Spring is in the air and I’m ready for some light and fresh food.
It’s ironic that I say that because I’m currently deep in the mountains of Colorado, surrounded by snow and dining on chili.
But truly, I am excited for spring and this quinoa tabouli is the perfect thing to welcome the new season. And I might add, it’s a health powerhouse! The perfect thing to give you that energy to get outside and enjoy the sunshine.
Feeling a little leery of quinoa? That weird, funky, grain-like seed taking the food world by storm? I was too! The list of the health benefits of this little seed is impressive so I decided I would give it a try. I tried several recipes and didn’t like any of them! Then I made this quinoa tabouli and I can honestly tell you it’s the first quinoa dish I actually LIKED. So naturally, I had to share it. :)
Read about the health benefits of quinoa here and here.
Quinoa Tabouli; Recipe or Not
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 1 cucumber, finely diced
- 2 roma or vine ripe tomatoes, finely diced
- 1/4 of a large onion, finely diced
- 1 handful of parsley, roughly chopped
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- juice of 2 lemons
- 3-4 T. olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
The Prep: Rinse quinoa in a fine mesh strainer (don’t skip this!), then cook as directed. Let the cooked quinoa cool a little and then toss it in a large bowl with the diced cucumber, tomatoes, onion, and parsley. In a small dish, whisk together the garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Pour the dressing over the tabouli and toss until the dressing is thoroughly distributed. Add more olive oil, salt, or pepper if needed. Let the tabouli chill in the fridge for at least an hour before serving. Enjoy!
I don’t know about you but this winter as me craving comfort food like nobody’s business. All things creamy, decadent, savory, and sure to put a person in a food coma.
I consider myself a healthy eater but I’m learning that when a craving hits for something like mac and cheese, it’s better to just indulge (within reason) and let myself savor every bite.
I also like to make some subtle but healthier changes like sneak veggies in my mac and cheese and use whole wheat noodles. #fiberforlife
I also like throwing out hashtags at random.
I called this “easy” baked mac and cheese because there is no cheese sauce making required. Thaaat’s right, no melting of butter, whisking in of flour, adding in of milk, thickening of sauce, and melting of cheese. But don’t worry, you won’t lose that cheesy comfort you know and love.
Easy Baked Mac & Cheese; adapted from Whole Foods
- 1/2 lb (8 oz.) elbow macaroni (I used whole-wheat)
- 12 slices cheese of choice (I found gouda slices and used those bc that’s my hubby’s fave and it gives this dish great flavor. I also think that pepper jack would be really great or a smoked cheddar, yum!)
- 1/4 c. finely diced onion
- 1 celery stalk, finely diced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 can peas, rinsed or 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
- 1/2 c. bread crumbs
- 1 c. milk (I used almond milk and it worked fine.)
- a good pinch of pepper
- crackers, crushed for crumb topping
- 1 T. butter, cut in small pieces
The Prep: Preheat the oven to 350° and butter an 8 or 9 inch pan. Bring a large pot of water to boil and cook the pasta until al dente. There should still be a slight firmness to the pasta which will finish cooking in the oven. Drain the pasta and add to a large bowl. Add the onion, celery, garlic, peas, bread crumbs, and milk. Stir until combined. Spoon a layer of the pasta & veggies into the bottom of the 8 or 9 inch pan. Then cover evenly with four slices of cheese. Continue layering (I had three layers) until the pan is full. Spread the crushed crackers over the last layer of cheese and dot with butter. Bake for 30 minutes or until heated all the way through.