Shaved Asparagus, Spinach and Pea Salad with Quinoa

Roman Emperor and asparagus aficionado, Caesar Augustus, had an expression — Velocius quam asparagi conquantur!  Literally it meant “Faster that cooking asparagus,” but the point Augustus was trying to get across to his military minions was “Get going already”! Shaved Asparagus, Spinach and Pea Salad with Quinoa

Today I’m sharing a no-cook recipe that, by definition, IS FASTER than the already fast task of cooking asparagus. Try my Shaved Asparagus, Spinach and Pea Salad with Quinoa, it comes together in mere minutes and will pass muster with even the pickiest produce eaters!   Continue reading

Turk’y Cutlets with Fall Festival Couscous #OMGardein Holiday

If your life is similar to mine, that November and December datebook is packed full of year-end deadlines, holiday planning, seemingly never-ending shopping and all sorts of soirees, celebrations and family festivities. Oh, and don’t forget squeezing in running and working out so that you can charge into the New Year fabulously fit. All this whirlwind of activity can wreak havoc on healthy dinner plans, but I have a nutritious, quick and easy dinner idea planned with plant-based proteins from Gardein.

Turk'y Cutlets with Fall Festival Couscous

My recipe for Gardein Turk’y Cutlet with Fall Festival Couscous is perfect for a quick weeknight meal but also gorgeous enough for any holiday company that may be dropping by. Full disclosure — I definitely eat beef, chicken, fish  . . . . and, lots of plant-based proteins too – I love variety and all the foods! However, I have a non meat-eating family member visiting every Thanksgiving and Christmas, so I’m always on the lookout for vegetarian recipes that he and the entire family will enjoy. Dinners featuring a Gardein Turk’y Cutlet are proven winners with me, my kids and my company – they cook up in just 15 minutes, have a delicious crunchy exterior texture and offer 22 grams of protein. Serve these versatile cutlets on top of my fall-inspired nut and fruit Fall Festival Couscous and you have a vibrant vegetarian meal with a comforting vibe!

Gardeom Turkey Cutlets on Fall Festival Couscous

Fall Festival CouscousSweet Potato, Cranberry and Pistachio Couscous

The beauty of couscous is that it cooks in less time than the quick and easy Turk’y Cutlets, so you don’t have to worry about delaying dinner while you wait for brown rice, quinoa or another grain to finish up.  I suggest the larger “pearl” couscous, also known as “Israeli” couscous – it can be found near the  whole wheat.  Other nutritious ingredients in this colorful side dish include dried cranberries, shelled pistachios and diced sweet potatoes.Mini Crabless Cakes from Gardein

Gardein Turk’y Cutlets aren’t the only product you’ll love. The company sells over 20 different varieties of plant-based proteins made with non-GMO soy and wheat, ancient grains and veggies – the taste and texture is excellent!  Hungry holiday guests always seem to require appetizers to distract them from the delicious smells of the main course coming from the oven. Gardein has many quick-to-cook and simple-to-serve protein options that make an excellent starter for your gathering. For example, the Gardein Mini Crabless Cakes can be served with an easy dip such as honey mustard sauce, a tomato-based cocktail sauce, ranch style dip or mayonnaise mixed with Sriracha  — I’m serving them up at my next party sprinkled with feta and pomegranate arils with a berry vinaigrette for dipping.

 

gardienLook for these products in the freezer aisle to use in my recipe for Turk’y Cutlets with Fall Festival Couscous and test out your own creativity with the succulent, seafood-inspired Gardein Mini Crabless Cakes  — and you can also visit the Gardein Holiday Recipe Page for lots of quick and easy recipes with a festive flair and a money-saving  coupon download.

