Quinoa with taco like Seasoning – ShayLoss inspired!

So I was watching my Youtube subscriptions today and there was a new video from ShayLoss. For those who have never seen his videos, its a channel of this guy named Shay who used to be really obese and now hes lost a bunch of weight. He gives tips for healthy living and weight loss, etc. He is not a vegan, but he gives good advice. His video today was a recipe, click HERE for the video, but warned though its 23 minutes long. The gist of this video was a recipe for a quinoa salsa/taco filling sorta thing. It was good sounding, but you know me, I had to change it a bit. It tasted SO good I knew I had to share. So please try this. Everything you need for it is in season right now!

Ingredients:

2 cups white quinoa, rinsed VERY well
3 cups water
3 large tomatoes , diced
1 medium bell pepper, diced
1 medium white onion, diced finely
1 bunch cilantro, minced
1 hot pepper (optional), minced and seeded
3 tablespoons garlic, minced finely
1-2 limes, juiced
1 can chickpeas, rinsed VERY well
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce (no more than 20% sodium per tablespoon, less is better)
1 tablespoon cumin powder

Directions:

Start out by rinsing your quinoa very well. The easiest way to do this is use a large bowl and place the quinoa in it. Fill with very warm/hot water and use your hands to kinda squeeze the quinoa. Don’t worry, you won’t hurt it! Drain the water by slightly tipping the bowl, I do this over a fine mesh strainer in-case I spill some. Repeat this until the water is clean and the qunioa does not feel slimy or has lots of bubbles.

Bring your 3 cups of water to a boil in a larger sized pot with a lid. Add in your quinoa when the water is vigorously boiling. Stir well to ensure there are no clumps. Reduce the heat to a simmer (that’s a 2 or 3 on electric stoves). Cover with the lid and let cook for 5 minutes. Stir and recover. Let cook for 10 more minutes. Stir again making sure to scrap the bottom. If all your water has been absorbed, recover and turn off the heat and let set 10 minutes. If it still needs time to cook off the water, give it 5 more minutes. (after a total of 20 minutes, if you still have water left, you’ll need to strain it because you probably added too much, don’t worry its still fine!)

While your quinoa is resting for 10 minutes, prepare all your other ingredients. Keep in mind you want your veggies in smaller sized pieces. Core your tomatoes and dice them. Seed a bell pepper and finely dice. Mince a medium onion or thinly slice. Mince your garlic and wash in warm water to remove bitterness. Finely mince your cilantro, I choose not to use the stems since they are tough, but you can if you want. If you want a little extra flavor, add a FINELY minced chili pepper. I suggest removing the seeds, but if you want super spicy you can leave them in. I used a Fresno pepper, they’re red in color and have a nice spice and flavor. Open a can of chickpeas and rinse them very well, there should be no bubbles left and no slimy texture.

After your quinoa has rested, add all your prepared vegetables. Stir well and break up any clumps of quinoa. Now juice your limes into the mixture. I used a HUGE lime (it was the size of a lemon, no joking!) so I only needed one, however you might need two. Taste as you go and adjust the flavor. Stir well again.

In a small bowl, add your oils, soy sauce, and cumin powder. Whisk this together well and then add it into the quinoa. Stir VERY well. This is your sauce so you want to ensure you get it on all the pieces.

Try it now, if it needs more salt, add more soy sauce or use coarse salt. If it needs more tangyness, add more lime juice. Serve warm with tortillas or chip. OR Serve cold and mix with lettuce or cooked pasta for a new flavor.

I honestly have no clue how much this makes since I didn’t measure it, however I ended up with a large dutch oven full of it! I’m guessing around 10 cups. This is an amazing recipe and I think one that everyone should try, even if you’re not sure about the quinoa. If you cannot find quinoa for some reason I would suggest trying this with couscous if you can eat gluten or buckwheat groats if you cannot. The nutritional information is for quinoa and all the ingredients listed above. Serving size I gave was 100g, however in the picture above that is a small 5 inch plate with 312g on it. While it still does have fat added to it, its far less than the original recipe and honestly it adds to the flavor. I ate this with a little bit of chipotle salsa on-top. Enjoy! (and yes, as you can see this is a kitty approved recipe!)

Roasted Garlic Spicy Hummus – Gluten-Free + Vegan

Usually when I chat to new people about being a vegetarian or vegan they automatically think of hummus and pita chips; I usually explain to them its more than that. However, hummus Is a super tasty and easy dish to make. Should be eaten in moderation since about 55% of its calories come from fat, you don’t want to get a tummy ache. You can customize this to meet your personal tastes and needs. Thin it out with water to make a salad dressing (honestly, its good!), toss with warm pasta for an interesting sauce, use instead of tomato sauce on pizza, or just dip chips into it for a super quick and satisfying snack.

Ingredients:

1 15 ounce can chick peas (garbanzo beans), rinses thoroughly and dried
1 1/2 cups cooked great northern beans or 1 15 ounce can, rinsed thoroughly and dried (any white bean will work though)
1/4 – 1/2 cup tahini paste
4 tablespoons olive oil or grape-seed oil
8 garlic cloves, sliced (must be fresh garlic, no pr-echopped from a jar!)
pinch salt or to taste
1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce (optional) or to taste
1 tablespoon sriracha hot sauce (rooster sauce) or to taste/optional
2 tablespoons dried herbs (I used chives) or to taste/optional

Directions:

In a small saucepan or skillet add your oil, pinch of salt, and sliced garlic cloves. Set stove to low (mark 3 on most stoves) and let cook for 10 minutes stirring occasionally. The oil and garlic should just be hot enough to bubble slightly around the garlic and let it get crispy but not really dark colored.

After about 10 minutes your oil will be very perfumed. You can either use the garlic cloves in your hummus or you can just use the oil. I Love strong garlic taste so I used the cloves as well.

Add your beans, 1/4 cup tahini paste, garlic (if using), sriracha, and soy sauce in a food processor. Turn the processor on and pour in oil while machine is moving. Let your machine run for 2-5 minutes, scraping down sides as needed. You want it to be super smooth. You can add more tahini paste or more oil to make it creamy. If you want to keep the calories down, you can add some water but keep in mind it will lose the creamy texture if you add too much.

When your beans are smooth enough for you; give them a taste test. If it needs more spice, add more of your rooster sauce. If it needs more salt consider adding more soy sauce; it adds a nice salty flavor and add an extra element of flavor. Now is also the time to add any extra herbs. I put in 2 tablespoons of chives.

Put in serving container and chill in fridge for at-least an hour to develop flavor. Optimally you’d want to go overnight, but we’ll understand if temptation is too hard! Consider adding extra olive oil on-top , herbs, or sriracha like I did. It adds an extra punch to some of your pitas or veggies and makes it look pretty. Enjoy! 😀

**Yes in the photo my hummus is really thick, however thats how I wanted it, If you add extra tahini, oil, or water It will have the traditional texture**

PLEASE TAKE NOTE: If you are making this and/or cooking for someone with gluten allergies or celiacs disease. Make sure to purchase ingredients that are certified gluten free, and clean your utensils very well. Better safe than sorry.