MJ’s Monday–Meals: Vegan Buddha Bowl #2

Here’s another vegan variation on a Buddha Bowl my friend Kris shared with us.

Again I start with quinoa (instead of rice). 

While the quinoa is cooking according to package instructions, I drain a can of sliced beets.

I place them in a dry cast iron skillet and chop them.

I cook them on medium high heat, stirring frequently until bits are blackened.

While everything is cooking, open a can of mandarin oranges and drain them. Or peel an orange. I’m lazy. Canned mandarin oranges are shelf friendly.

Drain the quinoa.

Mix the quinoa, oranges, and beets together.

If you want, you can add precooked chicken, but quinoa is a complete protein, so adding more isn’t necessary.

Then I add my handy-dandy Sesame Ginger salad dressing

And voila. A colorful, flavorful complete meal.

MJ’s Monday–Meals: Asian Veggie Buddha Bowl

My friend Kris introduced me to the concept of Buddha Bowls. This recipe is my variation on one of hers.

I used quinoa instead of rice for my grain base.  Quinoa can be a pain to clean and cook, so when I discover this, I was ecstatic.

I also keep precooked chicken in the freezer for convenience.

Kris taught me about chopped Asian Salad, too.

Here’s how it goes.

Boil the quinoa according to package instructions.

In the meantime, open the bag of salad. Take the dressing from the kit and add it to a frying pan. Set aside the noodles and almonds. Add the rest of the salad to the frying pan and stir fry.

While the quinoa and salad cook, thaw the chicken in the microwave.

When the salad is nicely stir-fried, remove from the heat.

Drain the quinoa according to package directions.

Mix the quinoa, chicken, and stir-fried salad together in a large bowl.

Kris made a marvelous tahini-orange dressing for her version of this, but I have never been able to replicate her success with the recipe, so I use dressing from a bottle.

Mix well…

and serve. Top with the noodles and almonds from the salad kit if you’d like.


There you have it. An easy, filling meal in less than 30 minutes.

 

MJ Monday-Meals: Mojito Salad

Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day–an all-green fruit salad. Day Job had a pot luck with green food last year for St. Patrick’s Day. I try to eat healthy when I can, so I surfed the net until I found something simple and healthy.

Now, normally, I’m not a melon fan. Water melon in small amounts sums up my usual participation. This recipe called for honeydew, and I was pleasantly surprised.

  • 1 Honeydew Melon, balled
  • green seedless grapes, stemmed
  • 5 kiwi, peeled and sliced
  • 2 Granny Smith Apples
  • 2 Anjou Pears
  • 2 limes
  • 1 bunch mint.

Mix the melon, kiwi, and grapes together the night before.

Squeeze the juice of two limes into a glass jar or bowl. Add the finely chopped mint and let marinate overnight.

The next day, cut up the pears and apples (do NOT peel them) and add to the other fruit, then drizzle the lime-mint mixture over it all and mix well.

Easy, healthy, and green.

Note: the acid in the lime juice prevents the apple and pear from turning brown, so the salad will last for a couple of days.

It’s wonderfully cooling, and would be great to bring to a summer picnic, too.

MJ Monday: Meals-Carol’s Casserole

Welcome to 2019! I’m shaking up my blog a bit this year. Mondays are now MJ Monday…where I talk about food, music, movies, my manuscript in progress, and motivation. This week is the debut of MJ’s Meals.

One of my retreat friends has been on a very restrictive diet, so when we were planning a recent retreat, we had to take her food situation under consideration. I love the challenge of finding and/or creating a meal that meets the affected one’s needs.

I had some leftover garlic scapes, which my friend could have. The only kind of oil she was allowed was olive oil. So the first thing I did was harvest chives (another food she could eat) and add them to the garlic scapes in my blender and pulverized them.

Then I added the pulp to olive oil in glass jar (my husband doesn’t understand my need to save glass jars with excellent lids on them).

I placed the concoction in the refrigerator for a week.  After the week was up, I strained the oil through a fine mesh tea strainer.

Voila! My very own garlic infused oil.

I dusted some chicken breasts with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika and sautéed them in olive oil.  I find pre-cooking as much as I can when going on retreat is the way to go.

On the evening it was my turn to cook dinner, I cubed the precooked chicken and added it to diced sweet potatoes, a sliced sweet onion, and chunks of red bell pepper, all of which were on my friend’s OK-to-eat list. I drizzled in the infused olive oil and mixed it well.

Forty minutes later (in a 400F oven), we had our very first Carol Casserole.

It’s a keeper.

#CrackpotTheory: Color, Food, & the Weather

I love bright  colorsI hate “tasteful” décor: ecru, beige, eggshell, and other shades of brown and white;  deep greens; dark reds. Who gets to decide what’s tasteful? Please!

One thing I’ve noticed is cultures that indulge in bright colors also tend to eat spicier foods. Foods with flavor. Full of taste. Yes, I know curry was invented to hide the taste of rotting food–but so was mayonnaise.

Other correlations I’ve noticed is that cultures with bright colors and spicy foods tend to be in warmer climates. They also seem to be closer to their emotions–more aware of their passions and unafraid to show them.

Color makes me happy. Spicy food makes me happy. Hot summer days make me happy (you can keep the humidity). Maybe I need to move.