 


Gardeom Turkey Cutlets on Fall Festival Couscous
Turk'y Cutlets with Fall Festival Couscous
Print Recipe
This quick and easy meal featuring Gardein plant-based protein brings the special flavor of the fall holidays to every night weeknight dinners.
Servings Prep Time
2 servings 5 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 servings 5 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Gardeom Turkey Cutlets on Fall Festival Couscous
Turk'y Cutlets with Fall Festival Couscous
Print Recipe
This quick and easy meal featuring Gardein plant-based protein brings the special flavor of the fall holidays to every night weeknight dinners.
Servings Prep Time
2 servings 5 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 servings 5 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 400 F degrees and cook Turk’y Cutlets for 15 mintues, flipping once. While cutlets are cooking, prepare couscous (below):
  2. Add olive oil to 1 quart pot and bring to medium heat. Add sweet potatoes and par cook for 3 minutes, stirring continuously.
  3. Add parsley, onion, pepper, couscous and vegetable broth to sweet potatoes and stir until combined.
  4. Bring mixture to a boil and turn heat to low, cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, while still covered, for another 5 minutes.
  5. Stir in cranberries and pistachios.
  6. To serve, make a mound with ½ the couscous mixture and top with 2 Gardein Turk’y Cutlets. Drizzle with warmed gravy packet, if desired.
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Skinny Chocolate Cannoli Pudding for the Win! #MeatlessMondayNight

This blog post was sponsored by Silk but the opinions are all my own.

What happens when professional football and feeding the family a vegetarian meal collide – its #MeatlessMondayNight !! So, if your stomach is growling, get ready to rumble, there are so many meal and dessert options that don’t feature meat or dairy products. I’ll get to the entrée later, but let’s talk dessert first!

Skinny Chocolate Cannoli Puddings make a sweet and light ending to any meal!While I eat with my health in mind and look at food as a way to fuel my body for running, yoga and Crossfit, I also think it should taste fantastic – and should include room for the occasional sensible snack and dessert.  To satisfy my sweet tooth after a Meatless Monday dinner, I’ve whipped up these easy Skinny Chocolate Cannoli Puddings that my whole family loves.Skinny Chocolate Cannoli Puddings made with Silk Soymilk

Skinny Chocolate Cannoli Puddings make the perfect, light addition to your football game night spread – especially if everyone has been filling up on heavy dips and appetizers.  I’ve also served the individual-sized portions in clear plastic cups for easy clean up at tailgating parities.  Just fill the disposable cups up with pudding, cover with plastic wrap and then place in a cooler along with a can of dairy-free topping for that special touch.

Skinny Chocolate Cannoli Puddings in Shooter Glasses

Glass of Silk Soymilk

Great in recipes, but Silk Vanilla Soymilk is also yummy by the glassful!

These Skinny Chocolate Cannoli Puddings can be served in 2 ounce shooter glasses for a fancy presentation at a cocktail parting or holiday gathering.  I’ve made the recipe with Silk Vanilla Soymilk, but you can easily swap in Silk Almondmilk, Silk Cashewmilk or Silk Coconutmilk.  Compared to traditional cannoli made with full-fat ricotta cheese, heavy cream and lots of oil from frying the shells, my pudding version will keep you light on your feet!

 

If you’re a meat-eater (and I unapologetically am), why not join in the #MeatlessMondayNight challenge along with me? You don’t have to give up your meat every night of the week, just incorporate a vegetarian meal once a week, like for Monday night football games this season!  Personally, I am never going to give up meat all together, I’m just into a varied diet with lean proteins including meat, poultry, fish, and plant-based protein along with colorful produce in season – my personal hashtag should be #AllTheFoods !  The products from Silk work so well in all my recipes and make it easier to attain this once-a-week change.

meatless monday meal inspiration

Check out my meatless recipes above, and also visit Silk to for their collection of plant-based protein dishes. .

Any vegetarian football game appetizers or desserts in your repertoire? Who are you rooting for this football season?  Please share in the comments below — XOXO, Jennifer

This conversation is sponsored by Silk. The opinions and text are all mine.

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Chocolate Cannoli Pudding for the Win!
Print Recipe
End your Meatless Monday on a sweet note with this quick and easy dairy-free dessert option that uses Silk soymilk. #MeatlessMondayNight
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 5 minutes
Passive Time
30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 5 minutes
Passive Time
30 minutes
Chocolate Cannoli Pudding for the Win!
Print Recipe
End your Meatless Monday on a sweet note with this quick and easy dairy-free dessert option that uses Silk soymilk. #MeatlessMondayNight
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 5 minutes
Passive Time
30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 5 minutes
Passive Time
30 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Add pudding mix, soymilk, ricotta substitute, cinnamon and allspice in bowl. Whisk together for several minutes until well combined and beginning to thicken.
  2. Pour into ramekins or shooter glasses and let chill for at least 30 minutes.
  3. To serve, top with whipped topping, chocolate chips and pistachios.
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Fall Veggie Chick’n Curry in a Hurry! #OMGardein

We are getting a cold front this weekend – the temps will only be reaching 89 F degrees with lows dipping into the 60s! That’s hardly sweater season, but I’ll take – especially after enduring a summer of running in an inferno. I can also tell that fall is on its way, the days are getting shorter and there’s that beautiful amber glint in the sky starting mid-afternoons. This gets me in the mood for a warm and nourishing plate of goodness (using Gardein products), something other than the no-cook entrée salads I’ve been eating for months.

