3 Creative Ways to Eat More Quinoa


Quinoa, a pseudo grain, (it’s actually a seed) is a nutrient rich food that can be transformed into many different recipes.  One of the most beneficial components of quinoa is its adequate amino acid profile, making it a complete protein source.  The high protein and fiber content of quinoa also makes it a low glycemic food that will actually help stabilize your blood sugar.  Of course the best quality of quinoa is the ability to transform the flavor depending on what your taste buds desire!


Below are 3 creative ways to incorporate quinoa + it’s many benefits into your daily diet:

  • Add ½ c of cooked quinoa to a bed of arugula, cherry tomatoes, sliced bell pepper & eggs (pictured)
  • Replace your morning cereal or oatmeal with ½ -1 c of quinoa and top with walnuts, cinnamon & dried or fresh fruit
  • Saute any combination of vegetables and add in ½ -1 c of cooked quinoa for a complete protein source & top with goat cheese  

Quinoa is most cost effective when purchased from the bulk section of your local grocery store or at Costco.  Whether you are on a budget or not, the nutrient density vs. cost of quinoa is hard to beat, proving that eating healthy is very affordable!





Archived Articles

DIY Taco Seasoning

I have been working on this seasoning for months trying to perfect the proportions of spices and finally feel like it is ready to be shared with the world, (and just in time for Cinco De Mayo)!  After trying this recipe I guarantee you will never reach for a store bought packet of taco seasoning again.  Those small packets are filled with hidden chemicals and sodium and wreak havoc on your body, while also harms the cells that fight to keep you glowing and healthy.  My secret ingredient in this recipe is turmeric – you won’t even taste it!  Turmeric is typically used in curry type dishes, however the flavor comes through very mild when mixed with the spices in this recipe.  Turmeric is chock-full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties and can prevent health complications such as arthritis, heart disease, depression and even improve your brain function!

What You Need:

1 tsp chili powder
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp onion powder
½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp paprika
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp turmeric
sea salt and black pepper to taste

What you do:

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl and add to chicken, steak or ground beef.  This amount is good for 1-1 ½ lbs of meat and flavors will come through best when added to raw meat and cooked in.


Coconut Pistachio Quinoa

Sometimes I hit the jackpot with my improv foodie creations and this one definitely made the list!  Initially, I served this with Lemon Dijon Baked Salmon (recipe coming soon), but quickly realized, with a few additional veggies added, this can be a meal in itself.  Quinoa is such an amazing super food and complete protein, meaning as a plant based food it has the same amino acid properties as animal protein.  This high protein powerhouse is packed with fiber, calcium, phosphorus and iron.  Many people are misinformed and believe that quinoa is a grain, when in fact it is a seed that comes from the same family as spinach.  Quinoa is a perfect option for those who live a gluten and wheat free lifestyle.  Adding a few veggies and a healthy fat to a bowl of quinoa not only gives you a clean, high quality meal, but it tastes good too!  The recipe below is for 2-3 servings.

What You Need:

1 c uncooked quinoa
1-2 tbsp organic, cold pressed coconut oil
2 tbsp dried tart cherries (no sugar added)
2 tbsp raw pistachios

What You Do:

Rinse uncooked quinoa well and pat dry.  Bring 2 cups of water to a boil, add quinoa and turn heat to low.  Cover with a lid and let sit for about 5-7 minutes, until all the water has been soaked up.  Stir in coconut oil and let sit for a 2-3 more minutes.  Fluff with a fork and transfer to a bowl.  Add cherries and pistachios, salt and pepper to taste and mix well.


Not Your Everyday Burger


I was feeling like being creative in the kitchen last weekend and came up with this tasty, healthy alternative to the conventional beef burger.  Packed full of fiber and omega-3's this recipe will definitely satisfy your taste buds!

What You Need:

1 15 oz can low-sodium black beans, drained and rinsed well
2 5 oz cans wild Atlantic Salmon, drained
1 large egg
1 tsp ground flax seed
1 tsp sesame seeds
1 tsp cumin
1/8 c red chopped red onion (optional)
1-2 tbsp coconut oil
1/2 sliced avocado

What You Do:

Combine black beans, salmon, egg, flax seeds, sesame seeds, and cumin in a food processor and pulse on low until ingredients are well mixed, but there are still some whole black beans.  Mix in red onion.  Meanwhile, preheat a skilled to medium high and coat with coconut oil.  Make burger patties out of mix, season with salt and pepper and place in skilled.  Cook 3-4 minutes on each side, until crisp and patties are heated all the way through.  Top with sliced avocado and serve with grilled veggies or a side salad.


Superfood Smoothie!


Spring is upon us and I don't know about you, but I am ready to hear birds chirping, see the sun shining and feel the warm weather on my skin!  Boosting your intake of superfoods is a great way to welcome in a new season and this smoothie is a perfect way to get started! 

Each ingredient provides its own unique superfood property - blueberries are packed with antioxidants and vitamin C, giving you glowing skin.  Hemp seeds, chia seeds and avocado contain essential fatty acids that help fight against high blood pressure and high cholesterol and reduce overall inflammation in the body.  And spinach contains more potassium that a banana, iron, calcium, vitamin A and magnesium, which gives your metabolism a huge boost and gives your hair extra shine.  I could keep going, but I think you get the point :)

What You Need:

1/2 c blueberries
1 handful of spinach
1 tsp hemp seeds
1 tsp chia seeds
1/4 avocado
3 scoops Nutrimeal Free (or any vegan protein)
8 oz purified water
7 ice cubes

What You Do:

Combine water, blueberries and spinach in blender and mix on high for 60 seconds, or until well mixed.  Add remaining ingredients and blend until desired consistency.  Pour into a glass and garnish with a dash of cinnamon and a few hemp seeds.


