quinoa stuffed peppers

Quinoa stuffed peppers are a vegetarian dinner packed with protein and fiber! 

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers - a meatless meal that's high in protein and has tons of flavor! | anutritionisteats.com

You guys, I had the most amazing weekend. My cousins threw us a ridiculous baby shower, my Mom was here for a visit and some of our best friends were here for the weekend. There was no shortage of good food, cupcakes and conversation. (I am very disappointed in my lack of photos though, I didn’t get a one!)

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers - a meatless meal that's high in protein and has tons of flavor! | anutritionisteats.com

And then the party was over and everyone left. I’m always a little sad after we have visitors who then have to go back home. Ok, sad might be an understatement. Depressed is a little more like it.

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers - a meatless meal that's high in protein and has tons of flavor! | anutritionisteats.com

But before I can even blink, it’s time to get back into the groove of work, cleaning the house and making dinner. (Which is probably a good thing, so I’m not home moping around…) And if dinners are delicious, it makes the transition a little easier to handle.

A while ago (like a year?!) I asked for the type of recipes that you guys would like to see and I’ve been working through that list for quite some time now! I received a few requests for quinoa recipes and specifically, quinoa recipes that your kids will eat. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve made a quinoa casserole, only to be disappointed each time. So the quinoa casserole is not there yet. But today, I have a quinoa stuffed pepper, full of Mexican flavor (always a family favorite, right?) that’s not only healthy but really tasty.

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers - a meatless meal that's high in protein and has tons of flavor! | anutritionisteats.com

Quinoa is a super-nutritious grain (that’s actually a seed, but it’s typically categorized as a grain) – full of protein and fiber. Combined with some beans and cheese, each pepper contains 14 grams of protein and 7 grams of fiber, an excellent source of both. Here, I cooked the quinoa with a combination of broth and salsa (yes, salsa!) to make sure it’s really flavorful and then I added black beans, stuffed everything into the peppers and topped them with shredded cheese. It’s a delicious meal that’s vegetarian, gluten-free and definitely family-friendly!

And no surprise, this dinner is an easy one!

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers - a meatless meal that's high in protein and has tons of flavor! | anutritionisteats.com

One pepper isn’t really enough for a meal, so I’d recommend serving two of them per portion or adding something on the side like grilled chicken or if you want to keep things meatless, a big green salad with tomatoes, avocado and pepitas.

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers - a meatless meal that's high in protein and has tons of flavor! | anutritionisteats.com

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • ½ cup salsa (use a watery salsa, like salsa verde)
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 cup broth (chicken or vegetable)
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 1 15-oz can black beans, rinsed
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • chopped cilantro (optional)
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Stir together quinoa, salsa, water and broth in a small pot.
  3. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for about 15-20 minutes, until water has been absorbed.
  4. While quinoa cooks, cut peppers in half, lengthwise and remove seeds.
  5. Bake for about 15 minutes, until slightly charred.
  6. When quinoa is done cooking, stir in black beans and season with salt and pepper if necessary.
  7. Fill pepper halves with quinoa mixture (you’ll have some leftover) and top with shredded cheese.
  8. Bake for another 5-10 minutes, until cheese is melted.
  9. Garnish with chopped cilantro if desired.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 pepper Calories: 262 Fat: 7 grams Carbohydrates: 38 grams Sugar: 4 grams Fiber: 7 grams Protein: 14 grams

 

 

simple lemon kale salad

Simple Lemon Kale Salad is dressed with a flavorful lemon dressing and topped with parmesan and bread crumbs.  

Simple Lemon Kale Salad - the best way to eat kale! | anutritionisteats.com

How was your weekend? The long weekend felt SO good. After a few busy weeks at work (I just finished my last big project before my leave!) and getting sick with a cold last week, the three-day break was amazing. We didn’t do anything super exciting, but finished up a bunch of small projects which I was really happy about. (I love crossing things off my list.) And we finally have a crib so the nursery is really starting to come together.

I also spent a lot of time in the kitchen, working on some food projects (you’ll see some of them soon!) and trying out a few recipes that have been on my list. But this kale salad isn’t anything new.