Fall Veggie Curry with Gardein Chick'n Strips

Fresh fall produce, like sweet potatoes and cauliflower, come together beautifully in my Fall Vegetable Chick’n Curry. It’s a pot of soul-satisfying, exotically spiced food that will fuel any active lifestyle – just enough healthy carbs for quick energy and plenty of plant-based protein for muscle management thanks to Gardein Teriyaki Chick’n Strips. Whole grains, legumes and well-seasoned veggies round out the easy meal to add fiber and other essential nutrients, not to mention add tons of flavor and texture.

Ingredients for Fall Veggie curry

If you’re not familiar with the Gardein (garden + protein, get it?!) you need to be! It’s no secret I’m a meat-eater — I’m a grilling instructor, certified BBQ judge and elite running team member sponsored by BEEF. That being said, I’m all for variety in a healthy diet (I eat it all) and the products from Gardein are versatile, convenient and tasty way to get adequate protein when I’m preparing a vegetarian or Meatless Monday meal – which I eat at least once a week.

Fall Veggie Curry with Gardein Chick'n

Gardein makes over 20 plant-based protein products including these favorites — Gardein BBQ porkless pocket meal, Gardein The Ultimate Beefless Ground, Gardein Golden Fishless Filets, Gardein Seven Grain Crispy Tenders and Gardein Teriyaki Chick’n Strips (used in my recipe today). Found in the frozen foods  aisle of your market,  Gardein products cook from frozen making them an ideal meal starter for those crazy, busy nights when you can’t get something going all the way from scratch or are too worn out to figure out if your vegetarian or vegan meal is packing enough protein. Gardein’s award winning products are made from non-GMO soy and wheat, ancient grains and veggies and offer a similar taste and texture to traditional meat with a bit fewer calories, cholesterol and fat.

Fall Veggie Chick’n Curry Recipe

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 package Teryaki Chick’n Strips from Gardein
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/3″ cubes
  • 1/2 yellow onion coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup halved Brussels sprouts
  • 1 15-oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15-oz can fire-roasted tomatoes with juice
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • Serve with prepared rice.
  1. Heat oil 1 tablespoon of oil and cook Chick’n Strips according to package instructions, but don’t add sauce packet yet.  Remove cooked strips from skillet.
  2. Add remaining olive oil to same skilled and brown sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts for about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add onions and saute for another 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Add broth, sauce packet (that came with  Chick’n Strips), chickpeas, tomatoes and spices to skillet and let simmer for approximately 10 minutes, until everything warmed and juices reduced a bit.
  4. Add cooked Chick’n back to mixture, stir. Serve over warm rice and sprinkle with cashews and cilantro.
  5. Serves 4.

For additional information, easy dinner solutions, and chef inspired recipes, visit Gardien – you can also get a $1 off coupon until October 9th, 2015.

If you’re NOT a vegan or vegetarian, how many times a week do you go meatless? What is your favorite dish? Please share in the comments below — XOXO, Jennifer 

Balsamic Grilled Vegetable Salad & Grilling Produce Tips

Take advantage of the summer's best produce with this Balsamic Grilled Vegetable Salad -- and check out the grilling tips.This coming weekend, I’m teaching 200 carnivores how to grill vegetable side dishes to go along with their beef. It’s hard to upstage a delicious, juicy flat iron steak — but I think a couple of my recipes can come close — especially this Balsamic  Grilled Vegetable Salad!