Lemon Rosemary Baked Chicken

This recipe will quickly become one of your go-to dinners when you need a warm, comforting meal without compromising healthy, quality ingredients.  Make extra and eat as leftovers for a quick healthy lunch the next day!

What You Need:

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 lemons, quartered
1 large red onion, quartered
1 head of garlic
1 large sweet potato or yam, cubed
1/2 c extra virgin olive oil
1/4 c aged balsamic vinegar
3 -4 sprigs of fresh rosemary or 3 Tbsp of dried rosemary
Sea salt and black pepper to taste

What You Do:

Pre-heat oven to 425
Drizzle 1-2 Tbsp of olive oil in a glass baking dish and spread around to coat
Add chicken to bottom of pan
Top chicken with sweet potatoes, quartered onions and garlic
Squeeze each quarter of lemon evenly over ingredients and place in dish
Season with rosemary, sea salt and black pepper
Drizzle with 1/4 to 1/2 the amount of olive oil and balsamic vinegar 
Cover with foil or oven safe top and place in oven for 30 minutes
After 30 minutes, take foil or top off and place dish back in oven for another 10-15 minutes or until the chicken and vegetables are fully cooked
Take out of oven and drizzle with remaining olive oil and balsamic vinegar
Serve immediately

I made this dish tonight and served roasted asparagus as a side, but this dish is perfect just by itself!



Fat Burning Chocolate Protein Pancakes!


Whether your goal is to burn fat, increase energy or to start eating a healthy breakfast, this recipe is for you!  This is seriously one of my go-to's when I have a little extra time in the mornings to cook my breakfast.  Combining chocolate whey, egg whites, oats and fruit is the perfect blend of quality protein, clean carbs and healthy fats, which = a kick ass, healthy, fat burning breakfast, guaranteed to set you up for a stellar day of clean eating!

What You Need:

1 scoop chocolate whey protein (I prefer USANA Chocolate Whey)
2 egg whites
1/4 oats
1 tsp flax
1 tsp chia seeds
1/4 tsp cinnamon

What You Do:

Heat skillet to medium high and mix all ingredients together in a bowl.  Spray skilled with olive oil spray to avoid sticking.  Cook 3-4 minutes each side or until pancake is firm and seems cooked all the way through.
Top with almond butter and honey and serve with sliced bananas.

Quick Tip:  This recipe is for 1 serving.  You double or triple the recipe and make leftovers.  Simply let the pancake cool after cooking, place in a freezer ziplock and freeze until you are ready to eat it.  For those mornings when you are short for time, place the frozen pancake in the toaster on med-high setting.  Next, spread the almond butter and slice a banana and you have a power breakfast in minutes!




Quinoa Granola with Almonds & Cashews

This morning after teaching a spinning class, I came home looking for a good recovery snack.  Immediately my mind went to a recipe I originally saw over the holiday’s for quinoa in granola.  I have been dying to add it into one of my granola batches ever since!  Nuts, quinoa, and dried fruit are all great components of a recovery snack, making this morning the perfect time to try the recipe out!  It turned out better than I imagined – this recipe is definitely a keeper!


  • 3/4 c uncooked quinoa
  • 1/4 c almonds
  • 1/4 c cashews
  • 1/4 c pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 c dried tart cherries
  • 1/4 c dried apricots, quartered
  • 2 tsp coconut oil
  • 1/4 c raw honey
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg


Preheat oven to 350.  Mix quinoa, almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds, cinnamon and nutmeg into a bowl.  Put honey and coconut oil in microwave safe bowl and heat on high for 1 minute.  Drizzle over nut and quinoa mixture and stir until coated.  Spread mixture on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, stirring twice (or until mixture is golden brown).  Remove from oven, put mixture back into a bowl and stir in dried fruit.  Spread granola over a long sheet of tin foil and let it cool, completely. 

Mix 1/4-1/2 cup with plain, non-fat greek yogurt and you have a perfect breakfast or post workout snack!


Sea Salt Roasted Yams


I got home from work tonight and felt inspired to do something with the 2 yams sitting on the counter.  I knew I had been craving oven roasted yams after seeing them showcased in the health food store deli last weekend.  So tonight I got busy and made them for dinner!

  • What you need to do:
  • Preheat oven to 450 | Bake time: 30 minutes
  • Take 2 Yams, wash and cut ends off (you can peel if you don’t like the skin, I prefer to keep it on)
  • Slice yams in 1/2 length wise and then in 1/2 again, creating wedges
  • Cut wedges in 1/2
  • Toss in a bowl with olive oil, sea salt and thyme (a couple shakes of each)
  • Place on baking sheet and put in oven
  • After 15 minutes flip wedges over and bake for another 15 minutes or until slightly crisp
Tonight I served these with a bun-less turkey burgers and sliced peppers – grilled steak, chicken or pork would pair well too. Yum, so damn good, {packed full of vitamin A, B, C and fiber} you won’t even realize they are healthy for you!