Simple Lemon Kale Salad - the best way to eat kale! | anutritionisteats.com

I’ve been wanting to make it for you since….oh, THANKSGIVING!

Last year my cousin introduced me to this salad and this past Thanksgiving I made it – because no Thanksgiving (in California) is complete without some kale.

It’s SO good and will convert any kale non-believers. (Are there any left in the world?!) The dressing is really bright with tons of lemon flavor and the parmesan cheese and bread crumbs take this salad from a ‘I’ll force myself to eat it because it’s good for me’ kale salad to a ‘there isn’t enough kale salad’ salad! I had numerous requests for the recipe, so I know it’s a good one. (Also, it feels really strange to be talking about Thanksgiving.)

Simple Lemon Kale Salad - the best way to eat kale! | anutritionisteats.com

How simple is it?

First you cut the kale as thinly as you can. I like to remove the stems and then layer a few of the leaves on top of each other to easily slice. A note about the kale: for this salad, lacinato (dinosaur) kale works best so try to find it if you can. The leaves are darker and flatter but it’s pretty common so it shouldn’t be too hard to find.

Simple Lemon Kale Salad - the best way to eat kale! | anutritionisteats.comThe dressing is a simple mix of lemon juice and zest, garlic, olive oil and salt and pepper. A note about the garlic: I love using the zester to grate the garlic instead of mincing it as it almost creates a paste. It ensures that there aren’t any big clumps of garlic to bite into and the zester is already out anyway! :)

Simple Lemon Kale Salad - the best way to eat kale! | anutritionisteats.com

You can go in a few directions for this salad. It’s the perfect side to grilled fish or braised meat but you could also turn it into a main-dish salad with some grilled chicken and garbanzo beans. Just make it, you’re going to love it!

Simple Lemon Kale Salad
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 2 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 bunch lacinato (dinosaur) kale
  • juice and zest from 1 lemon
  • 1½ Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (or use citrus zester!)
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 Tbsp shredded parmesan
  • 2 Tbsp bread crumbs
Instructions
  1. Wash and dry kale.
  2. Remove stems and thinly slice. (Into really thin ribbons)
  3. Whisk together lemon zest and juice, olive oil and garlic.
  4. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Toss dressing with kale and lightly massage until combined. Let sit for at least 15 minutes.
  6. Sprinkle parmesan and bread crumbs over salad and serve.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 243 Fat: 13 grams Carbohydrates: 26 grams Sugar: 1 grams Fiber: 5 grams Protein: 10 grams

PS. Want more kale? Miso Butter Kale, Sweet Potato, Kale & Bacon Egg Bake, Simple Kale Salad

lasagna soup

Lasagna Soup - easy, comforting meal the whole family will love!| anutritionisteats.com

Thank you SO much for completing the survey, it was so helpful. If I could, I’d show my appreciation through an amazing cheese platter. :)

Lately I’ve been worried/frustrated that my blog hasn’t grown to where it “should” be by now and I started to wonder if I needed a more precise focus. I tossed around ideas, but ultimately, I don’t have a precise eating focus or style so why should my recipes? I’m not vegan, I’m not paleo, I don’t count calories……

I love food. I love real food, I love simple food. I love complex recipes and I love meals that require three-ingredients from the Trader Joe’s freezer section. I don’t eat perfect. And I don’t think anyone should.

Lasagna Soup - easy, comforting meal the whole family will love!| anutritionisteats.com

So now that I’ve got that off my chest, it’s time to share this recipe I’ve been holding out on you a bit. It was one that I made (and we loved) but I wondered if it was good enough, or different enough to share.

If I learned one thing from the survey, it’s that you want more of those real life posts which makes me take a step back and realize that every post doesn’t need to be a perfectly-styled, super-creative recipe. It’s about the real food. The food that’s eaten after a long day at work and no desire to cook. Food that doesn’t fit a diet perfectly, because, your family probably isn’t on that diet. (I also learned that you really aren’t interested in product reviews and my favorite link posts – noted!)