Five Tips for Grilling Vegetables this Summer

Grilled vegetables is super easy, and in the heat of the summer — there is no need to also turn on an oven or stove if the grill is already going. At BeefLovingTexans.com, I’m sharing Five Tips for Grilling Vegetables – go check that out! Meanwhile, I hope you enjoy this delicious, easy grilled vegetable salad that is the perfect way to take advantage of your favorite fresh seasonal vegetables — feel free to swap in the veggies you love.  It’s also a great dish for my Paleo diet and low-carb peeps.

And, if you have any leftovers, these vegetables are so good in a sandwich! Or in an egg scramble, or on a pizza, or tossed with pasta.

Balsamic Grilled Veggie Sandwich

What is your favorite vegetable (or fruit) to toss on the grill? Please share in the comments below — XOXO, Jennifer

 

 

 

 

Balsamic Grilled Vegetable Salad
Print Recipe
Grilling vegetables is a great way to add a hint of smoky goodness and flavor to the summer season's best vegetables. The leftovers for this grilled salad can be used on pizzas, pastas and sammies.
Servings Prep Time
4 - 6 people 10 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
8 minutes 30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 - 6 people 10 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
8 minutes 30 minutes
Balsamic Grilled Vegetable Salad
Print Recipe
Grilling vegetables is a great way to add a hint of smoky goodness and flavor to the summer season's best vegetables. The leftovers for this grilled salad can be used on pizzas, pastas and sammies.
Servings Prep Time
4 - 6 people 10 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
8 minutes 30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 - 6 people 10 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
8 minutes 30 minutes
Instructions
  1. In small bowl, whisk together balsamic vinegar, oil, parsley, basil and garlic. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.  Place veggies in large zip-top bag and add balsamic mixture; close bag and turn a few times to coat contents. Let marinate at room temperature for approximately 30 minutes.
  2. Skewer together mushrooms. Coat grates with oil and heat grill to medium-high — approximately 400 F degrees.
  3. Drain balsamic marinade off vegetables and reserve (never reserve marinade on raw meat, but on vegetables it is fine)
  4. Grill veggies for 6 to 8 minutes, turning halfway through cooking. Vegetables will be done when they are becoming tender (a little “crunch” is desired and have golden brown grate marks. Let vegetables cool on cutting board for several minutes and then cut down into bite sized pieces.
  5. In small sauce pan, bring balsamic mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, let simmer for a couple minutes to reduce a volume a bit.
  6. Add spinach to serving platter and top with grilled vegetables and balsamic dressing (made from the marinade). Toss with tongs and serve warm — or make the vegetables in advance, chill and serve as a cold salad
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Pesto, Spinach & Roast Garlic Stuffed Mushrooms – Vegan #MeetChef

Thanks to Gardein for introducing me to their Gardein The Ultimate Beefless Ground and for sponsoring today’s post.

Making a big stuffed mushroom for dinner is so satisfying and pairs so well with beef!  But, what if you’re not into beef as much as I am and are looking for a vegetarian or vegan option? You should check out The Ultimate Beefless Ground from Gardein – it’s amazing! Being the beef girl that I am (who also does meatless meal, too – variety is the spice of life),

Pesto, Spinach and Roast Garlic Stuffed Mushrooms are made with Beefless Ground and makes a satisfying vegetarian or vegan dinner.

I was skeptical of the product. I had a carnivorous family member coming over for dinner who is making some changes in diet and lifestyle and I wanted to put this meatless product to the ultimate test.

Prepping a meatless dinner is super convenient with Gardein Beefless Ground.

Prepping a meatless dinner is super convenient with Gardein Beefless Ground.

I created a recipe for Pesto-Stuffed Portobella Mushrooms and used The Ultimate Beefless Ground as the primary protein source – I served up the dish and didn’t say a word about the ingredients.  I thought was absolutely delicious and studied the face of my guest – what was he thinking?  Well, I got complement after complement on my recipe and when I finally broke the news that we were having a #MeatlessMonday meal, jaws dropped. Everyone gave the The Ultimate Beefless Ground from Gardein a thumbs up on taste and texture. And, as the chef, I have to say it was so simple to make —  I just tossed the beefless ground in my skillet with a little olive oil, spinach, pesto sauce and vegetable broth and within about 2 to 3 minutes, my portabella mushrooms were ready to stuff!

