curry and cumin and piri piri to the mix, but you can make it Mexican, Italian, Greek or even American with a vegan ranch sauce.

What’s your go to vegan salad or what do you want to learn to make next? Answer in the comments below!

 

Vegan Lobster Rolls

Now that the weather is getting warm–finally–I like to keep my day meals fairly light and that’s mostly because I don’t want to sweat my butt off in the kitchen when the temperature is in the upper 20’s. But also because I LOVE sandwiches!

Recently I was in the mood for a sandwich but not a burger or a faux meatball sub or even one of my favorites, the stromboli, and I couldn’t think of anything. At first I thought about the little corner shop near my granny’s house in Chicago, this place sold some really great Po Boy sandwiches but that required more work than I wanted to perform on this particular day. Then I started thinking about a lobster roll.

I could just about taste the caraway seed in that creamy lobster sauce, which is weird because one thing I have never, ever been–before or after going vegan–is mayonnaise. It’s just not my thing. Back in the day I could gobble up some Miracle Whip but these days when I need a creamy sauce I use vegan yogurt or coconut cream.

It was shopping day so I had the chance to get all the ingredients I want and began to stack the sandwich in my head.

What you’ll need:

Hot dog buns

Artichoke hearts, rough chopped

Scallions, sliced

Celery, thin sliced

Grape tomatoes, halved

Cumin (lots and lots of cumin)

Cucumber, diced

Parsley & Dill

Vegan Yogurt (plain)

Mustard

Sriracha (Or gochugaru sauce)

The most time consuming part of this meal is chopping up everything, but it took me about fifteen minutes while singing along to old school Whitney Houston tracks. Combine the yogurt, mustard and Sriracha mix and then mix with veggies.

As far as the buns go, I’m not really a fan of slicing hot dog buns down the center. There’s not enough room and that’s a fancy thing you do to make good pictures, but I’m more concerned with tasty food, which I assure you this was.

A healthy spice rack is the key to making this sandwich amazing. I used cumin, fennel seeds, oregano, basil and turmeric in the yogurt sauce and let me tell you, the flavors were AMAZING.

TIP: Toast the buns so you don’t end up with soggy bread!

Add a handful of chips, but not too many because those suckers are HIGH in calories, and you’ve got a quick and easy lunch in under 30 minutes.

Then wash it down with a nice cold drink.