Lasagna Soup - easy, comforting meal the whole family will love!| anutritionisteats.com

So 2015, it’s going to be a lot more real. And a lot more life. (And a baby!!!!!!) And the food that goes along with it.

Lasagna soup is one of those meals. It’s a big bowl of comfort food, and I think your whole family will love it. It’s got classic lasagna flavors – but in a slightly different form. We loved it because it was really filling and satisfying, but also not really heavy either.

Lasagna turned into soup – you’ll love it too!

Lasagna Soup
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 medium onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 32 oz beef, chicken or veggie broth
  • 28 oz diced tomatoes
  • 6 oz tomato sauce
  • salt, pepper
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
  • ½ tsp dry basil
  • 8 oz fusilli pasta
  • ¾ cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup chopped parsley or basil
Instructions
  1. Dice onion and mince garlic.
  2. Add olive oil to large pot and heat over medium-high heat.
  3. Add onion and garlic and cook until soft, about 4-5 minutes.
  4. Add ground beef and cook, stirring occasionally and breaking up chunks, for about 7-9 minutes, until cooked through. Drain if necessary.
  5. Add broth, diced tomatoes and tomato sauce and seasonings to pot, bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer for about 20 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, while soup is simmering, cook pasta as directed, until al dente. (Be careful not to overcook!)
  7. Taste soup and add any additional seasonings if necessary.
  8. To serve, portion out pasta in bowl, top with soup mixture, cheese and fresh herbs.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 421 Fat: 15 grams Carbohydrates: 44 grams Sugar: 9 grams Fiber: 5 grams Protein: 29 grams

 

black bean hummus

Black bean hummus takes five minutes to make and is full of protein and fiber. 

Black Bean Hummus | anutritionisteats.com

I’ll start with the obvious. Black Bean Hummus is not what I would consider a pretty food.

But this dip has a lot going for it. And I can’t get enough of it.

Easy: It can be made in minutes. Dump ingredients into the food processor and process away!

Healthy: With black beans at the base, a serving of this dip is a good source of protein and fiber. Bonus, tahini is high in vitamins, minerals and calcium!

Black Bean Hummus | anutritionisteats.com

For years now, I’ve been making my own hummus and I strongly feel that once you start making your own, any version you get from the store just isn’t good enough! There are of course (desperate) times when tubs are purchased and I had one of those times before the Packer game last week. I picked up some roots black bean hummus from Whole Foods so that there was something a little healthy to snack on in between the chicken wings and cheese. (Game day food also justified a pre-game green juice…you know, for the baby.)

I really liked the root’s black bean hummus, but it was also $5 for an 8 oz tub so I wanted to try making it at home.

Black Bean Hummus | anutritionisteats.com

And just like my regular hummus, I kept this one really simple. And it’s why I’m calling it black bean hummus and not black bean dip. There is a small difference, but it’s notable. When I make hummus with garbanzo beans, I like lots of lemon juice, some garlic and tahini and olive oil. I also add cumin to hummus, it’s something that I learned from the French Meadow Bakery & Cafe YEARS ago (Minnesota friends, you’ll know where I’m talking about!). It’s not really noticeable but it totally makes the hummus. Naturally, cumin works really well with black beans too, so I definitely added it to this version.

Black Bean Hummus | anutritionisteats.com

There’s a certain game this weekend that could probably use a healthy dip…serve with tortilla chips, multigrain crackers and fresh veggies to make everyone happy. :)

Black Bean Hummus | anutritionisteats.com

PS. I’ll be back on Thursday with some of my other favorite dips…just in time for Super Bowl snacking!

Black Bean Hummus
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 2 cups
Ingredients
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1-15 oz can black beans (1¾ cups)
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp salt
Instructions
  1. Place garlic cloves in food processor and process.
  2. Scrape down sides and add remaining ingredients.
  3. Process to desired consistency.
  4. Drizzle with olive oil and sliced green onions to serve.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 138 Fat: 6 grams Carbohydrates: 14 grams Sugar: 0 grams Fiber: 5 grams Protein: 6 grams