Pesto Spinach & Roast Garlic Stuffed Portabella Mushrooms

Each ½ portion of the beefless ground (on its own) has just 80 calories with 12 grams of protein and no cholesterol or transfat. It’s also gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian and kosher.  In addition to my easy stuffed-mushroom recipe, this plant-based protein is excellent in everything from tacos to chile to pasta or crumbled on nachos. All Gardein products are found chillin’ in the freezer aisle at your favorite grocery store.  Save yourself a dollar with this coupon (available for download until May 31, 2015).

Mushrooms ready for the oven!

Mushrooms ready for the oven!

The roasted garlic I used in the recipe is so insanely good and easy to make. Roasting in the oven takes the bite out of garlic and gives it a milder, sweeter taste. The recipe is simply to take peeled garlic cloves, drizzle with olive oil and bake at 400 F degrees for about 20 minutes, turning once. You’ll definitely want to make a big batch and use in salads, on pizza, mash up as a paste to marinate!

Roasting garlic is super easy and takes out the bit, leaving a mellow and sweeter flavor that is great in so many recipes

If you are looking for other vegan and vegetarian dinner options, you will like my Teriyaki Chick’n Chop Salad.

 

Pesto, Spinach and Roast Garlic Stuffed Mushrooms are made with Beefless Ground and makes a satisfying vegetarian or vegan dinner.
Pesto, Spinach & Roast Garlic Stuffed Mushrooms - Vegan
Print Recipe
Pesto, spinach and mellow roasted garlic come together in a delicious portabella mushroom that makes an easy dinner for meatless monday or when you need a vegetarian or vegan recipes. Uses The Ultimate Beefless Ground from Gardein.
Servings Prep Time
2 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Pesto, Spinach and Roast Garlic Stuffed Mushrooms are made with Beefless Ground and makes a satisfying vegetarian or vegan dinner.
Pesto, Spinach & Roast Garlic Stuffed Mushrooms - Vegan
Print Recipe
Pesto, spinach and mellow roasted garlic come together in a delicious portabella mushroom that makes an easy dinner for meatless monday or when you need a vegetarian or vegan recipes. Uses The Ultimate Beefless Ground from Gardein.
Servings Prep Time
2 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. In medium skillet, add spinach, beefless ground, garlic and vegetable stock. Saute over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes or until protein crumbles are cooking and spinach is wilting.
  2. Remove from heat and stir in pesto sauce, coating everything.
  3. Brush outsides of cleaned mushrooms with olive oil. Stuff gilll side high with half the mixture each. Top with a cherry tomato and extra garlic, if desired.
  4. Bake in 400 F degree oven for 18 - 20 minutes or until mushroom is softened and juicy.
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Plant-based Protein – Asian Chop Salad with Gardein Teriyaki Chick’n Strips

Thanks to Gardein for introducing me to their Gardein Teriyaki Chick’n Strips and for sponsoring today’s post.

I’m that fast girl you’ve been warned about. I talk fast, I run fast . . . . and, I like to get my food fast. But NOT fast food, no way.  To keep my diet fit and fresh, I like to make the majority of my meals at home, despite the insanely busy schedule I keep.  So, while a 30-minute weeknight meal might sound pretty quick to most, I’m kicking it up into super-sonic speed on the typical night with 10-minute, pan-to-plate dinners!

Teriyaki Chick'n Chop Salad is a fit, fast and flavorful meal that takes 10 minutes to make and fills you up with healthy plant-proteins.

Tonight, I whipped up a far-out, far-east inspired dinner using Teriyaki Chick’n Strips from Gardein. These tasty strips have 15 grams of plant-based protein for a mere 120 calorie cost. They are made with non-GMO soy and wheat, ancient grains and veggies and remarkably have a similar taste and texture to real chicken breast – they are also work for those of you who keep vegan and kosher diets. My husband,  a carnivorous guy who would normally turn his nose up at such “nonsense,” didn’t even realize he was eating a meat substitute! I call that winning dinner!  #MeetChef

Teriyaki Chick'n Chop Salad is made with plant-based protein and perfect for a #MeatlessMonday mealIn addition to the Teriyaki Chick’n Strips magic, I employed my favorite busy-night trick and used what I could find in the produce bin to make the remainder of dinner.   While the strips were browning for five minutes in the skillet, I quickly chopped up some jicama, carrots and red onion and thawed out shelled edamame that I always keep in the freezer. The Teriyaki Chick’n Strips come with a sauce packet that also I also found to make a serendipitous salad dressing (there was plenty to drizzle on everything)!

This quick and easy meal solution is definitely going to be in my dinner rotation — I now have more time for running fast . . .  and running errands!

jen running in yellow flowers

Gardein makes lots of other yummy, healthy, meatless proteins like Gardein Ultimate Beefless Ground, Golden Fishless Filets. Check back next week, because I’ll have a new recipe for you! All Gardein products are found chillin’ in the freezer aisle at your favorite grocery store.  Save yourself a dollar with this coupon (available for download until May 31, 2015).

Far Out Far East Chick'n Chop Salad - TheFitFork.com

What is your quickest go-to meal to make at home?

 

Teriyaki Chick'n Chop Salad
Print Recipe
This Asian-inspired salad uses plant-based protein, teriyaki sauce and chopped fresh veggies to create a fit, fresh and fast dinner solution.
Servings Prep Time
3 Servings 5 minutes
Cook Time
5 minutes
Servings Prep Time
3 Servings 5 minutes
Cook Time
5 minutes
Teriyaki Chick'n Chop Salad
Print Recipe
This Asian-inspired salad uses plant-based protein, teriyaki sauce and chopped fresh veggies to create a fit, fresh and fast dinner solution.
Servings Prep Time
3 Servings 5 minutes
Cook Time
5 minutes
Servings Prep Time
3 Servings 5 minutes
Cook Time
5 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: Servings
Instructions
  1. Heat olive oil on medium-sized skillet over medium-high heat. Add thawed chick'n strips and cook for about 5 minutes, flipping once. Remove from heat. Add thawed sauce packet to skillet to coat strips.
  2. Toss carrots, jicama, edamame beans and onion into skillet and stir quickly to coat veggies with sauce, yet not heat them.
  3. Divide chicken and veggies among three plates and sprinkle with cashews. Drizzle with Sriracha sauce, if desired.
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Kale & Quinoa Casserole Recipe + The Running Event

It was a busy day visiting with old friends (like Altra, Nuun Hydration, Pocket Fuel, and others) and meeting new folks in the running industry at THE RUNNING EVENT conference right here in Austin. I have lots of new running gear and race fuel products to update you on —   and perhaps a giveaway or two coming up soon!

Bart Yasso & Jennifer Fisher at TRE14It was also fun to bump into Bart Yasso (aka the “Mayor of Running) who I threatened to track down if his world-famous “Yasso 800s” don’t pay off in my upcoming Dallas Marathon.In the meantime, I wanted to share a nutritious comfort food recipe that is perfect addition to a holiday potluck party or just as a make-ahead and bake later meal for a busy night – Ranch Kale and Quinoa Casserole.  Originally created for the Litehouse Food blog (please visit), this home-style dish a hearty yet healthy riff on broccoli rice casserole, one of my favorite Christmas side dish (but most versions I’ve seen have tons of butter, cream, or “cream of” soups).

Ranch Kale & Quinoa Casserole - TheFitFork.com

Ranch Kale & Quinoa Casserole Recipe

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 cups chopped kale
  • 1 large white onion (chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 cups cooked quinoa (from 1 cup dry)
  • 1 cup ranch dressing
  • 1 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese (divided)
  1. Add olive oil to 12” to 14” cast iron skillet and bring to medium-high heat.
  2. Add chopped onion and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes until softening. Add half of kale and cook down for about 2 minutes. Add a couple tablespoons of water, if needed.  Add remaining kale to skillet and sauté for 2 -3 more minutes until completely wilted.
  3. Add garlic, salt and pepper to kale and continue to sauté for 1 minute.
  4. Remove skillet from heat and stir in pre-cooked quinoa, ranch dressing and ¾ cup of parmesan cheese.
  5. Sprinkle top with remaining cheese and bake in 350 F degree oven for 30 minutes or until bubbling and cheese browning on top.
  6. Serves 8.

 

cheesy quinoa bake

Using quinoa instead of rice or pasta in a casserole adds extra protein and can often stand alone as a vegetarian or Meatless Monday meal – check out another favorite of mine, Lightened Cheese Quinoa and Cauliflower Casserole.

 

 

What is your favorite comfort casserole?

What new running gear do you have your eye on?